The Kid Brother 1927
Today Harold Lloyd's fame as one of the top film comics of the silent era rests largely on his two most often-screened films, Safety Last (1923) and The Freshman (1925). But many film critics and Lloyd admirers rate The Kid Brother as one of his very best, arguably a masterpiece, and probably his most accomplished all-around performance. Even critics who rate Lloyd below Chaplin or Keaton because they find his films mechanical and lacking in human feeling point to this movie as the exception, an exciting, funny, and touching work that depends on acting and story line more than daredevil stunts.

The Kid Brother, a male Cinderella story, finds Lloyd as Harold, youngest son of the backwoods Hickory clan, treated with contempt by his brutish father and brothers because he's timid and sensitive. Though unappreciated by his family, he's also a clever young man, demonstrated by the way he comes up with various Rube Goldberg-like devices to help him complete his huge burden of farm chores. Harold falls for lovely Mary Powers, who moves in with his family after her traveling medicine show burns down. When thugs from the show steal the town's money, Harold's father is accused. Then the mistreated young drudge springs into action, using his brains rather than brawn to impress his family and outwit the crooks in a hilarious sequence of chases and gags until he restores his father's good name and wins the heart of his girl.

Directors: Ted Wilde, Harold Lloyd, Lewis Milestone, J.A. Howe
Cast: Harold Lloyd, Jobyna Ralston, Walter James, Olin Francis, Constantine Romanoff
Country: USA
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Family, Romance

BD50 | 1080p AVC | 01:22:54 | 45.5 Gb + 3% rec
Language: English intertitles
Subtitles: none


Alternate archival organ score performed by Gaylord Carter

Commentary - this vintage audio commentary features filmmaker and Harold Lloyd archivist Richard Correll, author Annette D'Agostino Lloyd, and Harold Lloyd's granddaughter Suzanne Lloyd. It was recorded for New Line Home Entertainment's DVD release of The Kid Brother in 2005.

Short Films - presented here are two short Harold Lloyd short films, with music that was arranged and performed by Mark Herman.
1. Over the Fence (1917). Dolby Digital 5.1. (6 min, 1080i).
2.That's Him (1918). Dolby Digital 5.1. (12 min, 1080i).

Preserving Harold - in this new video program, archivist Dino Everett highlights some of the challenges he faced while transferring the two early Harold Lloyd short films that are listed above. There are detailed descriptions of their formats (28mm and 9.5mm). In English, not subtitled. (11 min, 1080p).

The Wurlitzer: Nathan Barr and Mark Herman - in this new video program, film and television composer Nathan Barr and organist Mark Herman discuss the history and unique qualities of the vintage Twentieth Century Fox Studios organ that was used to score various classic films. The two scores that are included with the shorts that are listed above were recorded with this instrument. In English, not subtitled. (20 min, 1080p).

Harold's Leading Ladies - in this filmed conversation, author Cari Beauchamp and Harold Lloyd's granddaughter Suzanne Lloyd discuss the three leading actresses that the legendary actor/director worked with over the years: Bebe Daniels, Mildred Davis, and Jobyna Ralston. The conversation was filmed exclusively for Criterion in October 2018. In English, not subtitled. (30 min, 1080p).

Anatomy of a Gag: Monkeyshoes - in this new program, critic David Cairns examines the mechanics of the gags that Harold Lloyd employed in his films. There are specific comments about the gags that are seen in The Kid Brother. The program was created exclusively for Criterion in 2018. In English, not subtitled. (9 min, 1080p).

Behind the Scenes Stills - presented here is a collection of stills which was curated by Harold Lloyd's archivist Richard Simonton Jr. in 2018. The stills highlight the production of The Kid Brother and also included alternate gags, deleted scenes, and outtakes. (1080p).

Greenacres - this featurette takes a closer look at Harold Lloyd's estate in Los Angeles. The faturette combines archival footage and clips from an interview with Suzanne Lloyd. It was produced in 2005. (15 min, 1080i).

Harold Lloyd - presented here is an archival interview with Harold Lloyd which was conducted on December 14, 1962, and broadcast on Dutch public television. The actor discusses his transition from Lonesome Luke to his classic characters with the glasses, his relationship with Hal Roach, the ownership of his work, some of his notorious stunts, etc. In Dutch, with optional English subtitles. (17 min, 1080i).

Close to Home, a new video essay on the film’s shooting locations by author John Bengtson (15:52)