Kudos for Keystone Kops Kreator
BY DENNIS KING
As a producer, writer, director and feverishly innovative movie pioneer, Sennett was an early-day, one-man movie machine who not only created the hilarious Keystone Kops, but also invented such signature gags as the pie in the face and was key in launching the careers of such immortals as Charlie Chaplin, Harry Langdon, Gloria Swanson and Carole Lombard.
A grand, comprehensive book, “Mack Sennett’s Fun Factory” (MacFarland & Co., $125), is being released this month that gives voluminous evidence of Sennett’s seminal role in the motion picture industry and in the evolution of screen comedy.
The founder of Keystone Film Company in 1912 and recipient of two Academy Awards, Sennett enjoyed a 20- year run as one of Hollywood’s most prolific and successful filmmakers.
The 671-page hardcover book by journalist and film historian Brent E. Walker is jam-packed with enough arcane details and obscure background information to make an academic’s head swim. Along with a complete filmography taking in more that 1,000 Sennett film released between 1908 and 1955, the book includes casts and credits, synopses, filming locations, release dates and even cross-references to remade stories and gags excerpted in compilations.
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