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Who is Charley Bowers? The inventor of the no-slipping banana skin, unbreakable eggs, and cat-pushing trees! At the end of the 1920s, this unknown genius created and directed a score of cinematic burlesques filled with surrealist imagination, crammed with fantastic sights and animated puppets, among which the most delicious include Egged On, Fatal Footstep and Now You Tell One. His body of work is unique, though the astonishing course his career took has been chronicled by few and left him as one of the more enigmatic figures of American cinema. After a childhood spent with the circus, he became interested in animated drawing, adapting comic strips for the cinema including the Mutt and Jeff series created by Bud Fisher.
Advances in animation which developed during this period explain the astonishing illusions which emerged in these comedic shorts. In the 1930s he directed It's a Bird, his first sound film. Bowers returned to animation for advertising films, in particular the first short film by Joseph Losey, the oil-commissioned Pete Roleum and His Cousins, while also continuing his puppet films. He died in 1946, completely forgotten.
To this day, 11 of the 20 short comedies are still considered lost. At the end of the 1960s, vault discoveries provided more of his story and three of the exhumed films were shown in 1976 at the Annecy Animated Film Festival, where they were met with enthusiasm. After 1992, worldwide research retrieved surviving prints of the missing films with requests to the world's notable cinema collectors, who allowed access to their original elements. For the first time this extraordinary collection assembles the complete films of Charley Bowers which survive today, magnificently restored from the original elements with the collaboration of ten cinema societies.
Wow! This guy is amazing! Animated objects and live character sequences melded together to warp your mind into a surrealistic dream. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Captain Spanky
This is great stuff. I bought it back in 2004 when the price was what you would expect....reasonable. My kids and I have watched this many times. Read morePublished on March 12, 2013 by Somedaze.com Fan
In the documentary Looking for Charlie Bowers, film archaeologist Raymond Borde recollects buying a box of silent film reels marked "Bricolo" from a gypsy. Read morePublished on September 23, 2010 by THE BLUEMAHLER
I saw Bower's films at the Art Institute in Chicago in the 80's, was astonished at his flair for special effects and contraptions design. Read morePublished on May 31, 2007 by Hal A. Lupinek
A friend who despises silent films watched this and was amazed. He said, "I can't believe that they were doing those kind of special effects back then. Read morePublished on February 23, 2007 by Ingles
While wandering the local big box store's section of soulless, bland movie collections, this little gem caught my eye. Read morePublished on August 3, 2006 by Mark Pollock
I was impressed by the technical production innovations. the cleverness of the comedy and the humanity. Read morePublished on March 15, 2006 by Virginian
When I first heard about this set, I thought, "Is that the fake guy from Peter Jackson's Forgotten Silver? Read morePublished on December 4, 2005 by Samantha Glasser
In the 1920s a cartoonist named Charles K. Bowers produced and starred in a series of live-action comedy shorts that incorporated slapstick with puppet animation and trick camera... Read morePublished on November 18, 2005 by yaremar