Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Harold Lloyd in a Previously Unidentified Keystone Appearance

Mack Sennett's Fun Factory contains many new credits for performers in Keystone and Sennett films who were previously unidentified and are being identified for the first time. Among them is previously undocumented Keystone credit for Harold Lloyd, which I discovered several years ago when watching the early Keystone-Triangle two-reeler HER PAINTED HERO, starring Broadway comedian Hale Hamilton and also featuring Keystone mainstays Polly Moran and Charlie Murray.

Harold Lloyd’s first documentable appearance at Keystone came in LOVE, LOOT AND CRASH, which began production on Thursday, April 1, 1915. HER PAINTED HERO, though not released until November 21, 1915. was actually filmed between May 13 and June 30, 1915, and was the second Triangle Keystone to go into production (Mack Sennett began produced his earliest big-budget comedies for Triangle in May, while simultaneously producing his final lower-budgeted comedies to fulfill his Mutual contract until August of that year).

Georges D’Acunto, in issue number 7 of Slapstick! Magazine (circa 2002), wrote about Harold Lloyd’s appearance as a cook in another Keystone-Triangle three-reeler, A SUBMARINE PIRATE starring Syd Chaplin, the first time Lloyd's name had been mentioned in conjunction with a Triangle Keystone appearance.

Though released December 26, 1915, A SUBMARINE PIRATE went into production before HER PAINTED HERO, on Wednesday, May 5, 1915. However, delays in production (caused largely by several injuries, and snafus associated with filming on water) resulted in the film taking over five months to complete. However, it is likely Lloyd appeared in both films during May, prior to completing his final Mutual Keystone appearance (COURT HOUSE CROOKS) on May 26, 1915. (All beginning and ending dates for the filming of Keystones from late 1912 until early 1917, from the Keystone negative record, appear in each individual filmography title entry in Mack Sennett's Fun Factory.) At that point, Lloyd returned to work for Hal Roach at Rolin, and began production on his first “Lonesome Luke” comedy which was released July 31, 1915.

In HER PAINTED HERO, Lloyd plays a minister who arrives at a mansion (in reality A.G. Schlosser’s Castle San Souci, the same location used in TILLIE’S PUNCTURED ROMANCE and several other Sennett films) to preside over a wedding. This was actually the second time Lloyd had played a minister at Keystone—ther first time had been in THEIR SOCIAL SPLASH, made the previous month.

HER PAINTED HERO was available in 16mm and 8mm for many years from Blackhawk Films. The following captures are not from the best quality print, but you can see Harold arriving on the steps of the mansion, and being greeted by homeowner Harry Booker, just after Booker has taken a fall.

1 comment:

  1. Brent, this is splendid! New discoveries like this are fantastic news. (Of course, what you've done is make my latest filmography obsolete ... but it's well worth it!) Thank you for sharing this. Know that it will be spread!

    Hugs and appreciation,
    Annette Lloyd