If you’re a fan of old-school slapstick, then you might already know that here at Fandor, we pride ourselves on our robust collection of Charlie Chaplin films! But now, we have even more knee-slapping delights to tickle our funny bones, courtesy of our friends at Flicker Alley — from Chaplin as well as his contemporaries Mack Sennett and Alfred J. Goulding. These films may be short and sweet, but they are packed with hilarity to spare! Here are just five reasons to give our black-and-white silent collection a fresh look:
One of Sennett’s early shorts packs marital strife, a cops-and-robbers melée and a maligned pastime all into a mere six minutes! When a woman’s bankroll gets stolen by a wayward tramp and thrown in a pond, her husband unwittingly gets it back through his considerable angling skills. FYI: The restoration of A Fishy Affair and all of our new Sennett films comes courtesy the CineMuseum’s Keystone Project, which produced a three-volume set of his collected works released by Flicker Alley.
In Run, Girl, Run, Carole Lombard plays a boy-crazy track-and-field star who would rather meet up with her cadet mister than lead her team to victory, much to the chagrin of her long-suffering coach, who has set her sights on winning the big meet.
Sennett stars as the lovely manicurist’s long-suffering barber boyfriend in this romantic and melodramatic short. It’s one thing when barbershop patrons ogle his sweetheart, but when she falls for a rich cad and runs off into his arms? Time to “shave off” the competition once and for all to win the affections of The Manicure Lady!
Shortly after completing A Dash Through the Clouds, real-life aviator Phillip Parmalee was tragically killed in the line of work. He lives forever in this film, one of many Sennett made by casting real-life national heroes, daredevils, and in-the-moment apples of the public eye.
Of all of Chaplin’s two-reel comedies, The Immigrant was his favorite. This fish-out-of-water story was inspired by Chaplin’s own struggles and triumphs in immigrating to the United States, and mixes his expertise at the craft of filmmaking with heartfelt romance and side-splitting satire alike.
Whether you need a fast dose of farce at the end of a long day, want to punctuate a lunch break with a spit-take or just feel like a good old-fashioned binge, there’s plenty to love in our selection of preserved and restored silent films! It’s so true: They just don’t make ’em like they used to. We believe in the power of film to transcend history, and are so proud to both support their extended life and give them a home in our library.