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The Silent Films of Harry Langdon (1923-1928)

James L. Neibaur

Harry Langdon was a silent screen comedian unlike any other. Slower in pace, more studied in movement, and quirkier in nature, Langdon challenged the comic norm by offering comedies that were frequently edgy and often surreal. After a successful run of short comedies with Mack Sennett, Langdon became his own producer at First National Pictures, making such features as Tramp Tramp Tramp, The Strong Man, and Long Pants before becoming his own director for Three's a Crowd, The Chaser, and Heart Trouble.

The Silent Films of Harry Langdon (1923-1928), film historian James Neibaur examines Langdon's strange, fascinating work during the silent era, when he made landmark films that were often ahead of their time. Extensively reviewing the comedian's silent screen work film by film, Neibaur makes the case that Langdon should be accorded the same lofty status as his contemporaries: Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton. With fascinating insights into the work of an under-appreciated artist, this book will be of interest to both fans and scholars of silent cinema.
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Scarecrow Press
Pages: 248Size: 6 1/4 x 9 1/4
978-0-8108-8530-1 • Hardback • July 2012 • $69.00 • (£47.95)
978-0-8108-8531-8 • eBook • July 2012 • $65.00 • (£44.95)
James L. Neibaur is a film historian and educator who has written several books on film, including The Fall of Buster Keaton (2010) and Early Charlie Chaplin (2011), both published by Scarecrow Press.
Harry Langdon before the Movies
The Harry Langdon Silent Films
The Sol Lesser Productions
Langdon Joins Sennett
Smile Please
Picking Peaches
Shanghaied Lovers
Flickering Youth
The Cat’s Meow
His New Mama
The First 100 Years
The Luck O’The Foolish
The Hansom Cabman
The Sea Squawk
All Night Long
Feet of Mud
Boobs in the Wood
His Marriage Vow
Plain Clothes
Remember When
His First Flame
Lucky Stars
There He Goes
Soldier Man
Saturday Afternoon
Langdon Moves to First National
Tramp Tramp Tramp
The Strong Man
Long Pants
Three’s a Crowd
The Chaser
Heart Trouble
The Harry Langdon Talkies
About the Author
Neibaur’s workman-like study concentrates on the silents (most of which are available on DVD), discussing them in the order they were made...so we can “better appreciate the work of a comedian who dared to be different… to take chances, and to retain his artistic vision without regard for commercial success.” He provides brief details of the comic’s life, and an overview of his “hit-and-miss” talkies.

[The book does] an excellent job of charting the progression of the film comics’ unique style. The Silent Films of Harry Langdon (1923-1928) provides an opportunity for fans of silent comedy cinema to learn more.