Monday, June 17, 2013

Celluloid Rarities "Accidentally Preserved"

No, I am NOT referring to Smucker's delicious Dingleberry Preserves but - yet again - to silent film rarities. On the heels of the recent Mostly Lost gathering of international archivists, historians and celluloid sleuths at the Library Of Congress in Culpepper comes this latest collection of vintage Roaring 20's entertainment, Accidentally Preserved, volume 1, available via Amazon.

Here is the lineup, curated by Ben Model of the Silent Clowns and Cruel & Unusual Comedy film series. Formerly lost films are indicated with a ** and were transferred from the only known print:
  • The Lost Laugh** with Wallace Lupino (1928) - 9 minutes. It's a rough start to Mr. and Mrs. Lupino's day, but Wallace tries to keep a sense of humor about the washing-machine salesman and the worthless piece of junk he sells them.

  • Loose Change with Jack Duffy (1928) - 11 minutes. When filthy rich-but-dirt-cheap Scottish uncle "Sandy McDuff" visits, his nephew's wife vamps the old coot as a prank.

  • Wedding Slips** with Monte Collins (1928) - 9 minutes. The honeymoon takes a turn for the worse when the newlyweds are kidnapped by gypsies and a gorilla.

  • Shoot Straight with Paul Parrott(1923) - 10 minutes. A decade away from his exceptionally productive stint as director/writer of Laurel & Hardy comedies, early 1920's Roach Studio headliner James "Paul" Parrott goes a-hunting, and tangles with wascally wabbits, ducks, a bear and more.

  • The House Of Wonders**(ca. 1931) - 23 minutes. This genuine Depression-era industrial film tours the Elgin Watch Company and shows the assembly of an Elgin watch from start to finish.

  • The Misfit with Clyde Cook (1924) - 12 minutes. After helping wifey shop and paint the living room floor, henpecked Clyde flees and joins the Marines!

  • The Water Plug with Billy Franey (1920) - 12 minutes. An enterprising yet sleazy con-artist hatches a scheme to fleece automobile owners with a portable hydrant from a pawn-shop.

  • Mechanical Doll a.k.a. The Dresden Doll, an "Out Of the Inkwell" cartoon, directed by Dave Fleischer (1922) - 7 minutes. "Uncle Max" Fleischer messes with Koko The Clown even more than usual by drawing a life-size wind-up doll for him.

  • Cheer Up with Cliff Bowes (1924 - 10 minutes). Cliff and Eddie Boland, longtime rivals for Virginia Vance's hand in marriage, find that the (not good-natured) rivalry does not end after Cliff and Virginia wed.

All films are available for viewing online, with introductions, via Ben Model's YouTube channel. Today's posting brings the silent film comedy arc of the past three weeks to a close - well, at least until Way Too Damn Lazy To Write A Blog starts yet another series covering the fun factories of Hal Roach, Mack Sennett, Henry Lehrman, Vitagraph, Jack White/Educational Pictures, Fox, Century, Universal and more.

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