Classic Movies · Stuff You Should Know

The plot against Harry

The following passage kicks off the chapter on comic legend Harry Langdon in Smileage Guaranteed: Past Humor, Present Laughter, the invaluable reference tome written by film historian/friend of the blog Richard M. Roberts: All right...that’s it—hey, you!  Yes, you—come here!  It’s time for a heart-to-heart, mano a mano.  Now I know there’s a lot of… Continue reading The plot against Harry

Classic Movies · Stuff You Should Know

Book Review: Rediscovering Roscoe – The Films of “Fatty” Arbuckle

In his reference book The Great Movie Comedians, film historian Leonard Maltin writes of Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle: “It seems tragic that Roscoe ‘Fatty’ Arbuckle should be remembered today for a scandal in his private life and barely recognized for his contribution to screen comedy.  To be sure, Arbuckle was never one of the comic giants,… Continue reading Book Review: Rediscovering Roscoe – The Films of “Fatty” Arbuckle

Classic Movies · Stuff You Should Know

Coming (Ma)clean

No sooner has silent film accompanist Ben Model (the hardest working man in the ebony-and-ivory business) recovered from the huzzahs and favorable plaudits for his Undercrank Productions DVD release The Alice Howell Collection than he’s back in the Kickstarter business, with a campaign that got underway yesterday.  As a lifelong fan of silent film comedy,… Continue reading Coming (Ma)clean

Classic Movies

“The Movie Man/The Movie Man can…”

Back in October 2016, I reviewed a Grapevine Video collection of Lupino Lane shorts that brought a great deal of pleasure into my occasionally dismal existence.  Lane was an acrobatic film comedian (whose antics could rival those of Buster Keaton) who made a most entertaining series of two-reel comedies for Educational Pictures beginning in 1924; he… Continue reading “The Movie Man/The Movie Man can…”

Classic Movies · Stuff You Should Know

I Lost it at the movies

Since 2012, the Library of Congress has hosted an annual workshop known to film fanatics as “Mostly Lost,” in which movie mavens from all walks of life—writers, scholars, activists, filmmakers...and really, just about anyone with a passion for film and its preservation—gather together 'round June at the LoC’s National Audio-Visual Conservation Center (in beautiful downtown… Continue reading I Lost it at the movies

Classic Movies

Absolutely Sweet Marie

Fickle Gertie Darling (Marie Prevost) is returning from a French vacay and, as a title card tells us, “wherever she went she brought back something.”  That “something” is a fiancé, Algernon “Algy” Brooks (Franklin Pangborn), who is completely clueless about a hint of scandal in Gertie’s past.  His best bud, lawyer Ken Walrick (Charles Ray), was once engaged… Continue reading Absolutely Sweet Marie

Bad Movies · Classic Movies

“Possessed of an instinct keener than man, Wolfheart suspects evil doings…”

Last month, as I was entertaining myself with the two-reel comedies on The Sprocket Vault set Thelma Todd & ZaSu Pitts: The Hal Roach Collection 1931-33, I spotted one of the blog’s favorite character actors, Guinn “Big Boy” Williams, in two of the Thel-Zase entries.  In Catch-As-Catch-Can (1931), Guinn is the lovable lug of a… Continue reading “Possessed of an instinct keener than man, Wolfheart suspects evil doings…”