Though he seldom appeared in front of the cameras, Mack Sennett is one of the best-known names in slapstick cinema. His influence as a producer and director at the keystone Studios refined the comedic art form and launched the big-screen careers of Chaplin, Arbuckle, Langdon, the Keystone Kops and numerous others. This volume of Slapstick Encyclopedia presents a sampling of rare treats from Sennett's incubator of comic insanity, and offers a composite image of the "Sennett style."
Before he became famous for grass-roots all-American dramas, Frank Capra was a writer of comedy shorts at Keystone, including Saturday Afternoon (starring the baby-faced Harry Langdon). Capra argued for understatement while making Super-Hooper-Dyne Lizzies (1925), telling his actors, "Don't burst a blood vessel at the beginning of a situation, save it for the iris." But in director Del Lord's Halloween climax, blood vessels are burst in the usual Sennett style. Lord, who later directed numerous Three Stooges shorts, also helmed Wandering Willies (1926), which climaxes in one of the action finales Keystone was famous for, combining speeding cars, oiled roads and a whole string of Kops.
Exemplifying the irreverence that made slapstick so sensational, A Movie Star (1916) satirizes the still-new star system, the age-old actor's ego and the nickelodeon theater of the then-recent past. The Sennett brand of burlesque is likewise evidenced in Barney Oldfield's Race For A Life (1913), an ahead-of-its-time film that pokes fun at the stereotypes of Victorian melodrama which were the foundation of D. W. Griffith's works. various directors. U.S. 1913-26. Total time: 121 mins. B&W. Music by Brian Benison, Michael Holland, Robert Israel, Donald Sosin.
Saturday Afternoon (1926 - Harry Langdon)
Super-Hooper-Dyne Lizzies (1925 - Billy Bevan, Andy Clyde)
Wandering Willies (1926 - Billy Bevan, The Keystone Kops)
A Muddy Romance (1913 - The Keystone Kops, Mabel Normand)
A Movie Star (1916 - Mack Swain, Harry McCoy)
Barney Oldfield's Race For A Life (1913 - Mabel Normand, Mack Sennett, Ford Sterling)
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
(No Available Copies)