John Bunny - Film's First King of Comedy
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(Nov 01, 2017)
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John Bunny is a documentary by Tony Susnick about the movies first comedy superstar. Before there was a Hollywood, sound movies and Charlie Chaplin, Bunny was the first comic superstar to be known by name.
Forgotten by generations, John Bunny is starting to be recognized. Each year the Librarian of Congress names 25 films to the National Film Registry and are selected because of their enduring significance to American culture and says “actor John Bunny merits significant historical importance as the American film industry’s earliest comic superstar.” The DVD also includes 4 rare John Bunny films scored by MOMA's Ben Model.
"John Bunny: Film’s First King of Comedy is another noteworthy documentary about the largely-forgotten man who can rightly claim the title Tony Susnick has given him in his documentary, from . I knew of Bunny but not much about him until I watched this 41-minute film and the four accompanying short subjects in which he stars (all of them preserved by the Library of Congress). Bunny was a rotund man with a bulbous nose who might have sprung from the illustrations in a Charles Dickens novel; indeed, he starred in an adaptation of Dickens’ Pickwick Papers before his untimely death in 1915. One of Susnick’s chief sources is silent-comedy scholar Sam Gill, who not only appears in the documentary (along with Steve Massa) but holds forth for another fascinating half-hour." - Leonard Maltin
Narrated by Mark "Big Poppa" Stampley. Voice of John Bunny: Mark Sawyer Dailey. Features interviews with historians Steve Massa, Sam Gill and Ben Model.
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