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Ben Model – New Piano Score for “Josh’s Suicide” – Mack Sennett silent film

(Click on Title Screen to view film)   Following on the successful streaming of NEW YORK 1911, which MoMA posted last month, they've just posted the extremely rare comedy JOSH'S SUICIDE, produced by the Biograph Company and directed by Mack Sennett. The film features comedian Fred Mace as a yokel who carries out an odd revenge against his wife. Like NEW YORK 1911, this film features NYC locations. The film is presented here in a gorgeous, sharp new digital scan from the museum's archival 35mm Continue reading...
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Ed Wynn on Broadway – “Boys and Girls Together”

Ed Wynn - The Perfect Fool in BOYS and GIRLS TOGETHER Presented at The Broadhurst Theatre beginning October 28, 1940. Ed Wynn (The Perfect Fool) at The Broadhurst Theatre Inside Program for "Boys and Girls Together". Inside Title Page of Program ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Staff listing for Ed Wynn ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Later in his career, Ed Wynn had a TV show "The Ed Wynn Show". Here is a clip from one of this show that featured Buster Keaton. ~ ~ ~~ ~ Visit regularly for more inside Continue reading...
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Vaudevisuals Bookshelf – “Chain of Fools”

CHAIN OF FOOLS by Trav S.D. Chain of Fools traces the art of slapstick comedy from its pre-cinema origins in the ancient pantomime through its silent movie heyday in the teens and twenties, then on to talkies, television, and the Internet. As in his first book, the critically acclaimed No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, author Trav S.D. mixes a wicked wit, a scholar's curiosity, and a keen critical appreciation for laugh-makers through the ages, from classical Continue reading...
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Vaudevisuals Bookshelf – “The Comic Mind” – Gerald Mast

Back Cover of The Comic Mind ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Table of Contents Introduction Pt. I: Assumptions, Definitions, and Categories 1. Comic Structures 2. Comic Thought 3. Comic Films—Categories and Definitions Pt. II: Primitives 4. Jests, Tricks, and the First Comic Personalities 5. Mack Sennett Pt. III: Chaplin and Keaton 6. Chaplin: From Keystone to Mutual 7. Chaplin: First Nationals and Silent Features 8. Chaplin: Sound Films 9. Keaton Pt. IV: Other Silent Clowns 10. Harold Lloyd 11. Continue reading...
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Vaudevisuals Bookshelf – “The Day The Laughter Stopped”

The Day The Laughter Stopped by David Yallop Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle and the story of his tragedy. Buster Keaton said that the day the laughter stopped was September 5, 1921 - the day that Virginia Rappe became ill during a party in Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle's suite at the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco. She died four days later as a result of her illness, peritonitis caused by a ruptured bladder. Mr. Arbuckle had nothing to do with Ms. Rappe's illness and death, but he paid with his good Continue reading...
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Lon Chaney – “Shadows” – 1922 Silent Film

SHADOWS In this powerful story of racial prejudice, Chaney plays an aging Chinese man who converts to Christianity to prevent a friend from being blackmailed. Directed by Tom Forman Starring: Lon Chaney, Marguerite De La Motte Music: Kevin MacLeod Adapted from the Famous Prize Story "Ching Ching Chinaman" by Wilbur Daniel Steele Continue reading...
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The Vaudevisuals Book Shelf – “Hidden in Plain Sight” by Colin Williamson

Williamson offers an insightful, wide-ranging investigation of how the cinema has functioned as a “device of wonder” for more than a century while also exploring how several key filmmakers, from Orson Welles to Christopher Nolan and Martin Scorsese, employ the rhetoric of magic. Examining pre-cinematic visual culture, animation, nonfiction film, and the digital trickery of today’s CGI spectacles, Hidden in Plain Sight provides an eye-opening look at the powerful ways that magic has shaped Continue reading...
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“Slippery Jim” – A silent film from 1910 inspired by the escape acts of Harry Houdini

Ferdinand Zecca reportedly came up with the idea for Slippery Jim after reading about the escape acts of Harry Houdini. Original score by Ben Model. Continue reading...
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Le Monstre – Silent film by Georges Melies 1903

An Egyptian prince has lost his beloved wife and he has sought a dervish who dwells at the base of the sphinx. The prince promises him a vast fortune if the dervish will only give him the opportunity of gazing once more upon the features of his wife. The dervish accepts the offer. He brings in from a neighboring tomb the receptacle containing the remains of the princess. He opens it and removes the skeleton, which he places upon the ground close beside him. Then, turning to the moon and raising Continue reading...
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Out West (1918) – Fatty Arbuckle and Buster Keaton

A satire on contemporary westerns, starring Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle, Buster Keaton, and Al St. John. It was the first of Arbuckle's "Comique" films to be filmed on the west coast, the previous five having been filmed in and around New York City. Continue reading...