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Picture Play, February 1931: Some thoughts from Mr. Sennett

carole lombard the girl from everywhere 00amack sennett 02a

This week marks the 100th anniversary of Mack Sennett's first films for his Keystone studio, and some 15 years later, with Sennett now working for Pathe, Carole Lombard joined his troupe. This Thursday, several Sennett films in which she appeared will air on Turner Classic Movies as part of its centennial celebration. Specifically, the films are "Run, Girl, Run" (1928) and "Smith's Pony" (1927) in the 11 p.m. (Eastern) bloc of two-reelers, and "Matchmaking Mamma" (1929) and "His Unlucky Night" (1928) in the 12:30 a.m. session.

Our contribution to the Sennett-fest is this article from the February 1931 Picture Play entitled "The Old Master Speaks," written by Dorothy Wooldridge. It came at a time when this old master's career appeared to be in eclipse, not so much from the arrival of talkies -- indeed, much of this piece shows Sennett waxing over the potential of television and contemplating its effects on the motion picture industry -- but because his storytelling techniques, whether in silent or sound, seemed hoary compared to his primary competitor, Hal Roach.

Nevertheless, it's a fascinating snapshot of a cinema pioneer, whose work will be in a restored DVD set scheduled for release in the next few months. Enjoy.

carole lombard picture play feb 1931 the old master speaks 00a
carole lombard picture play feb 1931 the old master speaks 01a
carole lombard picture play feb 1931 the old master speaks 02a

Love his comment about how Gloria Swanson would now react to being hit by a pie.

As a bonus, here's a Lombard Sennett short that isn't often seen these days -- "The Campus Carmen," from 1928. The quality of the print is rather poor, and one hopes there's a better version of this out somewhere, but it has its moments.

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