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A useful reference book, but also a good read. As is to be expected there are errors, and, with the passage of time (since 1971) the overview of the period has changed. Mr Spears, unlike Mary Pickford, seems unaware that Mabel Normand was a great tragedian, before she entered comedy. His contention, therefore, that Mabel learned pathos from Charlie Chaplin, is erroneous. Rather, it seems Chaplin picked up doleful tragedy from Mabel. Mabel did, nonetheless, use Chas as a lever to force Mack Sennett to introduce melancholy into her films. When Chaplin left Keystone, Sennett dropped pathos, and re-introduced silly, lovey dovey stuff, intertwined with crazy slapstick.
The Movies of World War I
Max Linder Comedys Tragic Genius
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