Two early comedies directed by Mack Sennett, The Baron and The Diving Girl, feature performers (Mabel Normand, Fred Mace) and frantic slapstick gags that would soon become identified with Sennett’s own production company, Keystone. After Sennett left the studio, Griffith appointed stock company member Dell Henderson as Biograph’s principal comedy director; this selection of three shorts (all of which lack intertitles) ranges from the unbridled burlesque of Faust and the Lily to the (relatively) restrained situation comedy of Blame the Wife. A Natural Born Gambler is Bert Williams’s own adaption of the poker game pantomime he made famous onstage. Piano accompaniment by Ben Model (September 9), Donald Sosin (September 18).
Program approx. 85 min.
The Baron. 1911. USA. Directed by Mack Sennett.
The Diving Girl. 1911. USA. Directed by Mack Sennett.
Faust and the Lily [incomplete]. 1913. USA. Directed by Dell Henderson.
Bertha, the Button-hole Maker. 1914. USA. Directed by Dell Henderson.
Blame the Wife [incomplete]. 1913. USA. Directed by Dell Henderson.
A Natural Born Gambler. 1916. USA. Directed by Bert Williams.