SMILEAGE GUARANTEED: PAST HUMOR, PRESENT LAUGHTER
MUSINGS ON THE COMEDY FILM INDUSTRY 1910-1945
VOLUME ONE: HAL ROACH (2013)
Description: In this first volume of a proposed trilogy on the Comedy Film Industry, Film Historian Richard M. Roberts examines the legendary “Lot Of Fun” belonging to Producer Hal Roach, not through the Series and Comedians that he made immortal like Laurel and Hardy, Harold Lloyd, or the Our Gang Comedies, but through all of the lesser-known comedians who plied their trade at the Studio: Charley Chase, Max Davidson, Snub Pollard, Eddie Boland, and some major comedians who made temporary stops on the Culver City Lot in the ups and downs of their careers like Harry Langdon and Mabel Normand, among others. Calling this book “the World’s Longest Footnote”, Roberts uncovers new insight into the Work of perhaps the most lasting of the Silent and Sound Film Comedy Producers, and culminates the Book with the most comprehensive Hal Roach Filmography ever published.
About the Author: RICHARD M. ROBERTS is an internationally-known Film Historian, Collector, Writer, Lecturer, and Filmmaker who has contributed articles to such periodicals as CLASSIC IMAGES, GRIFFITHIANA, PAST TIMES, PRIVATE SCREENINGS, MOVIE COLLECTORS WORLD, and NEW TIMES WEEKLY. A Specialist on Film Comedy, and an expert on Vintage Film in general, he has been a guiding hand in the rescue and preservation of a number of rare films, and has been involved in two television series on Silent Comedy: as Host and Writer of the syndicated Just for Laughs show, and as Writer and Historical Consultant of American Public Television's Slaphappy, supplying both programs with film footage from his sizeable personal collection. He also appeared on an episode of PBS’s HISTORY DETECTIVES where he identified an unknown Jack Hoxie film, and with little pride admits to have been one of the talking heads on TCMs less-than-impressive MOGULS AND MOVIESTARS series. He is a Consultant to the UCLA Film and Television Archive, the British Film Institute, The Library of Congress, the Netherlands Film Archive, the National Association of Cinephiles, and The George Eastman House. His commentary tracks appear on Laughsmith Entertainment’s THE FORGOTTEN FILMS OF ROSCOE “FATTY “ ARBUCKLE, and INDUSTRIAL STRENGTH KEATON (both projects also utilized prints from his collection) The HAMMER NOIR, FORGOTTEN NOIR, SHOWTIME USA and SILENT DISCOVERIES collections from VCI/Kit Parker Films as well as the collection WEISS-O-RAMA from VCI which he co-produced with Kit Parker, and the HARRY LANGDON-LOST AND FOUND and BECOMING CHARLEY CHASE collections from AllDay Entertainment. As a Historian Collector, and Consultant, over the years he has added before-unknown titles to the Filmographies of Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, and John Wayne among others. His Book, PAST HUMOR, PRESENT LAUGHTER: THE COMEDY FILM INDUSTRY 1910-1945, VOLUME ONE (of a projected three) is finally out if you are reading this and he is busily working on Volume Two.