Alice Howell

Open, general discussion of silent films, personalities and history.
Danny
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Alice Howell

Unread post by Danny » Sun Jan 11, 2009 9:55 am

The recent Posts about female comedians made me think of Alice Howell. I have only seen one film of hers, "Cinderella Cinders" (1920). Is that the only one that exists? From what I read about her, she was the grandmother of what director? George Stevens? I think. Anyway, she is fun to watch and reminds me of the kind of physical comedienne that Lucille Ball became many years later. If anyone knows anything more about her or what other of her films survive, please let us know.

Danny

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Mike Gebert
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Unread post by Mike Gebert » Sun Jan 11, 2009 10:04 am

One Wet Night is on the Slapstick Encyclopedia set.
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Unread post by boblipton » Sun Jan 11, 2009 10:07 am

She shows up in bit parts in about a dozen Keystones in 1914 and 1915. She is supposed to be in THE SHEIK IN HOLLYWOOD (1923), although I haven't spotted her, ONE WET NIGHT (1924) and UNDER A SPELL (1925), all of which I have seen.

Bob
Life's too short to sit on our rears watching other people's work.
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Tommie Hicks
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Unread post by Tommie Hicks » Sun Jan 11, 2009 3:03 pm

OH DOCTOR (1918) (fragment) Resides at the LOC.

She was the mother-in-law of George Stevens and the grandmother of George Stevens, Jr.

Howell maven Steve Massa will likely come by and give us more titles and info.

Howell is more than funny, she has a very unique style. Stan Laurel considered her the funniest film comedienne.

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silentfilm
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Unread post by silentfilm » Sun Jan 11, 2009 4:45 pm

Blackhawk used to sell Cinderella Cinders (1920) on 8mm and 16mm, One Wet Night (1924) on the 8mm formats only, and Under a Spell (1925) in all formats.

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Unread post by Steve Massa » Sun Jan 11, 2009 6:49 pm

Hi Everyone
I've been researching Alice for about a decade, and wrote a profile and filmography for her in SLAPSTICK #4, then expanded it for the article ALICE HOWELL AND GALE HENRY: QUEENS OF ECCENTRIC COMEDY which appeared in GRIFFITHIANA #73/74.

Sadly there's only a handful of her films extant. Most of them are in archives, so there's even fewer that are in any kind of general circulation. Probably the easiest to see are CINDERELLA CINDERS ('20), ONE WET NIGHT ('24), and a few of her Keystone appearances such as LAUGHING GAS ('14) and CURSED BY HIS BEAUTY ('14).

Here's a list of her titles that I know exist:

Keystone (ALL 1914)
CAUGHT IN A CABARET
CAUGHT IN THE RAIN
THE KNOCKOUT
LAUGHING GAS
MABEL'S MARRIED LIFE (not as Mack Swain's wife, but as a woman who shows up in the hall near the end)
LOVERS LUCK
HELLO MABEL
SHOT IN THE EXCITEMENT
HE LOVED THE LADIES
CURSED BY HIS BEAUTY
TILLIE'S PUNCTURED ROMANCE

L-Ko Comedies
THEIR LAST HAUL ('15)
A STOOL PIDGEON'S REVENGE ('15)
UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT ('15)
SILK HOSE AND HIGH PRESSURE ('15)
SIN ON THE SABBATH ('15)

Century Comedies
NEPTUNE'S NAUGHTY DAUGHTER ('17)
OH, BABY! ('17)
IN DUTCH ('18)
HEY, DOCTOR! ('18)
BEHIND THE FRONT ('19)

Reelcraft Comedies
CINDERELLA CINDERS ('20)
DISTILLED LOVE ('20)
LUNATICS IN PLOITICS ('20)

Universal Comedies
ONE WET NIGHT ('24)
THAT'S THE SPIRIT ('24)
UNDER A SPELL ('24)

Fox Imperial Comedies
MADAME DYNAMITE ('26)


She didn't appear in THE SHEIK OF HOLLYWOOD (that was Gale Henry & Victor Potel), but she did appear in others of that series such as THE ELITE OF HOLLYWOOD ('23) and THE BISHOP OF HOLLYWOOD ('24).

Recently I met her grandson George Stevens Jr. and talked with him about Alice. His mother, the former Yvonne Howell, is still alive at 104. She appeared in comedies shorts on her own starting in the mid 1920s for Century and Joe Rock's Standard Comedies, plus was the leading lady in the lost Charley Bowers short HOP OFF ('28). Anyway I'm hoping to get some info about Yvonne's career and about Alice's pre-movie stage work.

Steve

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Jim Roots
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Unread post by Jim Roots » Mon Jan 12, 2009 6:02 am

Steve Massa wrote: Recently I met her grandson George Stevens Jr. and talked with him about Alice. His mother, the former Yvonne Howell, is still alive at 104. She appeared in comedies shorts on her own starting in the mid 1920s for Century and Joe Rock's Standard Comedies, plus was the leading lady in the lost Charley Bowers short HOP OFF ('28). Anyway I'm hoping to get some info about Yvonne's career and about Alice's pre-movie stage work.

Steve
So here's another name to add to the very short list of surviving veterans of the silent era -- Yvonne Howell. Has anyone recorded her memories, or is it too late?

Jim

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Unread post by salus » Fri Jul 09, 2010 6:22 pm

Has anybody contacted Baby Marie Osbourne who lives in San Clemente, California for her memories of the silent film era. She may have been the first major film star beginning in 1914 till 1919 and she hung around Hollywood in various jobs till 1976. I believe she would have a wealth of memories. Her big film was Little Mary Sunshine in 1916. Shes 98 as of 2009 and her first film was 96 years ago. WOW!!!

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Unread post by salus » Fri Jul 09, 2010 6:23 pm

.............i meant first major child film star

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Unread post by JFK » Mon Jan 26, 2015 8:55 pm

FILM FUN JUNE 1916 PHOTOPLAY AUGUST 1917 UNIVERSAL WEEKLY 11/15/1924

CLICK FOR LARGER READABLE VERSIONS
ImageImageImage
Last edited by JFK on Fri Apr 27, 2018 8:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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silentfilm
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Re:

Unread post by silentfilm » Mon Jan 26, 2015 11:08 pm

silentfilm wrote:Blackhawk used to sell Cinderella Cinders (1920) on 8mm and 16mm, One Wet Night (1924) on the 8mm formats only, and Under a Spell (1925) in all formats.
I won a 16mm print of One Wet Night on eBay recently, so they did sell it in that format also.

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Re: Alice Howell

Unread post by Pasquale Ventura » Thu Jan 29, 2015 8:02 pm

UNDER A SPELL is on this DVD-R compilation:

http://www.oldies.com/product-view/7341D.html" target="_blank

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Alice Howell

Unread post by JFK » Fri Apr 27, 2018 9:21 pm

Image
AS THE ABOVE TRADE AD SUGGESTS, THE

The ALICE HOWELL DVD Kickstarter
STRETCH GOAL HAS BEEN REACHED.
WHILE FOLKS SHOULD CONTINUE TO BACK THE PROJECT IN ITS REMAINING (11) DAYS,
WOULDN'T IT BE NICE IF THE OTHER SCATTERED, NON-KEYSTONE, HOWELL TITLES
GOT MOOSHED INTO THEIR OWN 2 DISC SET ? WITH FAMILY FRIEND/MEMBER INTERVIEWS ?

(Full disclosure- the first projected silent films I saw were CINDERELLA CINDERS and Norma's THE SOCIAL SECRETARY)

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Tommie Hicks
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Re: Alice Howell

Unread post by Tommie Hicks » Fri Apr 27, 2018 9:42 pm

A couple of weeks ago I had to trash my 16mm print of Chaplin's LAUGHING GAS because it went vinegar. It was doubly disappointing because it was the only 16mm I had Alice on.

What amazes me about Alice is that she was a comedian of the first order and she walked away from it! Could you imagine Alice working at Roach (Hardy would be delighted with that), or maybe playing Edgar Kennedy's wife or mother-in-law at RKO? When I was a teenager I came across an old magazine at the Idaho Falls Public Library. It mentioned Alice and the line I remember was "When Alice's rents out grossed her box office, she retired from films and went into real estate full time."

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Re: Alice Howell

Unread post by Steve Massa » Tue May 01, 2018 11:17 am

Her daughter Yvonne said that her career didn't matter that much to her. What she really cared about was buying California real estate.

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