New Book Harry Langdon: King of Silent Comedy Out April 5

Post news stories and home video release announcements here.
  • Author
  • Message
Offline
User avatar

Lonesome Luke

  • Posts: 89
  • Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2011 7:12 pm
  • Location: Montreal

New Book Harry Langdon: King of Silent Comedy Out April 5

PostMon Feb 13, 2017 10:57 am

Has anybody heard anything about this? It's by Gabriella Oldham, Mabel Langdon, with a foreword by Harry Langdon Jr.

Image

https://www.amazon.com/Harry-Langdon-Si ... ngdon+book
Offline
User avatar

R. Cat

  • Posts: 182
  • Joined: Thu Oct 02, 2014 11:34 pm
  • Location: The Nearest Pub

Re: New Book Harry Langdon: King of Silent Comedy Out April

PostMon Feb 13, 2017 1:43 pm

Lonesome Luke wrote:Has anybody heard anything about this? It's by Gabriella Oldham, Mabel Langdon, with a foreword by Harry Langdon Jr.

https://www.amazon.com/Harry-Langdon-Si ... ngdon+book"


Looks like an interesting read, ...although I'm of two minds about the title. There seems to be a word or letter missing to provide the author's context. If the implication is "A" King of Silent Comedy then I'd feel much more comfortable with the title. But if the implication is "The" King of Silent Comedy then barring a more persuasive argument I remain unconvinced that there aren't more suitable contenders for that throne. Given his descendent's involvement, the embellishment of his stature is entirely understandable, but as jurors in the court of public opinion we'll be the final arbiters.

Harry Langdon certainly deserves more attention and evaluation. That said, his legacy as a star and auteur of silent feature film comedy seems brief and inconclusive. Harry's wielding of control over his films may have contributed to the perception of his genius, but the fact that he achieved control and then abruptly lost it in a fairly short span of time suggests faults or perceived faults in his approach to filmmaking.

Having watched several of his films I'm inclined to praise his moments of genius while casting a more critical eye on his excesses and misfires. This book should provide a compelling examination of his career achievements and ...if approached fairly... his missed opportunities. It would also be interesting if the author compared and contrasted his work with that of other acknowledged geniuses of silent comedy.

Not trying to be contrary here ...this is a book I fully intend to buy..., but the title seems presumptive from the outset, with an incredibly high burdon of proof.
Offline
User avatar

Lonesome Luke

  • Posts: 89
  • Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2011 7:12 pm
  • Location: Montreal

Re: New Book Harry Langdon: King of Silent Comedy Out April

PostMon Feb 13, 2017 6:09 pm

R. Cat wrote:Looks like an interesting read, ...although I'm of two minds about the title. There seems to be a word or letter missing to provide the author's context. If the implication is "A" King of Silent Comedy then I'd feel much more comfortable with the title. But if the implication is "The" King of Silent Comedy then barring a more persuasive argument I remain unconvinced that there aren't more suitable contenders for that throne. Given his descendent's involvement, the embellishment of his stature is entirely understandable, but as jurors in the court of public opinion we'll be the final arbiters.

Harry Langdon certainly deserves more attention and evaluation. That said, his legacy as a star and auteur of silent feature film comedy seems brief and inconclusive. Harry's wielding of control over his films may have contributed to the perception of his genius, but the fact that he achieved control and then abruptly lost it in a fairly short span of time suggests faults or perceived faults in his approach to filmmaking.

Having watched several of his films I'm inclined to praise his moments of genius while casting a more critical eye on his excesses and misfires. This book should provide a compelling examination of his career achievements and ...if approached fairly... his missed opportunities. It would also be interesting if the author compared and contrasted his work with that of other acknowledged geniuses of silent comedy.

Not trying to be contrary here ...this is a book I fully intend to buy..., but the title seems presumptive from the outset, with an incredibly high burdon of proof.

If it was a book about, say, Charley Chase, with that title, I would have had that same reaction, but I like Harry Langdon more that Charley Chase (but not necessarily more than Keaton or Lloyd, so it doesn't bother me).
Offline
User avatar

R. Cat

  • Posts: 182
  • Joined: Thu Oct 02, 2014 11:34 pm
  • Location: The Nearest Pub

Re: New Book Harry Langdon: King of Silent Comedy Out April

PostTue Feb 14, 2017 2:17 am

Lonesome Luke wrote:If it was a book about, say, Charley Chase, with that title, I would have had that same reaction, but I like Harry Langdon more that Charley Chase (but not necessarily more than Keaton or Lloyd, so it doesn't bother me).


Yeah, you make a good point. I'm a huge Lloyd fan, followed by Keaton and then Chaplin, which is probably the reverse of most folk's order of preference. Langdon has always been a bit less accessible for me than the others even though I do appreciate his brilliance. Honestly, it just seems awkward calling any of the great silent comedians king as they were all creative geniuses.
Offline
User avatar

Jim Roots

  • Posts: 2322
  • Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2008 2:45 pm
  • Location: Ottawa, ON

Re: New Book Harry Langdon: King of Silent Comedy Out April

PostTue Feb 14, 2017 6:49 am

Considering how thoroughly Harter and Hayde covered Langdon's life and career in Little Elf just five years ago, and were supplemented by the home artifacts published by Brian Anthony last year, not to mention Jim Neibaur's study of the films four years ago, I'm a little mystified as to what "new" material this latest book could provide us.

Nonetheless, as a major Langdon fan, I'll spring for it.

Jim
Offline
User avatar

Lonesome Luke

  • Posts: 89
  • Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2011 7:12 pm
  • Location: Montreal

Re: New Book Harry Langdon: King of Silent Comedy Out April

PostWed Feb 15, 2017 5:18 pm

Jim Roots wrote:Considering how thoroughly Harter and Hayde covered Langdon's life and career in Little Elf just five years ago, and were supplemented by the home artifacts published by Brian Anthony last year, not to mention Jim Neibaur's study of the films four years ago, I'm a little mystified as to what "new" material this latest book could provide us.

Nonetheless, as a major Langdon fan, I'll spring for it.

Me too.

Return to Silent News

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests