MR. SUICIDE: HENRY "PATHE" LEHRMAN AND THE BIRTH OF SILENT COMEDY

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Thomas Reeder
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MR. SUICIDE: HENRY "PATHE" LEHRMAN AND THE BIRTH OF SILENT COMEDY

Postby Thomas Reeder » Fri May 12, 2017 4:39 pm

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Okay, gang, my book MR. SUICIDE: HENRY “PATHÉ” LEHRMAN AND THE BIRTH OF SILENT COMEDY is finally available for purchase. This meticulously researched and unbiased study covers Lehrman’s life, career, and his studios in detail, accompanied by an exhaustive 548 entry filmography. Noted film historians Sam Gill and Steve Massa have provided the Foreword and Introduction, respectively. 770 pages, with 339 rare images illustrating the text; soft- or hard-cover editions available through Amazon.com and at the publisher’s site, BearManorMedia.com. Anyone interested in a signed copy can contact me directly, through this site or by email at ThomasReeder@Live.com.

Here’s more about Lehrman and the book:

For an immigrant newly arrived in the U.S. in 1906, Henry Lehrman’s rise in the fledgling film industry was, in a word, meteoric. By 1914 he had worked at New York’s Biograph Studios, served as Mack Sennett’s right-hand man at Keystone, co-owned the Sterling Comedy Company with lead comedian Ford Sterling, and ushered in his own L-Ko – Lehrman-Knock Out – Comedies for Universal. By 1916 he had advanced to Fox where he organized the more prestigious Sunshine Comedies, and by 1919 had acquired full independence with his own Henry Lehrman Comedies.

At Keystone, where he directed the likes of Chaplin, Sterling, Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle, and numerous others, Lehrman was instrumental in fashioning the Keystone style. At L-Ko, Lehrman oversaw the company, served as idea man, director, and occasional actor, gaining fame for his anarchic storylines and fast-paced, break-neck comedies that rarely let up for air. The Sunshine comedies saw a growth and comparative maturity, with their longer schedules and more lavish budgets. The eventual formation of his own Henry Lehrman Comedies promised a dream come true, the pinnacle of success with a company truly all his own. “I have a scheme at present which promises so fairly that I am afraid to queer it by telling you what it is,” said Lehrman in an interview five years earlier. “Next time you come to see me you may find me either in a palace or in the poor house.” Unfortunately for Lehrman, the latter came true.

Lehrman has been unfairly demonized over the years, primarily the result of a handful of self-serving autobiographies by the likes of Sennett, Chaplin, and Fred Balshofer. Occasionally referred to by co-workers as “Suicide” Lehrman due to his reputation for putting actors and stuntmen at risk, the reality was that risk-taking in those early days was comparatively common throughout the industry. Lehrman’s inability to manage money sealed the fate of his long sought after independence, leading to a string of bankruptcies that plagued him for the rest of his life. And when Lehrman received word that his good friend Arbuckle was responsible for the death of Virginia Rappe, Lehrman’s lover, his heartfelt but ill-chosen tirade against Arbuckle and the industry as a whole helped to seal his fate.

MR. SUICIDE: HENRY “PATHÉ” LEHRMAN AND THE BIRTH OF SILENT COMEDY takes an impartial and exhaustive look at the life and career of this misunderstood comedy genius. Additionally, the histories of the Sterling and L-Ko studios are covered in full, up until each was shuttered. The extensive and detailed filmography covers every known film that Lehrman was involved with from his beginnings at Biograph up until his death in 1946 while he was employed by 20th Century-Fox. In addition to each film’s cast and credits, a synopsis and contemporary reviews are included, an aid to future researchers in their quest to identify “orphan” films.

In his Introduction to the book, noted film historian Steve Massa calls it “an examination, thorough and unbiased, that establishes Lehrman’s rightful place in film history. Silent comedy scholars and fans, in addition to anyone interested in Hollywood lore, owe a debt of gratitude to Tom for his dogged determination and accurate eye in bringing light to this dark and neglected corner of movie history.”

Rob Farr
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Re: MR. SUICIDE: HENRY "PATHE" LEHRMAN AND THE BIRTH OF SILENT COMEDY

Postby Rob Farr » Fri May 12, 2017 5:13 pm

Ordered. And if you order from Bear Manor before midnight tonight (Friday May 12) you will get 33% off.
Rob Farr
"If it's not comedy, I fall asleep" - Harpo Marx

Thomas Reeder
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Re: MR. SUICIDE: HENRY "PATHE" LEHRMAN AND THE BIRTH OF SILENT COMEDY

Postby Thomas Reeder » Fri May 12, 2017 5:33 pm

Thanks, Rob, and I'm glad you squeezed in under the wire for that discount!

Richard M Roberts
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Re: MR. SUICIDE: HENRY "PATHE" LEHRMAN AND THE BIRTH OF SILENT COMEDY

Postby Richard M Roberts » Fri Jun 09, 2017 6:01 pm

Let me put my two cents in here and give you the Amazon link to the book:

https://www.amazon.com/Mr-Suicide-Lehrm ... ERBCYHC7VE

This really is a terrific book, Tom Reeder has done a great job researching Lehrman and saying what we have been saying for many years, that Lehrman was a major comedy talent who indeed is responsible for much bizarre and surreal comedy, unfortunately much of it now lost to the fate that befell much silent film product, but what can be seen shows a comic mind that carried what has been attributed to Mack Sennett stylistically even further into darker, stranger territory. Henry Lehrman may not have been the cutest and cuddliest human being, but he was an important comedy creator and now his story is told and his due delivered. Buy this book for a great read and a great lesson in comedy history.

RICHARD M ROBERTS

Thomas Reeder
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Re: MR. SUICIDE: HENRY "PATHE" LEHRMAN AND THE BIRTH OF SILENT COMEDY

Postby Thomas Reeder » Sat Jun 10, 2017 1:53 pm

Thanks so much for the plug, Richard. I'm pleased that you enjoyed the book! Speaking of which, when should we expect volume two of your silent comedy trilogy?

Richard M Roberts
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Re: MR. SUICIDE: HENRY "PATHE" LEHRMAN AND THE BIRTH OF SILENT COMEDY

Postby Richard M Roberts » Sat Jun 10, 2017 3:31 pm

Thomas Reeder wrote:Thanks so much for the plug, Richard. I'm pleased that you enjoyed the book! Speaking of which, when should we expect volume two of your silent comedy trilogy?



When it's done Thomas, when it's done.

RICHARD M ROBERTS

Thomas Reeder
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Re: MR. SUICIDE: HENRY "PATHE" LEHRMAN AND THE BIRTH OF SILENT COMEDY

Postby Thomas Reeder » Sat Jun 24, 2017 8:57 am

Columnist Mark Voger interviewed me for an article about Henry Lehrman's life and career, and gave my book MR. SUICIDE: HENRY "PATHE" LEHRMAN AND THE BIRTH OF SILENT COMEDY a plug while he was at it. This appeared in several of the STAR LEDGER family of newspapers, and you can read it here at NJ.com:

http://www.nj.com/entertainment/index.s ... aplin.html" target="_blank

Joe Migliore
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Re: MR. SUICIDE: HENRY "PATHE" LEHRMAN AND THE BIRTH OF SILENT COMEDY

Postby Joe Migliore » Sun Jun 25, 2017 3:59 pm

I just got your book, Thomas, and I already can't put it down! I'm hoping not to finish it before my summer vacation starts.

Thomas Reeder
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Re: MR. SUICIDE: HENRY "PATHE" LEHRMAN AND THE BIRTH OF SILENT COMEDY

Postby Thomas Reeder » Mon Jun 26, 2017 12:00 pm

You'll need to put it down eventually, Joe, otherwise your arms are going to grow very tired hefting all four pounds of it!

Kidding aside, I'm pleased to hear that you are finding it of interest; a lot of time and energy were spent on this one.


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