Silent Clowns Film Series Winter/Spring 2010 (NY)

The Silent Clowns Film Series under the direction/curation of Bruce Lawton and Ben Model has created another stellar lineup of classics and gems for cineastes and physical comedy aficionado’s to drool over. This time it’s films that are held in private collections, so these are RARELY seen. If you fall into either of those categories (film lover or physical comedy lover) you owe it to yourself to take a Sunday and spend it in the dark with Ben and Bruce. It will be well worth it.

All programs will be held at the Arclight Theatre, located at 152 W 71st Street, between Broadway and Columbus.

Tickets are $10 for all adults, and $5 for seniors, kids and members.

Live piano accompaniment by Ben Model at all shows.

Visit for more information and to purchase tickets.

I’ve also put the program descriptions below.

Sunday, February 21 at 2pm
Films from the Jack Roth Collection

If Mack Sennett was “The King of Comedy” then Hal Roach was its “Crown Prince.” After starting as an extra in 1914, Roach was instrumental in making Harold Lloyd a comedy star, and along the way developed a school of comedy that consisted of recognizable everyday people trapped in outlandish and embarrassing situations. Today’s selection of 1927 releases includes the Stan Laurel vehicles DUCK SOUP, EVE’S LOVE LETTERS and WHY GIRLS LOVE SAILORS, plus Max Davidson in JEWISH PRUDENCE and Charley Chase in THE STING OF STINGS.

Sunday, March 14 at 2pm
Films from the Streamline Films Collection:
Johnny Hines was a very popular clown who made many Harold Lloyd-type of comedy features in the 1920s, but is unjustly overlooked today. CONDUCTOR 1492 (’24) gives a good look at Hines’ ability with sight-gags, not to mention his engaging smile, and breezy personality. Opening for the feature is Glenn Tryon, another neglected clown, in the Hal Roach short WHOSE BABY ARE YOU? (’25).

Sunday, March 21 at 2pm
More films from the Streamline Films Collection
When the cinema began every film was a short subject, but as the industry grew so did the length of its films and shorts became a pre-feature special attraction. Comedy shorts were a standard part of the typical theatre bill, and this program provides a wide sampling of the art form. Our line-up is Ben Turpin in LOVE’S OUTCAST (’21), UP ON THE FARM (’25) with Lee Moran, Lupino Lane in MOVIELAND (’26), WHAT! NO SPINACH? (’26) with Harry Sweet, and Snub Pollard as THE OLD SEA DOG (’22).

Sunday, April 11 at 2pm
Films from the F.I.L.M. Archives Collection
Throughout the silent era there were numerous “fun factories” that specialized in producing and distributing silent comedy one and two-reelers. From giants like Sennett and Christie to micro units like Tenneck – they all worked overtime to supply a steady stream of movie laughter. Our cross-section of producers include Harry Cohn (Sid Smith in A DOG-GONE MIX-UP, ’21,), Larry Darmour (Mickey McGuire in MICKEY’S CIRCUS, ’27), William Fox (Arthur Housman in JUST A HUSBAND, ’27), Louis, Adolph, & Max Weiss (Ben Turpin in THE EYES HAVE IT, ’28), and Hal Roach (Snub Pollard in STRICTLY MODERN, ’22, and Stan Laurel in COLLARS AND CUFFS, ’23).

Sunday, April 25 at 2pm
More films from the F.I.L.M. Archives Collection
Known as “The King of Comedy,” Mack Sennett was actually the Henry Ford of slapstick, as he was the first person to create a film studio devoted to turning out comedies on an assembly-line schedule. The main targets for the rough and rowdy Sennett crew were order, pomposity, and social standing. Having discovered most of the big names in the genre, today’s sampling highlights the year 1926 and stars such as Billy Bevan, Ralph Graves and Ben Turpin in the shorts WHISPERING WHISKERS, HUBBY’S QUIET LITTLE GAME, YANKEE DOODLE DUKE, WHEN A MAN’S A PRINCE, and ICE COLD COCOS.

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