Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Now Available On Blu-ray: The Mack Sennett Collection, Volume 1

As we at Way Too Damn Lazy To Write A Blog join many around the world in mourning the passing of celebrated actor-standup philosopher-improv comedy master, cartoon voice artist par excellence and big time San Francisco Giants fan Robin Williams (the ever-astute Madame Blogmeister phrased it aptly and best, "depression is a goddamn killer"), it is apropo that today's posting be devoted to devastatingly funny screen humor from a century ago.

That classic comedy oasis would be The Mack Sennett Collection, Volume 1, the first of two Blu-ray sets produced by CineMuseum, LLC, for Flicker Alley - and officially released today.

This is the first of two volumes, both of which will feature 50, count 'em 50, wacky Mack Sennett comedies, digitally re-mastered in HD and all produced by the guy dubbed in the silent era The King Of Comedy (with, frankly, some hot-and-heavy competition from the studios of Hal Roach and Jack White throughout the 1920's). Here's the promotional trailer.

It's highly recommended to have Brent Walker's comprehensive, painstakingly researched and splendid Mack Sennett's Fun Factory on hand as a reference to go with the Blu-ray set.

On the set: the recently discovered Charlie Chaplin cameo in the Ford Sterling comedy A Thief Catcher.

The other Chaplin films produced by Mack Sennett in 1913-1914 are on Flicker Alley's Chaplin At Keystone: An International Collaboration Of 34 Original Films set.

Never fear, however - there are plenty of films featuring the Sennett studio's many other resident funsters, a.k.a. THE USUAL SUSPECTS!

Roscoe Arbuckle

Billy Bevan

Sydney Chaplin

Charley Chase

Andy Clyde

Chester Conklin

Vernon Dent

Louise Fazenda

Raymond Griffith

Phyllis Haver

Thelma Hill

Alice Howell

Madeline Hurlock

Harry Langdon

Fred Mace

Polly Moran

Charlie Murray

Mabel Normand

Marie Prevost

Al St. John

Ford Sterling

Slim Summerville

Mack Swain

Gloria Swanson and Bobby Vernon

Ben Turpin

While the two volume collection primarily consists of silent films, it does feature a few "Mack Sennett Talking Pictures" featuring Andy Clyde, W.C. Fields, Daphne Pollard, Marjorie Beebe, Harry Gribbon and Grady Sutton.

The title listing for The Mack Sennett Collection, Volume 1, is as follows:
  1. The Curtain Pole
  2. The Manicure Lady
  3. A Dash Through the Clouds
  4. The Water Nymph
  5. A Grocery Clerk's Romance
  6. On His Wedding Day
  7. Bangville Police
  8. A Fishy Affair
  9. The Speed Kings
  10. The Thief Catcher
  11. The Great Toe Mystery
  12. Recreation
  13. Shot In The Excitement
  14. The Noise Of Bombs
  15. Ambrose's First Falsehood
  16. A Bird's A Bird
  17. Gussle's Day Of Rest
  18. Do-Re-Mi-Boom!
  19. A Lover's Lost Control
  20. A Submarine Pirate
  21. Fatty And Mabel Adrift
  22. His Bitter Pill
  23. Madcap Ambrose
  24. Teddy At The Throttle
  25. Her Torpedoed Love
  26. A Clever Dummy
  27. Hearts And Flowers
  28. Down On The Farm (Feature)
  29. Don't Weaken
  30. Gymnasium Jim
  31. The Extra Girl (Feature)
  32. The Dare-Devil
  33. Black Oxfords
  34. Galloping Bungalows
  35. His Marriage Wow
  36. Super-Hooper-Dyne Lizzies
  37. A Rainy Knight
  38. Saturday Afternoon
  39. A Sea Dog's Tale
  40. Hoboken To Hollywood
  41. Ice Cold Cocos
  42. Broke In China
  43. The Pride Of Pikeville
  44. Fiddlesticks
  45. Run, Girl, Run
  46. Taxi For Two
  47. The Bluffer (Sound)
  48. The Dentist (Sound)
  49. Don't Play Bridge With Your Wife (Sound)
  50. The Fatal Glass Of Beer (Sound)

Author and historian James L. Neibaur has penned an excellent overview of the Blu-ray release and will be writing daily reviews of each and every one of the 50 subjects on the three discs that comprise volume 1, starting with The Curtain Pole, the D.W. Griffith-Mack Sennett collaboration film from 1909. To Mack and all of the performers, filmmakers and technicians who worked so hard to make magic over his lengthy career - thanks for the laughs!

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