Saturday, April 21, 2018
The Alice Howell DVD Project
Happily, a Kickstarter has been launched to raise the dough-re-me for a DVD collection featuring the funniest gal in silent movies not named Mabel Normand: the one, the only, the wacky redhead 30 years before Lucille Ball - Alice Howell, star of her own series of slapstick 2-reelers for L-Ko, Century Comedies, Reelcraft and Universal. Stan Laurel considered her among the top comediennes in motion pictures during the rough-and-ready days of silents.
Alice was hilarious and gifted at physical comedy, as this brief clip from one of her many L-Ko comedies produced in 1916 demonstrates.
Since she starred in comedies affiliated with Universal Pictures, a company not known for preserving their backlog of silent films, only a dozen of Alice's starring short subjects exist.
Slated to be on The Alice Howell Collection DVD: How Stars Are Made (1916), In Dutch (1918), A Convict's Happy Bride and His Wooden Leg-acy (both made in 1920, distributed by Reelcraft and discovered in the Artie Mogull film collection), Distilled Love (1920) and Under A Spell (1925)
The hope is that this Kickstarter will not just meet but surpass its goal and a subsequent commercial release of this collection of her classic comedies will bring much deserved and long overdue recognition to a great comedienne of the silent era.
The Kickstarter is on until Tuesday, May 8 at 11:59 PM EDT. For more info, read She Could Be Chaplin: The Comedic Brilliance Of Alice Howell by Anthony Slide and Slapstick Divas by Steve Massa.