C.K. Comedies question

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Phil Posner
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C.K. Comedies question

Postby Phil Posner » Mon Nov 11, 2013 3:52 pm

Are any of the CK (Kriterion) comedies still extant? Some feature comedienne Peggy Paige, who has been posited as Chaplin's Keystone co-star in many of his films there.

Specifically these films:
When You and I Were Young (1915)
The Unloaded 45 (1915)
Oh, Those Kids (1915)
Capturing Stella (1915)
His Double Did It (1915)

Her name can be seen in this trade ad from Variety, January 1915:
Image
Phil

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Richard M Roberts
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Re: C.K. Comedies question

Postby Richard M Roberts » Mon Nov 11, 2013 5:54 pm

Definitely a question for Pokes and Jabbs expert Rob Stone, but I've only seen one Kriterion release, THE MISSING HEIR (1915) extant in all the years I've been looking at old film. Kriterion barely lasted nine months and most of those firm folded within that year even if they found different distribution.

Peggy Paige? What Chaplin Keystones has it been posited that she appears. I;ve heard of Peggy Pearce, but not Peggy Paige.


RICHARD M ROBERTS

Phil Posner
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Re: C.K. Comedies question

Postby Phil Posner » Mon Nov 11, 2013 7:14 pm

The actress who plays the pretty patient in Laughing Gas, for instance, in addition to sixteen or so others. Through the years she was mis-identified as Norma Nichols, Gene Marsh, Minta Durfee and even Rhea Mitchell. A few years ago David Kiehn and Brent Walker found a newspaper article about an actress who had supposedly co-starred with CC at Keystone named Helen Carruthers, who had attempted suicide in May of 1915. The photo in the copy I had was unclear but at the time I felt it was close enough to confirm her in the roles:
Image

Some time later Steve Rydsewski found some snippets from Motion Picture News from that time that identifies Peggy Paige (sometime Page) in those roles in some of those Keystones. I posited that Peggy Paige might have been a stage name, but so far no pictures or films with her have emerged.
Phil

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Richard M Roberts
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Re: C.K. Comedies question

Postby Richard M Roberts » Mon Nov 11, 2013 7:45 pm

Hmm, even with the poor reproduction of the photo, the nose on Helen Carruthers is much wider, her face is much rounder, eyes are wider set, and the mouth is different than the actress in LAUGHING GAS. The actress in LAUGHING GAS may be Peggy Paige, but I'm not convinced that Peggy Paige is Helen Carruthers, or that Helen CArruthers is the Girl in LAUGHING GAS.


RICHARD M ROBERTS

Phil Posner
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Re: C.K. Comedies question

Postby Phil Posner » Tue Nov 12, 2013 2:30 pm

Thanks Richard. Have a look at the complete article that used to be on my website. There are more pictures of the actress and another version of the above Carruthers picture. Let me know if this changes anything. http://www.philposner.com/xhelenc.htm
Phil

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Richard M Roberts
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Re: C.K. Comedies question

Postby Richard M Roberts » Thu Nov 14, 2013 2:24 pm

Forgive me for saying this Phil, but basically, you never had any real evidence that Helen Carruthers is the woman in those Chaplin Keystones, and you have even less that Carruthers is actually Peggy Page or that Peggy Page is a stage name for Carruthers. As I said before, the one picture of Carruthers from the Oregon papers does not really resemble Page, especially in the un-cleaned up version, and just barely in the cleaned up version.

Now, as Steve Rydzewski has uncovered contemporary trade papers listing Page (and it is Peggy Page, not Peggy Paige, as misspelled in the Kriterion ad) specifically as playing some of the roles in those Chaplin shorts, I take that as pretty conclusive that she is indeed the actress in those films. But for Peggy Page to have been Helen Carruthers, who apparently worked at Essanay in Niles from January to April of 1915, we’d have to see that same girl from the Keystones in an Essanay Picture from that time. I spent some time the last few days looking at a number of Essanays I have from that period, including the surviving Broncho Billys, Snakeville, and Chaplin Comedies made up to that point, and didn’t find that girl once, and supposedly she appeared in THE CHAMPION, which has no other female in it apart from Edna Purviance.

Also, it would be difficult for Helen Carruthers to be Peggy Page as Peggy Page was working in the C. K. Comedies being shot in Santa Barbara at the EXACT same time Helen Carruthers was supposedly working at Essanay in Niles, that would be one heck of a commute. Apart from the fact that, if Peggy Page was already establishing herself as an actress under that name, why would she suddenly change it to Helen Carruthers, whether it was her real name or not?

The final clincher will be a still from one of those C.K. Comedies (or even less likely, a print of one of those very scarce Kriterion releases) showing the girl from the Keystone Chaplins working with Burns and Stull, we’ll have to see if Rob Stone, who’s working on the definitive Pokes and Jabbs History may turn up one of those. Unfortunately, because of your frankly premature call, the name of Helen Caruthers will most likely continue to pop up in relation to those Chaplin Keystones, thanks to that wonderful purveyor of filmic misinformation, the IMDB, as some in a hurry soul has already gotten all of those credits attributed to her up on that site.


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Rob Stone
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Re: C.K. Comedies question

Postby Rob Stone » Sun Nov 17, 2013 7:28 am

Without getting into the is she or isn't she argument let me pitch in on what I know about Burns and Stull at C.K. .... which isn't much. After leaving Lubin the two made some films for Royal and Komic, and then apparently some at C.K., before shooting a pilot film for their Pokes and Jabbs series that was sold to Sterling. By mid-1915 they were in NYC shooting Wizard comedies using the Pokes and Jabbs characters. I am not convinced that they ever made it to the West Coast but haven't looked into that too much yet. Contrary to IMDB they weren't doing P&J. Does anyone know who put up the credits for Bobby Burns and Walter Stull on IMDB?

Rob

Bob Birchard

Re: C.K. Comedies question

Postby Bob Birchard » Sun Nov 17, 2013 8:40 pm

Kriterion was an oddball operation set up to mimic Universal and/or Mutual with multiple production companies feeding an umbrella distributor. The Santa Barbara Motion Picture Company was either closely associated with Alhambra or produced some films that went out as Alhambra titles. Similarly, if Burns and Stull did not make it to Santa Barbara and the West coast, it is not impossible that they made films in the east that were released as CK Comedies.

Richard M Roberts
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Re: C.K. Comedies question

Postby Richard M Roberts » Sun Nov 17, 2013 10:06 pm

Well, several things are definite about the C.K. Comedies in the Kriterion Schedule, first, they were definitely the also-ran series in their program, not mentioned in the listing of the other companies in the articles and publicity surrounding the formation of Kriterion, then they are barely publicized at all in Kriterion’s subsequent ballyhooing of their other product through the first half of 1915, really the only time Kriterion was releasing regularly and not spending more time going bankrupt than producing and releasing films. It’s also obvious that of the dozen or so films released under the C.K. brand, only the first three can possibly lay claim to having Burns and Stull in them, and after that it appears that Sidney DeGray is delivering comedies both to the C. K. and Alhambra series, and then Kriterion is throwing two-reel dramas into the C. K. release slot to keep the schedule filled before dropping the series altogether in April, 1915.

So, Burns and Stull may have sold Kriterion several East Coast-produced comedies to begin with, expecting to come out West to continue production, then something happened that severed their connection with Kriterion (maybe they got wind of Kriterion’s shaky financial state), and they bailed, or they just unloaded some pilot comedies to the firm and never intended to continue with them. This is all speculation considering there is really little proof that they even appear in those first three comedies as I can find no further mention of them in Kriterions advertising after that one ad.

So whatever, none of this brings us any closer to determining who the gal is in the Chaplin Keystones, except the possible added idea that, if the actress is Peggy Page, and she somehow made these Burns and Stulls on the East Coast, it’s makes it even less possible that she could be Helen Carruthers who’s working in Niles at the time.


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Gary Johnson
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Re: C.K. Comedies question

Postby Gary Johnson » Sun Nov 24, 2013 11:59 am

I have absolutely nothing to add to everyone's detective work here but is that Peggy Pearce (or any of her various monickers) as the gal Chester Conklin flirts with at the opening of BETWEEN SHOWERS (14)?


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