While reading Steve Massa’s fantastic Lame Brains and Lunatics: The Good, The Bad, and The Forgotten of Silent Comedy, I started to feel like film’s silent comedians were clowns packed into a tiny circus car. Just when I thought there couldn’t be more, slapstick aficionado Massa would produce another, another, and another. This list isn’t maybe […]
Silent film fanatics know all about the Holy Trinity of Slapstick Comedy, an entity I like to call Chaplinkeatonlloyd. Hell, even the casual silent movie observer has at least a glancing knowledge of Chaplinkeatonlloyd. But in the earliest years of the movie industry, it was slapstick that drew the crowds and packed the houses. Even the […]
Long Pants (sometimes known as Johnny Newcomer) is not only a vehicle for silent comedy star Harry Langdon, it’s one of Frank Capra’s earliest films. Released in 1927, Long Pants centers around Harry Shelby (Langdon) who has been kept in knee-pants for years by his overbearing parents. Finally, Harry takes control of his own pants situation […]
Originally published on October 4, 2011. From Laurel and Hardy to Abbott and Costello to Cheech and Chong (yeah, I said it) – duos make the comedy world go ’round. And why not? You’ve got the yin and the yang, the clown and the straight man, the graceful and the inept – and you’ve got […]
The Show is comedy short, released on March 19, 1922, starring Larry Semon and Oliver Hardy. The Show might not be the most inventive comedy ever made, but with a harried theater propman who has to contend with a wind machine on the fritz, nitroglycerin spitting roosters, and a criminal gang out to steal the payroll, you know it’s […]
Tramp, Tramp, Tramp might not be as much fun as it sounds, since these are depression-era riding the rails tramps and not -er- the other kind. However, it does star silent clown Harry Langdon and it’s pretty damn funny. Plus, you can watch Tramp, Tramp, Tramp right now.
While poking around archive.org yesterday, I came across Dr. Pyckle and Mr. Pryde, a silent spoof of the perennial Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I’ve long been a fan of Laurel & Hardy movies. While aware that the duo first appeared in silent comedies, I’ve yet to have the privilege of seeing a silent Laurel […]
The Finishing Touch is a 1928 short comedy silent film produced by Hal Roach, directed by Clyde Bruckman and starring Laurel and Hardy. It was shot in November and December 1927 and released February 25, 1928 by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. For serious, what else needs to be said? I know I had you at Laurel and Hardy.
Marion Davis is best known these days as the long time mistress of William Randolph Hearst and the inspiration for Susan Alexander Kane in Citizen Kane. While both of these facts are indeed facts, the portrait they paint is of Davies is not only unfair, it’s flat out erroneous. Davies was already building a nice […]
A century ago, one of the most popular and influential film studios catching fire with audiences was Keystone Picture Studios. Although Keystone would remain most famous for slapstick policemen falling off the back of moving vehicles in the Keystone Kops shorts, the studio was in many ways the birthplace of filmed comedy. Actor, director and […]