The Criterion Collection has released its fourth entry in a group of Harold Lloyd silent classics, titles considered to be his very best work—and The Kid Brother could very well be at the top of the heap as the definitive Lloyd feature film. While Safety Last! (1923) contains the iconic sequence of Lloyd ascending a skyscraper and hanging on to the arm of a giant clock, there is much to be said about The Kid Brother’s storytelling, the depth of its characters, and Lloyd’s ability to make us laugh at peril. This time, instead of great heights or speeding cars, the threat comes from villains who want nothing more than to break poor Harold’s neck.
The setting is a rural town at the cusp of the changeover between “western times” and the modern age. Cars exist, but most people are still riding horses. Sheriff