Accidentally Preserved

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The films in "Accidentally Preserved"

9
rare/lost silent film shorts were released on DVD (June 2013) and in an online web-series (Aug-Oct 2013), and another 9 will be released on a "volume 2" DVD in January 2014.  The second set of films will be released on YouTube in the spring of 2014. The films are primarily comedies, but there are also a few animated films and industrial/educational rarities included.

book coverFilm notes for Volume 2 will be posted in January 2014, notes for Volume 1 are listed below. Formerly lost films are indicated by ** and were transferred from the only known print. 

Order your copy of "Accidentally Preserved: Notes on the Films" today! This handy companion guide to DVD volume 1 and 2 contains notes by Steve Massa on all 18 films and notes by Ben Model on the 16mm prints  The booklet is just the right size to fit inside the DVD case of your copy of Accidentally Preserved. Click here to get yours!


VOLUME 2 (DVD release planned for January 2014):

Why Wild Men Go Wild
– with Bobby Vernon and Jimmy Harrison (1920) - 12 mins
Party-hearty college boys Bobby and Jimmy are summoned home by Jimmy's dad, who's concerned about their wild ways. They tone it down, until Bobby is smitten with Jimmy's sister…who has a thing for "cave men". (read notes)


Charley on the Farm – Chaplin cartoon (1919) - 10 mins
One of the rarely-seen Charlie Chaplin cartoons made by Otto Messmer/Pat Sullivan on the eve of the creation of Felix the Cat.

Sherlock's Home** – Alberta Vaughn (1924) - 21 mins
Episode four (of twelve) in the "Telephone Girl" series, based on Runyon-esque short stories by H.C. Witwer; directed by Mal St. Clair and with a scenario by Darryl Francis Zanuck. Co-starring Al Cook, Kit Guard, and several other notable character players of the silents.

The Little Pest** – Neely Edwards (1927) - 10 mins
Childless Neely and his wife offer to baby-sit their in-laws' brat for an afternoon, but it's hard to say who makes a bigger mess of things…Neely or the little kid in the sailor suit.

Papa's Boy – Lloyd Hamilton (1927) - 16 mins
The father of bespectacled, butterfly-chasing Lloyd Hamilton wants to make a man of him, and gets virile Glen Cavender to take him on a camping trip.

Helter Skelter** – Malcolm "Big Boy" Sebastian (1929) - 8 mins
"Big Boy" must sell his beloved dog to help his tailoring mother pay for a destroyed dress, but when he is swindled on the the sale a wild chase ensues.

Cook, Papa, Cook** – Henry Murdock (1928) - 9 mins
Henry's wife has overslept and, on demanding breakfast, she tells him to make it himself.  And so he does, wrestling with bacon, a toaster and more while the little missus eats bon-bons in bed.

How Jimmy Won the Game – blasting cap safety film (1928) - 14 mins
It's the day of the championship baseball game for the neighborhood kids. Will the star pitcher blow his hand off with the blasting cap he finds in the outfield during the game? It's up to young Jimmy and a couple of scouts to save him and the ball game from disaster.

Christmas Seals film – animated theatre ad (1925) - 3 mins
A rare animated advertising film promoting the sale of Christmas Seals. There are no credits or information in vintage trade publications, but animation historians have attributed the graphic blandishments to Fleischer animator Dick Huemer.


VOLUME 1 (released on DVD June 2013):

The Lost Laugh
** – with Wallace Lupino (1928) - 9 mins
Wallace and his wife have a rough start to their day – waking, showering and breakfasting.  Wallace tried to keep a sense of humor about it all, in spite of a visit from a washing-machine salesman and the washing-machine he sells them. (read notes)


Loose Change – with Jack Duffy and Neal Burns (1928) - 11 mins
Wealthy-but-cheap Scottish uncle Jack Duffy pays a to visit nephew Neal; things get complicated with Neal's wife's friend decides to vamp him as a prank. (read notes)

Wedding Slips** – with Monte Collins (1928)
- 9 mins
Newlyweds Monte and Lucille Hutton are driving to their honeymoon spot and crash into a gypsy caravan and are kidnapped by the leaders of the gypsies and a gorilla. (read notes)

Shoot Straight – with Paul [James] Parrott (1923)
- 10 mins
Paul Parrott goes a-hunting, and tangles with rabbits, ducks, a bear and more in this near-solo turn with gags out of a WB cartoon from the '40s. (read notes)

The House of Wonders** – Elgin National Watch Company (ca. 1931)
- 23 mins
Industrial film on the Elgin Watch Company, showing its factory, its observatory, and the step-by-step assembly of an Elgin watch from start to finish.

The Misfit – with Clyde Cook (1924)
- 12 mins
Hen-pecked Clyde Cook must help wifey shop then paint the living room floor. He escapes by joining the Marines, but fares no better in basic training. (read notes)

The Water Plug – with Billy Franey (1920) - 12 min
Franey hatches a scheme to fleece automobile owners with a portable hydrant from a pawn-shop. (read notes)

Mechanical Doll – Fleischer "Out of the Inkwell" cartoon (1922) - 7 mins
Koko is dropped into a running
projector at a movie theater, then falls in love with a life-size wind-up doll that Max Fleischer draws for him. (read notes)

Cheer Up – with Cliff Bowes (1924)
- 10 mins
Cliff and Eddie Boland are rivals for Virginia Vance's hand in marriage, and the rivalry does not end after Cliff and Virginia wed. (read notes)



NOTES ON THE FILMS by Steve Massa
film notes © 2013 by Steve Massa; all rights reserved.


The Lost Laugh (7/15/1928) Cameo Comedies. Prod: Jack White. Dir: Stephen Roberts. 1 reel. Cast: Wallace Lupino, Lucille Hutton, Monte Collins.

 

Wallace Lupino was the younger brother of comedy star Lupino Lane, and like his sibling Wallace was performing from an early age. After spending many years supporting his brother on stage and in silent British films, when Lupino Lane embarked on a series of shorts for producer Jack White in 1925 Wallace continued on as Lane’s chief sidekick and foil. A versatile comic character actor, Wally played Moroccan sheiks, fiery gauchos, and in Listen Sister (’28), even a girl’s boarding school matron. In addition to his brother he supported other Jack White comics such as Johnny Arthur, Al St John, Big Boy and Jerry Drew, plus White also starred him in a number of his own Cameo comedies, and even an occasional two-reeler. Sadly most of these are lost, making The Lost Laugh a rare example of his starring work. Although the brothers did well in Hollywood with the changeover to sound, in 1930 they returned to England where Wallace continued to work with his brother and on his own turned in excellent performances in films like The Man Who Could Work Miracles (’37). Wally retired in the 1950s after the onset of arthritis made physical knockabout too painful.

 

Supporting Wallace in The Lost Laugh is Lucille Hutton and Monte Collins (for more on Collins see WEDDING SLIPS notes). Lucille Hutton was a long-time comedy veteran by the time she made this short, having made her film debut in 1916 L-Ko comedies at age 18. Before that she had appeared on stage with the Morosco Stock Co., and after two years with L-Ko moved on to Christie and Universal Comedies, plus a number of mid-1920s features such as East Side – West Side (’23) and Dick Turpin (’25) before landing at Jack White Comedies where she worked regularly with Al St John, Lloyd Hamilton, and Monte Collins. In the early days of sound she continued in shorts for White and Universal, but retired in 1931.

 

In the director’s chair on The Lost Laugh was Stephen Roberts, an ex-marine who had been working as a gagman for Norman Taurog and graduated to directing Cameos in 1924. Roberts would direct 18 of the total 20 Jack White comedies that starred Al St. John, but still found time to work with Lige Conley, Phil Dunham, George Davis, and Monte Collins. In the early sound era he was still working for Jack White, but soon moved on to shorts for Universal. His first feature was 1932’s The Sky Bride, and he directed twelve before his death from a heart attack in 1936. The Ex-Mrs. Bradford (’36) was his last picture, and in a nice touch Al St. John turns up in a funny and uncredited cameo appearance.

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Loose Change (10/6/1928) Christie Comedies. Prod: Al Christie. Dist: Paramount. Dir: Harold Beaudine. Originally 2 rls. Cast: Neal Burns, Jack Duffy, Lorriane Eddy, Winnie Law, Glen Cavender, Eddie Barry, George Rowe, Buddy.

 

Producer Al Christie was one of the biggest names in film comedy, although today it doesn’t have the ring of Mack Sennett or Hal Roach. Born in London, Ontario in 1879, he began his career as a stage manager for various companies which eventually brought him to New York. In 1909 he became a director for David Horsely’s Nestor Film Co. and had his first success with a live-action “Mutt & Jeff” series. Nestor and Christie moved to Hollywood in 1911, where they made one-reelers distributed by Universal. In 1916 Al severed his connection, and with his brother Charles set up his own company on the independent market. In the 1920s he distributed his films through Educational and Paramount, and his stars Bobby Vernon, Dorothy Devore, and Jimmie Adams were some of the most popular of the day. Although he jumped right into sound production the new medium didn’t treat him very well. The combination of the changes in the industry and the depression drove him into bankruptcy, and in the mid 30s he became supervisor for the East Coast productions of Educational Pictures, overseeing shorts with New York stage stars such as Joe Cook, Bert Lahr, and Danny Kaye. After Educational closed at the end of the decade Christie had trouble getting work, and finally retired from films in 1942 to work for the Douglas Aircraft Company until his death in 1951.

 

Although he was one of Christie’s biggest stars of the 20s, Neal Burns is neglected and overlooked today, even by devotees of silent comedy. Born in 1892, he made his stage debut in 1907 and spent the next few years specializing in light comedy roles, which he continued on film. He began working with Nestor in 1915, and left when Christie set up shop the next year. Burn also freelanced with L-KO, Sennett, and Century before signing exclusively with Christie in 1921. Handsome and charming, Neal always got the girl by the end of the picture, but in 1924 he and Christie took a more character driven approach to his screen persona by adding a pair of horn-rimmed glasses. This gave Neal a bookish, persnickety personality that set him apart from the crowd of good-looking but bland leading men. Through 1929 Neal turned out top-drawer two-reelers and even found the time to direct his Christie contemporaries Jack Duffy and Frances Lee. Despite his stage background Burns didn’t fare well in the transition to sound, and sadly lost the money he had amassed in the 1920s in the stock market crash. By 1933 he was relegated to uncredited bit parts, but kept working until 1946.


Another of Christie’s popular stars was the “foxy Grandpa” of silent comedy Jack Duffy. Some thirty years younger than his screen persona, Duffy was born in 1882 and was the younger brother of Irish character actress Kate Price. After years in stock companies, musical comedies, and vaudeville, his first documented movie work was for Universal in 1916, and he can be spotted in bit parts in other films such as Chaplin’s A Dog's Life in 1918. Around 1920, with the use of make-up and the discarding of his dentures, he hit upon his senior citizen character and found his niche. Overnight he was everywhere, working as a regular player at Fox and Speed Comedies, plus supporting Larry Semon, Louise Fazenda, and Monty Banks. In 1924 he became part of Christie’s stock company and two years later one of his stars. The peak of his career was the late 20s when his shorts were built around the character of “Sandy McDuff” (a cranky Scottish skinflint) in addition to juicy supporting parts in features like Ella Cinders (’26) and Harold Teen (’28). He began the sound era in shorts and a hilarious bit in the feature Sally (’29), but his appearances soon dwindled and he embarked on a second career as a studio make-up man. Sadly, Duffy never reached the age of his movie alter ego, passing away at fifty-seven in 1939.  

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Wedding Slips (1/1/1928) Cameo Comedies. Prod: Jack White. Dir: Jules White. Dist: Educational Pictures. Photo: William Hyer. 1 reel. Cast: Monte Collins, Lucille Hutton, Robert Graves, Eva Thatcher, Jack Lloyd, Mutt, Bobby Burns. 

 

WEDDING SLIPS stars Monte Collins, who was actually Monte Collins Jr. The senior Monte Collins was an old vaudevillian who worked in films with the likes of Fatty Arbuckle and Buster Keaton before passing away in 1929. Young Monte had his own career in vaudeville and starting turning up in films as early as 1920 in the Bobby Ray Tusun Comedy New Ralgia. By the mid 20s he found a home at Jack White Comedies doing leads in Cameo comedies and occasional two-reelers, where thanks to his bulging Adam’s apple, and bowl-cut bangs he specialized in nervous and skinny hen-pecked husbands. When Laurel & Hardy became the rage Jack White teamed Collins with beefy Vernon Dent for seven shorts like Parlor Pests and Those Two Boys (both ’29), and when sound arrived he continued working for Educational plus eventually became a long-time member of the Columbia shorts department stock company supporting the Three Stooges, Buster Keaton, Harry Langdon, and others. Collins last credit, before his death from a heart attack in 1951 was as gagman on Laurel & Hardy’s Atoll K (’50).

 

Director Jules White was the younger brother of producer Jack White, who after gofer-ing and assisting started directing in 1924 and helmed a huge amount of one-reel Cameos. In 1926 he moved to the Fox Studio to direct some pretty good two-reelers like The Battling Kangaroo and Gentlemen Prefer Scotch, but returned to his brothers company until the end of the silent era. Sound saw him end up at MGM where he co-directed the infamous “Dogville” Comedies and the Buster Keaton feature Sidewalks of New York (‘31). In 1934 he became head of Columbia Pictures shorts department and guided the Three Stooges to immortality, plus produced shorts with Andy Clyde, Harry Langdon, Charley Chase, Hugh Herbert, Vera Vague, and many, many others until 1959.


Also on hand in support are Lucille Hutton, Robert Graves, Jack Lloyd, Bobby Burns, and as the older gypsy woman the overlooked Eva Thatcher. Having worked for years in vaudeville as Evelyn Thatcher and billed as “The Irish Lady,” Thatcher came to films around 1914 and worked everywhere – opposite Augustus Carney in the Universal Ike series (plus stayed for the Universal Ike Jrs), not to mention many shorts for Mack Sennett, Larry Semon, Fox, Al Christie, and Jack White. Her feature appearances included Lois Weber’s A Chapter in Her Life (’23), a number of Leo Maloney westerns, and Buster Keaton’s College (’27). After retiring in 1936 she passed away in 1942.

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Shoot Straight (3/11/1923) Prod: Hal Roach. Dist: Pathé. Dir: J.A. Howe. 1 reel. Cast: Paul (a.k.a. James) Parrott, Jobyna Ralston, George Rowe.

 

Like director John Ford, James Parrott entered the film business as the kid brother of an already established professional – in James’ case his older brother Charles (a.k.a. Charley Chase) had been a performer and gag man at Sennett who had worked his way up to being an in demand comedy director. Around 1917 James began appearing in many of Charley’s comedies, as well as doing steady walk-on bits in the Hal Roach product. After co-starring in a series of low-budget Holly Comedies such as An Auto Nut (’19) he was renamed Paul Parrott and launched in his own Roach one-reelers in 1922. Following this madcap series he had a brief stay at Fox comedies and then moved behind the camera as a writer and full-time director – helming much of the late silent and early sound Roach product, particularly the Charley Chase and Laurel & Hardy shorts. Said to have been an erratic personality, possibly due to epilepsy, Jimmy’s problems escalated in the mid 1930s when his drinking made it impossible for him to work steadily. He continued writing, but BLOCKHEADS (’38) was the last. Jimmy died in 1939 officially of a heart attack, but it’s rumored to have been suicide because of his problems.

 

On hand is Parrott’s usual supporting crew of Jobyna Ralston and George Rowe. Although she’s remembered for her films with Harold Lloyd, Jobyna made over forty shorts opposite Parrott. Having started her career in Florida working for Cuckoo Comedies and Sun-Lite Comedies, a stint in New York as a dancer led to her appearing as the leading lady in the fabled lost Marx Brothers short Humor Risk (’21). Heading to Hollywood on the advice of director Dick Smith, she worked with Max Linder in his Three Must-Get-Theres (’22) and settled in on the Roach lot. After hooking up with Harold Lloyd and co-starring with him in six comedies, Jobyna appeared in features like Special Delivery and Wings (both ’27) before retiring following three sound films.

 

What’s known about mystery goof George Rowe is that he appeared in tons of Hal Roach shorts from 1920 to 1926. Referred to as the “wall-eyed gink” in Roach publicity, this walking sight gag looked like a visitor from another planet with his tiny head, jug-handle ears, moth-eaten moustache, and chicken neck that led to a scrawny and undernourished body. Of course his most prominent feature was his eyes, whose pupils looked like magnets that were attracted to each other. At home in the early wild and crazy comedies of Parrott, Snub Pollard, and Stan Laurel, Rowe no longer fit in once the Roach shorts became more sophisticated in the late 20s, and after a few later appearances like You're Darn Tootin'’ (’28) he disappeared from the screen.


Director A. J. “Kitty” Howe was an unsung comedy craftsman who spent almost twenty years working behind the scenes. Starting as an actor, he began directing at L-Ko in 1917, and passed through Fox before landing at Vitagraph to helm a couple of years worth of Montgomery & Rock and Jimmy Aubrey comedies. After a stint back at Universal he ended up on the Roach lot in 1922, directing most of the Parrott comedies, plus generous helpings of the Spat Family, Will Rogers, and Stan Laurel series. In the late 20s he joined the Harold Lloyd organization, working on The Kid Brother (’27) and Speedy (’28), in addition to piloting five of their Edward Everett Horton two-reelers. His career in sound films mostly consisted of writing a number of 1932-1933 Universal shorts for the likes of Louise Fazenda and James Gleason. 

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The Misfit (3/23/1924) (a.k.a. Under Orders) Prod: Lou Anger (and Joseph M. Schenck). Dir: Albert Austin & Clyde Cook. Dist: Educational Pictures. 2 rls. Cast: Clyde Cook, Blanche Payson, Joe Roberts, Fred Peters.
(note: the edition seen here is a 1-reel edition, the only way in which this film survives)

 

The Misfit gives a good look at the global variety performer Clyde Cook, who began his stage career at age 6 in his native Australia. Known as the “Kangaroo Boy,” he became a big hit at the New York Hippodrome with his eccentric dancing and acrobatics, and in 1920 was contracted for a series of Fox Sunshine Comedies. In 1924 he brought his deadpanned persona of a downtrodden and usually hen-pecked individual to a couple of Joseph Schenck produced shorts, The Broncho Express and The Misfit, which were shot at Buster Keaton’s studio and released by Educational. From here he moved to the Hal Roach lot where he worked frequently under Stan Laurel’s direction on funny shorts such as Moonlight and Noses (’25) and Wandering Papas (’26) before leaving to star in Warner Brothers features with Louise Fazenda. Cook concentrated on comic relief roles for the rest of his career, often playing cockneys in sound films until 1963, and passed away at the ripe age of 92 in 1984.

 

The epitome of the phrase “large and in charge” was the 6’4,’’ 234-pound ex-policewoman Blanche Payson, who was ideally cast as Cook’s domineering wife. Payson made her film debut for Mack Sennett in 1916 and became one of the most ubiquitous faces in screen comedy. She made movie life difficult for the likes of Laurel & Hardy, the Three Stooges, Harry Langdon, Lloyd Hamilton, and Lupino Lane until she retired in the 1940s. Even larger than Blanche was Buster Keaton’s usual threatening authority figure Big Joe Roberts. Big Joe had spent years in vaudeville with the act Moreland, Thompson & Roberts, and was a long-time friend of the Keaton family. Buster brought him to films in One Week (’20) and by the time of his death in 1923 he was on his way to becoming an all-purpose comedy regular in Hallroom Boys, Poodles Hanneford, and Fox Sunshine Comedies.

 

Co-directing this short with Clyde Cook was Albert Austin. Best remembered for his work with Charlie Chaplin, Austin was also a British music hall graduate of the Fred Karno Company who branched out to shorts for Mack Sennett and Bull Montana, plus directed features for Jackie Coogan, Dinky Dean Riesner, and Monty Banks. The early 1920s were the peak of his career, which waned by the end of the silent era and saw him working mostly uncredited as a writer. His writing work seems to have ended in the mid-1930s and he ended his days as a gateman at the Warner Brothers Studio. 
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The Water Plug (1920) Reelcraft Comedies. Prod: Nat Spitzer. Dir: George Jeske. 1 reel. Cast: Billy Franey, Robert McKenzie, Silas Wilcox.

 

Reelcraft Pictures Corp. was an organization that came together from the merger of Bulls Eye Comedies, the Emerald Motion Picture Co., the Bee Hive Film Exchange, and the Interstate Film Co. of New York, and was designed to produce and distribute short subjects for the states’ rights market. Some of their comedies starred Alice Howell, Gale Henry, Billy West, Milburn Moranti, Marcel Perez, and Bud Duncan, but despite some excellent comedians and shorts the company was short-lived, folding due to bankruptcy in 1922.

 

Billy Franey was another of Reelcraft’s headliners, who came from a background in traveling carnivals, although not as a performer but in a business capacity. He was recruited for films by director Allen Curtis who was in charge of Universal’s Joker Comedies. Franey joined the until in 1914 as a jack-of-all-trades utility player in the ensemble along with Max Asher, Gale Henry, and Milburn Mornti, and stayed until he moved over to Gale Henry’s Model Comedies in 1919. When that series ended he embarked on this three-year series for Reelcraft. Previously he had essayed all types of characters, but for his own films he went with the persona of a non-descript bum with definite Chaplin overtones, so it may be that Franey & Co. were hoping to hop on the Chaplin gravy train. From here Billy went on to a series for O’Connor productions (producer Robert O’Connor was a long-time supporting player in Hal Roach comedies) and freelanced in shorts like The Iron Mule (’25) and series such as Blue Ribbon Comedies and Reg’lar Kids, plus features on the order of She's a Sheik (‘27) and Five and Ten Cent Annie (‘28). He later played in many sound shorts for RKO, including numerous Edgar Kennedy comedies, before his death in 1940. 

 

The Water Plug was directed by George Jeske, who shared helming this series with Grover Jones. Jeske started at Keystone in 1913 as a Keystone cop and gag writer, but left Sennett the next year to work for Sterling Comedies. It’s said that Jeske doubled for Ford Sterling when producer Fred Balshofer needed a Sterling look-a-like to link unused footage. Returning to Sennett after World War I duty, he became an assistant director, and became a full director for this series for Franey, many Hal Roach comedies with the likes of Snub Pollard and Stan Laurel, and Samuel Bischoff’s Gold Medal Comedies. After sound came in he worked mostly as a writer – in films for Educational and RKO shorts for Edgar Kennedy and Leon Errol, and in radio for shows such as “Fibber McGee and Molly” and “Truth or Consequences.” He died at 60 in 1951.
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Mechanical Doll (a.k.a. The Dresden Doll, a.k.a. The Dancing Doll, 2/7/1922) Out of the Inkwell Films. Prod: Max Fleischer. Dir: Dave Fleischer.

 

Koko the clown was born in 1915 thanks to Max Fleischer’s invention of the Rotoscope, a device for tracing live-action footage to make quick animation. Shooting film of his brother Dave cavorting in a clown suit, Max converted it to animation and took it around to various companies. Soon Koko began making regular appearances in Bray Pictographs. After World War I Max and Dave teamed up and formed Out of the Inkwell, Inc., with Koko as their star. The series revolved around the combative relationship between KoKo and Max, who played himself as a sort of dysfunctional parent figure.

 

All through the 1920s Koko battled it out with Max in an impressive combination of live-action and animation, and the Fleischer’s expanded their output to include little “Inklings” newsreels, a couple of full-length educational features, and the live-action “Carrie of the Chorus” comedy series that featured Flora Finch and a young Ray Bolger. Koko was retired in 1929 when the Fleischer’s were concentrating on their sound “Talkartoons,” but was brought back in the 1930s to support Betty Boop. Although the brothers had great success with characters such as Popeye and Superman, a new studio in Florida and two full-length animated features Gulliver's Travels (‘39) and Mr. Bug Goes to Town (‘41) put them in a financial bind, and Paramount took over their organization in 1942.


(note: per Fleischer historian Ray Pointer, the young woman rotoscoped for the doll's scenes was Ruth Fleischer, Max's daughter.)

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Cheer Up (9/28/1924) Cameo Comedies. Prod: Jack White. Dir: Stephen Roberts. Dist: Educational Pictures. 1 reel. Cast: Cliff Bowes, Virginia Vance, Frank Alexander, Tommy Hicks, Eddie Boland.


Three of the shorts making up Accidentally Preserved are Cameo Comedies, a one-reel comedy series begun by producer Jack White in 1922 to supplement his two-reel Mermaid Comedies. They first starred Jimmie Adams and Virginia Vance, and then Vance with Cliff Bowes, occasionally being made a threesome with the addition of Sid Smith. By 1926 the honors were being done by Phil Dunham, Wallace Lupino, and a returning Cliff Bowes until the series ended in 1929.

 

One of the most forgotten clowns in the Accidentally Preserved films is Cliff Bowes, a champion swimmer and diver who began working in Mack Sennett Comedies in 1915. By 1920 he had branched out to shorts for Century and Warners Brothers, plus was working as support in Jack White Mermaids, and then in 1923 White began headlining Bowes in the Cameos. Cliff had a breezy personality and was a sort of poor man’s Lige Conley. Bowes did seventy-seven Cameos through 1926, took a break and came back again in 1929 for just a handful before his death from a stroke at age thirty-four.

 

Virginia Vance was a pretty blonde who appeared with Jimmie Adams and Cliff Bowes in over fifty Cameos. In 1925 she graduated to Jack White two-reelers in support of Al St John, Lupino Lane, Lloyd Hamilton, and Johnny Arthur. After changing allegiance and working in Mack Sennett’s late 1920s “Dan the Taxi Man” series opposite Jack Cooper, she married actor Bryant Washburn and left the screen in 1929. Also on hand are the always reliable supporting comics Frank “Fatty” Alexander, Eddie Boland, and fat boy Tommy Hicks
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