Mack Sennett

Mack Sennett

  • Highest Rated: 100% The Pharmacist (1933)
  • Lowest Rated: 83% Tillie's Punctured Romance (1914)
  • Birthday: Invalid date
  • Birthplace: Not Available
  • Canadian-born of Irish stock, actor, producer, director, and studio head Mack Sennett came from serving as a minor clown in third-string vaudeville to dominating the American motion picture comedy industry of the silent period. Hearing that one could make five dollars a day appearing in early movies, Sennett joined on at Biograph Studios in New York in 1908 and became one of the first members of D.W. Griffith's repertory company there; Sennett was also Griffith's first protégé among film directors. Griffith recognized Sennett's flair for comedy and featured him in many Biograph subjects between 1908 and 1910; Griffith's The Curtain Pole (1909), based on a French farce, was written by Sennett and is regarded as one of the first American slapstick comedies. Sennett began to direct in 1910, and when Mabel Normand joined Biograph in 1911, Sennett began to feature her in his comedy films as the star; comic Ford Sterling also began to work with Sennett at this time. In late 1912, Sennett broke with Biograph and formed the Keystone studio with Adam Kessel and Charles Baumann as backers, taking both Normand and Sterling with him and building a studio in Edendale, CA. The first Keystone was The Water Nymph (1912), starring Normand. The Bangville Police (1913) was the first subject featuring the Keystone Kops, and introduced Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle, who had previously been with Selig Polyscope, to Keystone. By the time Charlie Chaplin arrived in 1914, Keystone was already established as the top producer of film comedies in the United States, noted for knockabout chaos, pie throwing, explosions, collapsing sets, and free-for-all irreverence. Chaplin, however, became the biggest male movie star of any kind to date in a very short time, and Sennett wasn't able to hang onto him; Chaplin left for Essanay by the end of 1914. This started a trend; Ford Sterling left in 1915, and Arbuckle the following year. However, Sennett had a matchless sense of spotting talent, and over time he would launch or significantly assist the film careers of Gloria Swanson, Chester Conklin, Charley Chase, Edgar Kennedy, Ben Turpin, Harry Langdon, Al St. John, Marie Dressler, Phyllis Haver, Betty Bronson, Carole Lombard, Bing Crosby, and W.C. Fields. Many of the women, including Swanson, made their film debuts among the ranks of "Sennett's Bathing Beauties." In 1915, Sennett signed on -- along with D.W. Griffith and Thomas Ince -- to distribute Keystone through Triangle Film Corporation, which turned out to be a mistake, as in 1917 it was discovered that Harry Aitken, head of Triangle, was slowing embezzling the company to the brink of bankruptcy. Sennett caught wind of this early and began legally unbinding himself from Triangle with the intention of leaving Aitken with nothing more than the brand name of "Keystone," which he ultimately did. But in the process, Sennett lost control of Mickey (1918), an expensive project for which Sennett had built a separate studio to produce; that the film was hugely successful when released while others made the money from it, coupled with the loss of Normand to the Goldwyn Studio in 1917, were major setbacks. The popularity of cross-eyed comic Ben Turpin helped the newly named Mack Sennett Comedies -- distributed by Paramount, and later Pathé -- to win back its cachet. Sennett also regained Normand's services in 1920, but finally lost them amid the scandals swarming around her as the 1920s progressed. Sennett updated his product from mere slapstick and stunts to incorporate special effects and other advanced devices and arrived at a surprise hit with Lizzies of the Field (1924), which featured mass destruction of automobiles. Sennett began production of Technicolor shorts in 1927, and released his first talking picture in 1928. However, with the Wall Street Crash of 1929, Sennett -- who around 1920 had amassed the largest personal fortune of anyone in Hollywood -- was suddenly broke. He left Pathé and entered into a new distrib

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

Movies

Rating

Title

Credit

Box
Office

Year

No Score Yet The Mack Sennett Collection: Volume One Director 2014
No Score Yet The Bangville Police Producer 2013
No Score Yet Those Awful Hats Actor 2011
No Score Yet Abbott and Costello Meet the Keystone Kops Mack Sennett 1955
No Score Yet Down Memory Lane Actor 1949
No Score Yet Road to Hollywood Director 1947
No Score Yet Hollywood Cavalcade Himself 1939
No Score Yet The Barber Shop Producer 1933
100% The Pharmacist Producer 1933
No Score Yet The Fatal Glass of Beer Producer 1933
100% The Dentist Producer 1932
No Score Yet I Surrender Dear Producer Director 1931
No Score Yet One More Chance Director 1931
No Score Yet Caution: Funny Men at Work! Director Actor 1928
No Score Yet His First Flame Producer 1927
No Score Yet Super-Hooper-Dyne Lizzies Producer 1925
No Score Yet His Marriage Wow Producer 1925
No Score Yet Boobs in the Wood Producer 1925
No Score Yet The Luck o' the Foolish Producer 1924
No Score Yet The First 100 Years Producer 1924
No Score Yet His New Mamma Producer 1924
No Score Yet Smile Please Producer 1924
No Score Yet The Extra Girl Producer 1923
No Score Yet These Girls Won't Talk Director 1920
No Score Yet Yankee Doodle in Berlin Producer Screenwriter 1919
No Score Yet Hide and Seek Detectives Screenwriter 1918
No Score Yet Mickey Producer 1918
No Score Yet Teddy at the Throttle Producer 1917
No Score Yet Madcap Ambrose Producer 1916
No Score Yet Mabel & Fatty Director 1916
No Score Yet His Bitter Pill Director 1916
No Score Yet The Desperate Scoundrel Producer 1916
No Score Yet Keystone Comedies, Vol. 1 Director 1915
No Score Yet A Fair Exchange Producer 1914
No Score Yet His Trysting Place Producer 1914
No Score Yet Musical Tramps Producer 1914
No Score Yet Gentlemen of Nerve Producer 1914
No Score Yet Dough and Dynamite Screenwriter Director Producer 1914
No Score Yet The Rival Mashers Producer 1914
No Score Yet The New Janitor Producer 1914
No Score Yet The Rounders Producer 1914
No Score Yet The Good for Nothing Producer 1914
No Score Yet The Masquerader Producer 1914
No Score Yet Recreation Producer 1914
No Score Yet The Face on the Bar Room Floor Producer 1914
No Score Yet The Property Man (Charlie on the Boards ) (Getting His Goat ) (Hits of the Past) Man in Audience Producer 1914
No Score Yet Mabel's Married Life Producer 1914
No Score Yet Mabel's Busy Day Actor Producer 1914
No Score Yet The Knockout Producer Spectator Director 1914
No Score Yet Laughing Gas Producer 1914
No Score Yet Her Friend the Bandit Producer 1914
No Score Yet The Fatal Mallet Rival Suitor Screenwriter Producer Director 1914
No Score Yet A Busy Day Producer 1914
No Score Yet Caught in the Rain Producer 1914
No Score Yet Caught in a Cabaret Producer 1914
No Score Yet Twenty Minutes of Love Producer 1914
No Score Yet Mabel at the Wheel Director Rube/Newsman Producer Screenwriter 1914
No Score Yet Cruel, Cruel Love Director Producer 1914
No Score Yet His Favorite Pastime Producer 1914
No Score Yet Tango Tangles Director Screenwriter Producer 1914
No Score Yet A Film Johnnie Producer Himself 1914
No Score Yet Between Showers Producer 1914
No Score Yet Mabel's Strange Predicament Director Producer 1914
No Score Yet Kid Auto Races at Venice Producer 1914
No Score Yet Making a Living Producer 1914
83% Tillie's Punctured Romance Actor Producer 1914
No Score Yet Chaplin at Keystone Studios Director 1914
No Score Yet A Muddy Romance (A Mud Bath)(Muddled in Mud) Director 1913
No Score Yet Rivals Director Actor 1912
No Score Yet Caught with the Goods Director Actor 1911
No Score Yet The Lonedale Operator Screenwriter 1911
No Score Yet What the Daisy Said Actor 1910
No Score Yet A Corner in Wheat Actor 1909
No Score Yet Where the Breakers Roar Actor 1908
No Score Yet Hearts And Flowers Screenwriter

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