September Slapstick: Keystone Mack [Sennett] Daddy | The Water Nymph (1912)

With The Water Nymph (aka The Beach Flirt) — the very first Keystone Comedy — begins an era of dominance in movie slapstick by Mack Sennett and his repertory players.

Those who either received their first break in the movie business at Keystone, or rose to prominence therein, include Charlie Chaplin, Mabel Normand, Fatty Arbuckle, Harold Lloyd, Ford Sterling, Gloria Swanson, Ben Turpin, Harry Langdon, and Chester Conklin. And, of course, there’s the Sennett Bathing Beauties.

P.S. If anyone can find a higher quality version of this film, please let me know.



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September Slapstick: Laugh With Linder | Troubles of a Grasswidower (1912)

The Golden Age of Slapstick was ushered in by Gabriel-Maximilien Leuvielle, better known by his stage name and most popular character: Max [Linder]. Widely considered the first international movie star, Linder appeared in over 500 films (100+ as the top-hatted, dandy), and by 1912 was earning a salary of one million francs. Charlie Chaplin called Max “his Professor”, and himself “Linder’s disciple”.

In Troubles of a Grasswidower, which was also directed by Linder, the influence upon Chaplin (and Sennett, Arbuckle, etc.) is easy to see:

Slapstick Summer Series: Comedic Timing | Onésime, Clockmaker (1912)

With the inception of recurring movie characters, Onésime portrayed by Ernest Bourbon in 63 different films over the span of just 2 years — was arguably the most popular from the pre-Keystone era.

However, the star of today’s spotlight film is not actually Onésime and his fewer than 2 minutes of onscreen time. That honor instead goes to the city of Paris. Vibrant and alive in triple-time, pre-WWII Paris is captured in hi-speed compositions by Director, Jean Durand.

Also of note: Onésime Horloger was written by heir to the Gaumont director’s throne, Louis Feuillade.

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