Series
Pathfinders
Episode Number
7
Episode
Mack Sennett: A Riot of Disorder
Producing Organization
National Educational Television and Radio Center
Contributing Organization
Library of Congress (Washington, District of Columbia)
AAPB ID
cpb-aacip/512-bz6154fm70
NOLA Code
PAFI
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Description
Episode Description
This episode takes place in Hollywood where a singularly creative man named Mack Sennett added an important chapter to America's cultural heritage early in the present century. Sennett, the mastermind of slapstick silent film comedy and the discoverer of a memorable assemblage of talent - Charlie Chaplin, Mabel Normand, Harold Lloyd, Buster Keaton, Ben Turpan, Gloria Swanson, WC Fields, Carole Lombard, a wild pack of anonymous Keystone Cops, and many others - contributed to motion pictures a new vision of life. The mad tempo, the incredible stunts, the absurd situations emanating on celluloid from the Keystone Studios satirized the human condition in the most anarchical and - at the same time, the most good-natured - manner. A pie in the face - properly delivered of course - tickled America's funny bone every time in those days. With the coming of the "talkies" the motion picture audiences began to turn from slapstick in order to play with their fascinating new toy. But while silent films were the national rage and fast-moving comedy was in favor, Mack Sennett was the undisputed king of Hollywood, and from his throne he set a significant and memorable style in American entertainment. After a nostalgic trip back to the old comedies by way of film clips and stills, the episode proceeds to the Motion Picture Country House in Woodland Hills, near Los Angeles, a beautiful home and hospital maintained by the film industry for its own. It was there that Mack Sennett died, penniless, in 1958, and it was there that Benjamin DeMott meets with some of the Keystone comedy king's company: Chester Conklin, once a Keystone Cop; Del Lord, by reputation Sennett's fastest and surely his most resourceful director - a man whose credits include the amazing fact that, before becoming a director, he survived years of work as a stunt man without so much as a skinned knuckle; Katherine McGuire and Andy Clyde, two key Sennett comic performers. The group discuss Sennett's character, his disposition as a boss and artist, his method of putting together a film; the use of trick photography; the cost of movie making in the Sennett era; the downfall of the Keystone Studios due to the advent of talkies, longer feature films, the animated cartoon, the 1929 stock market crash, and Sennett's own inability, later in his career, to make decisions on scripts. Then after some clips of Sennett's films "Steam Gauge" and "Lizzies of the Field," and a visit to Grauman's , where the king of comedy spent his last years, the episode ends with a lantern slide from the good old days of silent movie houses; "The Concludes The Entire Performance. Those Having Seen It Kindly Make Room For Others." (Description adapted from documents in the NET Microfiche)
Other Description
PATHFINDERS looks at the careers of thirteen prominent Americans whose lives span three centuries. Each is a dominant figure in his field, ranging from the Colonial philosopher and statesman Benjamin Franklin to the famed but controversial architect Frank Lloyd Wright. In this series, host Benjamin DeMott was on location with videotape crews, interviewing persons who were either associated with the highlighted personality or who are disciples or critics of the featured subject. PATHFINDERS is a 1964 production of National Educational Television. NET produced this series with the facilities of Teletape Productions. The 13 half-hour episodes that comprise the series were originally recorded on videotape. (Description adapted from documents in the NET Microfiche)
Broadcast Date
1964-00-00
Broadcast Date
1969-01-12
Asset type
Episode
Topics
Biography
Media type
Moving Image
Duration
00:30:58
Embed Code
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Credits
Assistant Producer: Black, Joy
Assistant Producer: Burke, Mark
Director: Smith, Jeremy P.
Executive Producer: Dunlap, Richard, 1923-2004
Guest: McGuire, Katherine
Guest: Lord, Del
Guest: Conklin, Chester
Guest: Clyde, Andy
Host: Demott, Benjamin
Producing Organization: National Educational Television and Radio Center
Unit Producer: Hingers, Edward J.
Writer: Morgenstern, Dan
AAPB Contributor Holdings
Library of Congress
Identifier: 2199438-1 (MAVIS Item ID)
Format: 2 inch videotape
Generation: Master
Color: B&W
Library of Congress
Identifier: 2199438-2 (MAVIS Item ID)
Format: 1 inch videotape: SMPTE Type C
Generation: Master
Color: B&W
Library of Congress
Identifier: 2199438-3 (MAVIS Item ID)
Format: U-matic
Generation: Copy: Access
Color: B&W
Library of Congress
Identifier: 2199438-4 (MAVIS Item ID)
Generation: Master
Library of Congress
Identifier: 2199438-5 (MAVIS Item ID)
Generation: Copy: Access
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Citations
Chicago: “Pathfinders; 7; Mack Sennett: A Riot of Disorder,” 1964-00-00, Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed October 26, 2021, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-512-bz6154fm70.
MLA: “Pathfinders; 7; Mack Sennett: A Riot of Disorder.” 1964-00-00. Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. October 26, 2021. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-512-bz6154fm70>.
APA: Pathfinders; 7; Mack Sennett: A Riot of Disorder. Boston, MA: Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-512-bz6154fm70