10:00 Frills, Spills & Bellylaughs!
While silent comedy was dominated by males, it was by no means an exclusive field; there were some terrifically talented female comedy stars out there, too. Michelle Facey showcases two overlooked ladies; Dorothy Devore rivals Harold Lloyd’s high-rise antics in ‘HOLD YOUR BREATH’, while Martha Sleeper shines in the Max Davidson classic ‘PASS THE GRAVY’.
11:30 Why Worry? (1923)
Harold Lloyd’s ‘WHY WORRY’ had the unenviable task of following his masterpiece ‘SAFETY LAST’. Lloyd and his gag men rose to the challenge, and the result was this gag and action-packed comedy, one of his all-time funniest. Harold plays a rich hypochondriac, who seeks a relaxing holiday in South America, but finds a revolution in full progress! In partnership with the giant John Aasen, he has to man up quickly to rescue his nurse Jobyna Ralston. Can he succeed?
With an introduction by Kevin Brownlow.
— Lunch Break —
14:15 Mack Sennett’s Fun Factory
Mack Sennett was the silent era’s first ‘King of Comedy’, responsible for starting the film careers of Chaplin, Harry Langdon, Roscoe Arbuckle and many others. Silent comedy expert David Glass explains what made his studio so great, assisted by Brent Walker (author of the definitive Sennett book). Includes clips and new presentations of films restored by David himself.
16:00 Tramp, Tramp, Tramp (1926)
Eternal baby Harry Langdon was at one point considered to be Chaplin’s successor. Today, his idiosyncratic talent is sadly neglected, but he made some wonderfully individual films. Featuring Harry as hapless participant in a cross-country race, this is one of his greatest and funniest films. Matthew Ross introduces the film, and the context in which Langdon’s unique talent developed.
17:35 Wait & See (1927)
Walter Forde, Britain’s best silent comedian, and later an eminent director, in his first (and perhaps funniest) feature film. A great chance to see classic silent comedy played out against vintage English backdrops. Introduced by Geoff Brown, author of the only book on Walter Forde.
— Lunch Break —
Warner Brothers’ first comedy feature to have a Vitaphone soundtrack, this features Charlie Chaplin’s brother Syd in an adaptation of the wartime comic strip by Captain Bruce Bairnsfather. The sterling cast also includes Edgar Kennedy and Harold Goodwin.
Introduced by Barbara Witemeyer, daughter of chief Vitaphone sound engineer Jack Watkins.