Criterion Year Week 66: The Freshman

The Criterion Collection, the last vestige of truly collectible DVD and Blu-Ray movies in existence. These are well produced, fancy pants editions of important and interesting films for the discerning film lover.

We continue our journey through Jim's collection of movies with...

A Brief History of Time

Spine Number: 703

Director: Fred Newmeyer and Sam Taylor... but let's be honest, this is a Harold Lloyd movie.

Genre: Comedy


The world of silent film comedy is reigned by Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin. And with good reason. They are wildly popular, incredible influential, and their work has been shown all over the place for years.

However, there is a "third genuis," who easily stands as an equal in terms of popularity and influence. And while this genuis may not be as well known today as Chaplin or Keaton, he was possibly more popular than both at the time. While the other two lost control over their films and found their later years in trying to recapture their fame, this man had amassed a fortune that afforded him what is considered the largest and most opulent of the old Hollywood mansions, and had moved on from his his time in front of the camera to a comfortable retirement, that included founding The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Basically, Harold Lloyd was that rare success story that ended with ... and he lived happily ever after.

His films were wildly popular. However, for all his thrilling, stunt intensive work, his most popular film was smaller and more personal, but still a solid comedy.


The Freshman is an interesting film. It still follows the Lloyd formula of an everyman struggling to find success and love, it relied more on character and emotion than on thrills. Don't get me wrong, there are still some very funny physical moments, but the heart of the movie is in the character and his struggle to fit in, and in the audience relating to his struggles and humiliations.

It's just a damned fine movie. So, check it out and join us as we discuss this often overlooked comedy classic.


Next time...

We revisit the lamps of madness and the sacred geometry that is... John Cassavetes with,

Spine number 721: Love Streams

 Also, check this out.

The Life Masters is now it's own show with its own site and own dedicated feed. That's right, we have two completely different shows! 

Right now check it out at

You can also drink in our brilliance on Youtube for both The Film Thugs and The Life Masters.

Looks like Summer Movie League has officially become Fantasy Movie League.

It looks quite fun. Here's how it works.

You have an 8 screen theater.

Every week you pick movies and have a budget/salary cap you have to stay under.

Then you compete against other theaters in your league.

It's fantasy football for movie people.

Our league is Film Thugs 2015 and the password is Porterhouse.

And remember, you can be a part of the show any time you wild like. How's that? All you have to do is call or e-mail us. If you live in the US, or any place that makes calling the US easy, just dial 512-666-RANT and leave us a voicemail. We will read the Google Voice transcript and play your message. It's both funny AND informative.

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E-mail us at and we will read/play whatever you send us, or you can e-mail to be part of  an upcoming "Ask the Film Thugs" show, where we answer questions on any subject without having heard them first.

Also, we are on twitter @thefilmthugs and on Facebook and Vine.

Also, be sure to check back often for our new endeavor The Life Masters, where we answer questions to other advice columnists.

Thanks for listening, and until next week...

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