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Langdon interviews

Posted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 6:18 am
by Andrew Sholl
Y'know, maybe Capra was right after all. Here Langdon himself concedes his career took a nose-dive because he took on too much responsibility, resulting in "two of the lousiest pictures ever made".


Re: Langdon interviews

Posted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 9:29 am
by Steve Rydzewski
Hmmmmmm... 3rd column, 3rd paragraph:
"In 1920 I took a film test." Typo? Or do we know Langdon took a film test in 1920?
(I didn't, only knew about the Sol Lesser one in 1923).
Thanks for posting Andrew.


Re: Langdon interviews

Posted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 12:08 pm
by Louie Despres
I have never read about this Langdon test before but I think there may be more of these test films done than one would think and they are just lost to history. I know I have found documentation that El Brendel did a test for MGM in the mid-to-late 20's. I have no idea of the date or anything of what it was about, but I found word of it in a review of his "Beau Night" Vitaphone short.

Re: Langdon interviews

Posted: Sun Aug 16, 2009 9:29 pm
by Ian Elliot
This doesn't clarify or prove much of anything, but there's an item in a Hollywood column by Wood Soanes, September 1941, "Arthur Martinelli, who made the first test of Harry Langdon more than 20 years ago is in charge of the cameras at Monogram, where Langdon is making 'Double Trouble'...." Martinelli appears to have worked for Sol Lesser in 1923 (shooting THE MEANEST MAN IN THE WORLD), the year Lesser took on Langdon, but of course may have shot the test a few years earlier elsewhere.

The two "lousy pictures", according to a similar "comeback" piece by Paul Harrison in Jan. 1939, were THE CHASER and HEART TROUBLE. Says (reportedly) their maker, "[they] were absolute stinkers, and scarcely anybody saw them...and in 1934 I made a series of very bad shorts for Columbia. Then I was through." A comment that couldn't have endeared him to the Columbia shorts department.

Ian Elliot