Monday, January 6, 2014

Harry Langdon -- January 6, 2014

I saw Harry Langdon's "Saturday Afternoon" in one of the Robert Youngson comedy compilations, but I don't think I had seen any of his other movies before I read Frank Capra's The Name Above the Title.  Capra, who had worked on writing  team for some of Langdon's Mack Sennett comedies and directed his second and third First National features, had a grudge and it colored my view of Langdon.  I learned not to trust many statements in film industry memoirs. 

I still had not seen many Langdon movies before I read Walter Kerr's great book The Silent Clowns.  I managed to see his first three First National features (Tramp, Tramp, Tramp, The Strong Man and Long Pants) and a few of his Sennett shorts at the Avenue and other theaters.  It has only been in the last few years that I saw all of his surviving Sennett shorts, his Sennett feature (His First Flame) and his fourth and fifth First National features (Three's a Crowd and The Chaser) on DVD.  I still have not seen many of his sound shorts, especially the early talkies he made with Hal Roach. 

The image is from the 1929 Motion Picture News Blue Book. Be sure to click on the image to see a larger version.

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