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carole lombard 07

Prepare for a Sennett September

Posted by vp19 on 2012.07.15 at 14:17
Current mood: excitedexcited
carole lombard mack sennett 1928d

This may be the only picture I know of with both Carole Lombard and Mack Sennett; he would be at far right, with a white hat and dark suit. It was taken during a seaside shoot in 1928, while Lombard was part of Sennett's troupe, learning the ins and outs of comedy while making two-reelers.

mack sennett 01a

By this time, Sennett's company had seen better days, as rival producers such as Hal Roach were more attuned to '20s tastes. Nevertheless, Sennett was still highly regarded as a filmmaker and starmaker, and when Lombard joined his company in late 1927 after recovering from an automobile accident the year before, she hoped his training would do for her what it did for Gloria Swanson, Mabel Normand, Charlie Chaplin, Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle and so many more performers. And it did, though in terms of pure comedy skills, it took half a decade to achieve fruition.

mack sennett keystone studios 00a

2012 marks the centennial of Keystone Studios, which Sennett founded -- and to celebrate, this September, Turner Classic Movies in the U.S. is showing Sennett product each Thursday. It's a total of 86 shorts and features, presented more or less chronologically, so Carole's films won't come until Sept. 27. That night, the 11 p.m. (Eastern) segment kicks off with the 1928 campus comedy "Run, Girl, Run," as Lombard -- champion of her high school in several track events (and with medals to prove it) -- plays fleet-of-foot coed Norma Nurmi (the name is a takeoff on Paavo Nurmi, the 1920s Finnish Olympic gold medalist):

carole lombard run, girl, run 05b

The 12:30 a.m. group of shorts opens with Carole's final Sennett film, "Matchmaking Mamma," released in early 1929 and which features a two-strip Technicolor segment:

carole lombard matchmaking mamas 07d

I've seen both of the above, but neither of the two other Lombard shorts that are scheduled -- "Smith's Pony" (1927), her Sennett debut, which is scheduled to end the 11 p.m. segment, and "His Unlucky Night" (1928), with famed comics Billy Bevan and Vernon Dent, the last film in the 12:30 block.

Oh, and to TCM researchers: While legend has it that Lombard spelled her first name "Carol" until 1930, that was not the case -- she began her official movie career as Carole Lombard in 1925, kept it while working at Sennett (though for a time there, it was listed as "Carolle"), and didn't drop the "e" until signing with Pathe. So don't be surprised to see "Carole Lombard" on the original credits. (For proof of her name history, visit http://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/394176.html.)

Here's the entire schedule (all times Eastern), and note that the shorts are packaged in blocks:

Sept. 6
* 8 p.m. --
"With a Kodak" (1912); "Katchem Kate" (1912); "The Manicure Lady" (1911); "The Curtain Pole" (1909); "Comrades" (1911)
* 9 p.m. -- "A Fishy Affair" (1913); "The Bangville Police" (1913); "Barney Oldfield’s Race for a Life" (1913); "Mabel’s Dramatic Career" (1913); "The Water Nymph" (1912)
* 10 p.m. -- "A Life in the Balance" (1913); "On His Wedding Day" (1913); "The Speed Kings" (1913); "The Grocery Clerk’s Romance" (1912); "A Flirt’s Mistake" (1914)
* 11 p.m. -- "The Great Toe Mystery" (1914); "The Rounders" (1914); "Mabel’s Married Life" (1914); "‘Curses!’ They Remarked" (1914); "Recreation" (1914); "Shot in the Excitement" (1914); "The Knockout" (1914)
* 12:45 a.m. -- "Tillie’s Punctured Romance" (1914)
* 2 a.m. -- "The Noise of Bombs" (1914); "Hash House Mashers" (1915); "Fatty and Mabel at the San Diego Exposition" (1916); "Ambrose’s First Falsehood" (1914), "Fatty’s New Role" (1915), "Leading Lizzie Astray" (1914)

Sept. 13
* 8 p.m. --
"Gussle’s Day of Rest" (1915), "Do-Re-Mi-Boom!" (1915); "A Bird’s a Bird" (1915); "Court House Crooks" (1915)
* 9:30 p.m. -- "A Submarine Pirate" (1915); "Dirty Work in a Laundry" (1915); "A Lover’s Lost Control" (1915)
* 11 p.m. -- "He Did and He Didn’t" (1916); "Wife and Auto Trouble" (1916); "Fatty and Mabel Adrift" (1916); "Dizzy Heights and Daring Hearts" (1915)
* 12:30 a.m. -- "The Surf Girl" (1916); "Madcap Ambrose" (1916); "His Bitter Pill" (1916); "The Waiters’ Ball" (1916)
* 2 a.m. -- "Thirst" (1917); "A Clever Dummy" (1917); "Teddy at the Throttle" (1917); "Her Torpedoed Love" (1917)

Sept. 20
* 8 p.m. --
"Hearts and Flowers" (1919); "Mickey" (1918)
* 10 p.m. -- "Don’t Weaken!" (1920); "Gymnasium Jim" (1922); "Bright Eyes" (1922)
* 12:15 a.m. -- "The Daredevil" (1923); "The Extra Girl" (1923)
* 2 a.m. -- "The Half-Back of Notre Dame" (1924); "Picking Peaches" (1924); "Black Oxfords" (1924); "Ten Dollars or Ten Days" (1924)
* 3:45 a.m. -- "Water Wagons" (1925); "Galloping Bungalows" (1924); "His Marriage Wow" (1925); "Lizzies of the Field" (1924); "Super-Hooper-Dyne-Lizzies" (1925)
* 5 a.m. -- "A Rainy Knight" (1925)

Sept. 27
* 8 p.m. --
"Hoboken to Hollywood" (1926); "A Harem Knight" (1926); "Saturday Afternoon" (1926); "A Sea Dog’s Tale" (1926)
* 9:30 p.m. -- "Broke in China" (1927); "The Golf Nut" (1927); "The Pride of Pikesville" (1927); "Catalina, Here I Come" (1927)
* 11 p.m. -- "Run, Girl, Run" (1928); "The Best Man" (1928); "Fiddlesticks" (1927); "Smith’s Pony" (1927)
* 12:30 a.m. -- "Matchmaking Mamma" (1929); "Match Play" (1930); "Taxi for Two" (1928); "His Unlucky Night" (1928)
* 2 a.m. -- "Don’t Play Bridge With Your Wife" (1933); "The Dentist" (1932); "The Loud Mouth" (1932); "The Fatal Glass of Beer" (1933); "The Great Pie Mystery" (1931)

Several of the earliest films on the schedule pre-date Keystone, as Sennett himself learned the filmmaking craft from D.W. Griffith. Mack acted a bit in his earliest years before focusing on writing, directing and producing.

mack sennett's fun factory large

And if you're interested in Sennett, don't forget to check out the fine book "Mack Sennett's Fun Factory" by Brent E. Walker, an encyclopedic tome detailing all of his comedies (http://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/305670.html).

Comments:


Lê Magalhães at 2012-07-16 13:56 (UTC) (Link)

Great!

I always get amazed on how you find great subjects to write about. Focusing the blog on only one person is hard, but Carole certainly was a very interesting lady. I won't go to the event but I'll try to find Sennett's films with her.
Greetings,
Le
vp19
vp19 at 2012-07-16 14:53 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Great!

I'm guessing you live outside the U.S., because this won't be an event one "goes" to. TCM is a cable/satellite channel available on most American systems; there are channels in other countries titled Turner Classic Movies, but because of rights issues and other factors, they air different films than its U.S. counterpart.
vp19
vp19 at 2012-08-30 11:07 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Great!

This will also air on TCM in Canada, unlike its recent Hal Roach tribute, where legal technicalities prevented its airing there.
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