Plot: The Speed Kid (Larry Semon) has eyes for a beautiful woman named Lou (Dorothy Dwan), but he isn’t her lone suitor. No, the nefarious Dan McGraw (Oliver Hardy) also has an interest in her, which sparks a heated rivalry between the two. Lou’s father has a solution to ensure the best man can court his daughter and since he organizes races all the time, it is one he knows quite well. A car race will take place and whoever crosses the finish line first will earn the right to date Lou. But with McGraw willing to bend the rules, can The Speed Kid find a way to win?
Entertainment Value: This short runs under twenty minutes, but features some solid laughs and has a more involved production than you might expect. I like seeing the more elaborate set pieces in these silent films and Kid Speed has a wild race sequence, which had to be quite an undertaking to bring to life. In 1924, filmmakers had to use practical means to stage these kind of stunts, which makes the race scenes so much more intense and effective, in my opinion. To be honest, I didn’t love Kid Speed in terms of humor, but I did appreciate the spectacle of the race set pieces. Larry Semon has the lead and turns in his usual routine, while Oliver Hardy turns up the villain meter up to ten, in an over the top effort. I wouldn’t put this with either man’s funniest work, but it has some decent entertainment value.
Use this Amazon link to purchase Kid Speed (or anything else) and help support my site!