When Comedy Was King Reviews

  • Nov 21, 2008

    Though it's simply a compilation of short silent comedy bits from the 1910s and 1920s -- it is enormous fun. As DVD has given silent cinema short shrift, these are very welcome to see, as they are not available anywhere else. Compiled by historian Robert Youngson, there are great films with Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton (being chased by an entire police department), Snub Pollard (as a wacky inventor in a house that Tim Burton ripped off of for Pee Wee's Big Adventure), Gloria Swanson tied up on a train track by Wallace Beery, The Keystone Kops (mass destruction of property), Fatty Arbuckle (who is great!) and Laurel & Hardy (destroying a house a la Norman McLaren's Neighbours), among others. A voice over gives a running commentary about the thin plots (the intertitles have been removed) which, though really hokey at times, also gives a lot of historical context. Very rare, and lots of fun.

    Though it's simply a compilation of short silent comedy bits from the 1910s and 1920s -- it is enormous fun. As DVD has given silent cinema short shrift, these are very welcome to see, as they are not available anywhere else. Compiled by historian Robert Youngson, there are great films with Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton (being chased by an entire police department), Snub Pollard (as a wacky inventor in a house that Tim Burton ripped off of for Pee Wee's Big Adventure), Gloria Swanson tied up on a train track by Wallace Beery, The Keystone Kops (mass destruction of property), Fatty Arbuckle (who is great!) and Laurel & Hardy (destroying a house a la Norman McLaren's Neighbours), among others. A voice over gives a running commentary about the thin plots (the intertitles have been removed) which, though really hokey at times, also gives a lot of historical context. Very rare, and lots of fun.