Carole Lombard had made movies before coming to work for Mack Sennett in the fall of 1927, but it was Sennett who ignited the comedy spark in Carole that finally caused a figurative fire in Hollywood several years later.
While only a handful of Lombard's short films for Sennett, such as "Run, Girl, Run," above, have gained wide exposure (while not always being in the best of shape), that also can be said for the output of many of the talented people who worked for him at one time or another. But shortly, that may be changing.
More than 100 of Sennett's seminal shorts -- his "greatest hits," if you will -- have been fully restored and digitally remastered, using original sources such as 35 mm nitrate, archival negatives and even the lone surviving film print. Fifty of those are to be released next month in a three-disc set, "The Mack Sennett Collection, Vol. 1."
"Run, Girl, Run" is the lone Lombard film in the set, but there were so many other stars who learned the ropes at Sennett. Some of the titles still are fondly remembered by silent comedy buffs today..."Fatty And Mabel Adrift," "Teddy At The Throttle," "A Rainy Knight," "Hoboken To Hollywood." (There even are two Sennett sound shorts included, one of which is "The Fatal Glass Of Beer" with W.C. Fields.)
The films' total time is 405 minutes (that's 6 3/4 hours), and there are plenty of bonus features, including a 16-page booklet and memorabilia galleries.
Have I whetted your appetite? (No doubt a few of you are responding like Pavlovian dogs -- just don't salivate over the keyboard.) You want to know where you can get this...we'll, I'll tell you. The Sennett collection will have a list price of $59.95 -- but you can pre-order it for $49.95 through Flicker Alley by going to http://flickeralley.com/catalog/item/the-mack-sennett-collection-vol-1/hardgood. It's expected to ship on or before Aug. 12.
And for those of you who remain unconvinced, check out this intro to the collection (and view it in HD): https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=842897542388629&set=vb.100000051745397&type=2&theater.
Great news for those of us who love Sennett, and let's hope this and Vol. 2 lead to a long-awaited complete, restored set of Carole's Sennett performances -- a nice gift to get for a future Christmas: