Nice topic, Magga
Fri Nov 24, 2017 12:02pm

I agree with DCG about adding Lloyd to the genius category. Another two names that spring to mind are Harry Langdon and Snub Pollard. They were both very popular in their heyday, especially Langdon, though I would definitely not put them in the same class as Lloyd, Keaton and Chaplin ... far from it. To be honest, I never found either of them to be very funny, but humor, especially slapstick, is highly subjective. (For example, I never got the point of the Keystone Cops while many others thought they were hilarious.)

Lloyd, Keaton and Chaplin brought the critical element of pathos to their comedic performances. Here there is a definite parallel with LVC in the sense that you actually cared about the characters beyond the humorous aspects (or in Lee's case, beyond the villainy). This was very innovative at the time, and it would ultimately change the trajectory of silent comedy as it transitioned to the talkies. No question that these three were the masters of pathos, and the pioneers of this new genre of comedy.

  • Top/Flops, Keaton & LloydDCG, Thu Nov 23 9:58am
    Well, Maggs, I'm not expert enough in other actors/filmmakers' careers to counter your "seems to be a common theme" point --- I guess it depends upon what you mean by "top" and by "flop". If you're... more
    • Nice topic, Magga — Doc, Fri Nov 24 12:02pm
      • Insightful as usual, Doc, and also...DCG, Sat Nov 25 10:41am per usual, I agree with you virtually 100%. ;) Langdon & Pollard!! Very true, both these guys always fall onto the B-list when people think of "Silent" Movie Stars (esp. Snub Pollard) --- if... more
      • Nice observations!Maggie, Sat Nov 25 3:55am
        Oh yes, Harry Langdon... And of course there also were Fatty Arbuckle and the extremely hilarious James Finlayson, even though I only ever saw him as a supporting actor. And the gang of little louts... more
        • Correct Maggs.Doc, Sat Nov 25 9:56pm
          The women of silent comedy (1920s) and early talkies (1930s) were extremely talented but overshadowed by the men. Mainly their roles were more dramatic in nature, with such fine actors as Lillian... more
          • Nice overview, Doc...DCG, Sun Nov 26 9:24pm
  's been a few years since I was "into" the Dawn of Film era, so all those you named didn't come trippingly to the tongue for me, as they did for you. ;) Marie Dressler is one I'd add to your... more
        • Giving "Silent" players a voiceDCG, Sat Nov 25 5:03pm
          Almost mentioned Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle in my earlier post, Maggs, so thanks for mentioning him in yours. He was, of course, instrumental in launching Keaton's career, but also worked with Chaplin... more
          • Oh, I just remembered ..Doc, Sat Nov 25 10:38pm
            Not sure if you and Maggs knew that Stan Laurel was actually Charlie Chaplin's understudy. Also worth mentioning, Laurel and Hardy appeared together in a silent short before they eventually teamed... more
            • Nice bits of info!Maggie, Mon Nov 27 3:23am
              I heard that Laurel and Hardy had met on the set of a movie, but I did not know about the Chaplin connection. Hardly surprising, is it? It stull must have been a small world. Yes, the Fatty Arbuckle... more
              • Your last sentence.Doc, Mon Nov 27 6:59am
                I cannot lie ... I got chills when I read it. Genuine goosebumps.
        • Oh, yes!Maggie, Sat Nov 25 4:30am
          ... of course there is Mary Pickford....
    • ... and so do careers. Buster Keaton was a big star in the US in a way Lee never was before his career broke down and he never was the kind of star Lee was in Europe. Agreed. But there is a common... more
      • Van Cleef vs Keaton (et al)DCG, Sat Nov 25 9:25am
        OK, I see where you were going, Maggs, with the LVC/BK analogy... I guess I was going more literal, in my comments above. ;) Didn't really discover Chaplin-Keaton-Lloyd (esp. Lloyd) until adulthood.... more
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