MABEL NORMAND at the HAL ROACH STUDIOS: RAGGEDY ROSE and THE NICKEL HOPPER
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(Aug 29, 2016)
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MABEL NORMAND AT THE HAL ROACH STUDIOS: THE 1926 "SPECIALS"
The spirited personality and charm of silent comedienne Mabel Normand and her work in numerous early Mack Sennett comedies is legendary. After a successful run of features for Samuel Goldwyn (and with a handful for Sennett) she took a three year hiatus from films. Towards the end of
Normand's short 35 years on earth, she returned to the screen in five starring vehicles for Hal Roach - these were to be her last appearances before a camera.
The first two of these five comedies were produced and released in late 1926 and were of unusual length for shorts (RAGGEDY ROSE is a five-reeler while THE NICKEL-HOPPER is three reels.) Displaying an interesting mix of soulfulness and slapstick, it is these Mabel Normand "specials" that are featured on this DVD.
RAGGEDY ROSE (1926) The bedraggled Raggedy Rose (Mabel) has the misfortune of working for penny-pinching junk dealer, Moe Ginsberg (Max Davidson). A chance encounter with a wealthy playboy (Carl Miller) sets her dreaming of being a grand lady to his prince charming - all the while sorting through mountains of old clothes on Poverty Row. Her dreaming leads to her dismissal. Forlorn and hungry - she meets with an accident and actually ends up convalescing in the posh home of the man of her dreams. But if she's to end up with him, she'll have to overcome his scheming fiance (Anita Garvin) and his loony butler (James Finlayson). Directed by Richard Wallace in collaboration with Stan Laurel!
THE NICKEL-HOPPER (1926) Overworked Paddy (Mabel) toils as a babysitter by day and a taxi dancer by night. Her drab life is forever complicated by the mashers she encounters at the dance hall (a swarthy Boris Karloff appears as a rather creepy one!) and her lazy and overbearing father (Michael Visaroff) who scares away any prospective suitors. Oliver Hardy appears as a crazed drummer in the dance hall band and James Finlayson as a rattled neighbor. Stan Laurel co-wrote the story and gags. Directed by F. Richard Jones.
Also Included is the Mack Sennett directed Biograph subject, A DASH THROUGH THE CLOUDS (1912) which features one of Miss Normand's most beguiling early appearances.
Original music scores composed and performed by Ben Model.
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