Unidentified American Comedies from France

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Rob Farr
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Unidentified American Comedies from France

Postby Rob Farr » Fri Jul 06, 2012 8:31 pm

Missed the Mostly Lost Identification Workshop in Culpeper VA? Here are a few unidentified comedies (and some dramas) from the French Cinemateque They've ID'ed some of the main actors (St. John, Ovey). Any titles? http://www.cnc-aff.fr/internet_cnc/Inte ... connu.aspx
Rob Farr
"If it's not comedy, I fall asleep" - Harpo Marx

Steve Massa
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Re: Unidentified American Comedies from France

Postby Steve Massa » Sat Jul 07, 2012 9:54 am

Hi guys - The Al St John film is FIRED AGAIN ('20). The LOC has most of the first reel of this, and this short fragment at the CNC seems to dovetail with that. The girl is Betty Brown (a.k.a. Iva Brown) and the big guy is Ingram "Seven Foot" Pickett, who played the large head of The Blinking Buzzard's in Keaton's THE HIGH SIGN ('21). Pickett seems to have been a regular in the Warners Al St John shorts as he also appeared in the first one SPEED ('19), and another THE WINDOW TRIMMER ('20).

There's a series of lobby cards for this film that have Al, Pickett, and the girl in the same outfits on a ship, which is probably from the missing second reel. It also suggests that FIRED AGAIN may be another title for SHIP AHOY ('20). There are lobby cards around with Al and Cliff Bowes for the film we know as THE PAPER HANGER, but the lobbys list the original title of TROUBLE, so there's a possibility that the Warners were re-titling these things to make the exhibitors and audiences think that they were new shorts.

Bob Birchard

Re: Unidentified American Comedies from France

Postby Bob Birchard » Mon Jul 09, 2012 4:07 pm

Rob Farr wrote:Missed the Mostly Lost Identification Workshop in Culpeper VA? Here are a few unidentified comedies (and some dramas) from the French Cinemateque They've ID'ed some of the main actors (St. John, Ovey). Any titles? http://www.cnc-aff.fr/internet_cnc/Inte ... connu.aspx



The Ovey would appear to be one of his ca. 1919 Universals. Lillian Biron appeared in many of these. I have a picture of her but don't have access at the moment to confirm it is her. Steve . . . ?

Steve Massa
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Re: Unidentified American Comedies from France

Postby Steve Massa » Mon Jul 09, 2012 6:44 pm

Hi Bob - It isn't Lillian Biron, who was blonder and younger, it's Arby Arly who appeared with Ovey in HENNESSEY OF THE MOUNTED. She was his leading lady in the 1921 - 1922 Folly Comedies he made for the Pacific Film Co. (we just saw one of these at the LOC Unidentified Film Conference with Vernon Dent in support). This fits with the way George looks in the scans as he's a little older. Besides HENNESSY OF THE MOUNTED, I've also seen HANDS UP, MUMMY'S NIGHTMARE and WINNING WALLOP so it isn't one of those, but it could be DEAD LANGUAGE, FLIVVER TRACKS, HOLDING HIS OWN, THE LATE HERO, NOBODY'S HOME, RARING TO GO or ROUGH AND TUMBLING. The problem with this series is that since it was states rights they weren't reviewed in the trade magazines, so there are no synopsis to match to the plots.

Annichen Skaren
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Re: Unidentified American Comedies from France

Postby Annichen Skaren » Wed Jul 25, 2012 12:47 pm

They have now posted the result of the ID search on the website:
http://www.affcnc.net/internet_cnc/inte ... re_23.html
You need to scroll down a bit.

It is in French, but I used google translate:


"Film being identified .

Fired Again

Fired Again Photo provided by our correspondent © Library of Congress


There are more than two years, in the letter of 13 January 2010, we offered the expertise of our readers a film from 1918, according to the study of film.
If the protagonist had been identified in the person of Al St John, it was not true for the actress. Some thought recognize Mabel Normand, other conjured Josephine Stevens, or Alice Lake ...
At the beginning of July, the same day, in quick succession, two messages are coming identifying, with certainty, as the actress Betty Brown, and the film dating from 1920.
A title, finally landed on the frames proposed. Or, more accurately, two titles ... Indeed, the first message we propose SHIP AHOY and the second recognizes the film under the title FIRED AGAIN, providing supporting photo copies of operating where the actors and their costumes are in every respect those of photograms extracts the copy kept in the collections of the French Film Archives.
Subsequently, we specified that our interlocutor the original title was well SHIP AHOY then the Warner Brothers film came out with a new title: FIRED AGAIN.
It was a common practice of the production company as well, provided the public the illusion of discovering "new" movies cheaply."

Ed Watz
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Re: Unidentified American Comedies from France

Postby Ed Watz » Wed Jul 25, 2012 2:34 pm

Annichen, thanks so much for sharing this information on a rare Al St. John Warner's comedy, glad you are posting here as well as on Facebook!
"Of course he smiled -- just like you and me." -- Harold Goodwin, on Buster Keaton (1976)

Steve Massa
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Re: Unidentified American Comedies from France

Postby Steve Massa » Wed Jul 25, 2012 5:52 pm

I just wanted to mention that the info and photo was provided by yours truly, but I'm not their correspondent at the Library of Congress.

Annichen Skaren
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Re: Unidentified American Comedies from France

Postby Annichen Skaren » Wed Jul 25, 2012 6:50 pm

I am the other provider mentioned,regarding review about Ship Ahoy and info plus photo of Betty Brown, and mighty proud I should add.
Very exciting !

Ed Watz
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Re: Unidentified American Comedies from France

Postby Ed Watz » Mon Jul 30, 2012 4:23 pm

Steve Massa wrote:I just wanted to mention that the info and photo was provided by yours truly, but I'm not their correspondent at the Library of Congress.


Thanks Steve, it figures you made a major contribution to this rediscovery! Many thanks for the incredible information you freely share with everyone here.
"Of course he smiled -- just like you and me." -- Harold Goodwin, on Buster Keaton (1976)


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