Mack Sennett
producer, actor, director, screenwriter, presenter, composer, cinematographer
Mack Sennett
Mack Sennett was a Canadian-born American director and was known as the innovator of slapstick comedy in film. During his lifetime he was known at times as the "King of Comedy". His short "Wrestling Swordfish" was awarded the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film in 1932 and he earned an Academy Honorary Award in 1937.
Biography
Mack Sennett's personal information overview.
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Photo Albums
Popular photos of Mack Sennett
News
News abour Mack Sennett from around the web
Review: Grim and Fischer - B Channel News
Google News - over 5 years
Unlike the seriousness of Bergman's Seventh Seal narrative, this play has the charm of Mack Sennett's silent film comedies. There are sight gags and merry chases which help liven the mood of this play. If this production were developed in the
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Visionary Jabberwocky Founder Helen Lamb Heeded Few Rules - Martha's Vineyard Gazette
Google News - over 5 years
She remained an actress in spirit the rest of her life — reciting the Lewis Carroll poem Jabberwocky during camp musicals with the arm-waving, eye-rolling style of a Mack Sennett villain. (Beth Ainsworth, a Down syndrome camper, would often put on a
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Theatre Review: Mack & Mabel @ Greenwich Theatre - Londonist
Google News - over 5 years
Alex Knox sings out of his skin to deliver a hardnosed, workaholic, no-emotion Mack Sennett, showing huge range and stamina tackling a part that is way beyond his years. He's a dapper lead in the opener, 'Movies were Movies' and 'I Want to Make the
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Outtakes from my 1982 Rolling Stone talk with Spielberg, as the Charles shows 'ET' - Baltimore Sun (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
You see that in the transference of feelings that takes place during the cross-cutting between ET on the loose in the home for the first time and Elliott letting the frogs loose in the classroom, which is kind of Mack Sennett
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Vintage film comedies spotlighted in three-day festival - The Union Leader
Google News - over 5 years
This year's festival pays special tribute to comedy pioneer Mack Sennett's Keystone Studios, with many comedies featuring performers and directors who learned their trade at Keystone. Most Mirthquake film screenings are free; only “Two Arabian Knights”
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The DVD Wrapup: Mars Needs Moms, The Final Destination 3D, The Clinic, Super ... - Movie City News
Google News - over 5 years
If the movie had been shot in black-in-white, it could easily have passed for as homage to Mack Sennett and Hal Roach. Otherwise, it's mostly an inexplicable waste of time for Keitel, Mewes, Jon Polito, Michael Rispoli and Fatty Arbuckle look-alike
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Silent and vulgar tedium - The List
Google News - over 5 years
Ask Mack Sennett, Charlie Chaplin or Buster Keaton. You'd have to dig them up first, but that may be preferable to spending time with the hirsute Doctor Brown. In his silk dressing gown and Victorian smoking hat, Brown is every inch the inept
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Apollo plans screening of classic comedy - Peoria Journal Star
Google News - over 5 years
Mentored by film-comedy pioneers Hal Roach and Mack Sennett, Lloyd soon perfected his stock character, a typical young man somehow capable of overcoming any obstacle set before him. He made dozens of shorts and feature films, such as "Safety Last" and
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'Change-Up' keeps the summer's raunch level high - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Google News - over 5 years
The history of cinema is filled with examples of gross-out comedy, going back to the Mack Sennett era of early silent movies and the Keystone Kops throwing cream pies while actresses Mabel Normand and Norma Talmadge duck. Other practitioners of comic
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Why Change Your Wife? - Chicago Reader (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Swanson, who got her start doing comedy with Mack Sennett, artfully negotiates the wife's liberal U-turns in the second half, and DeMille accentuates the movie's easygoing tone by initiating its final melodramatic twist with a banana peel tossed in the
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Submit this story - Huffington Post
Google News - over 5 years
This year's festival crammed 18 programs into four days at the Castro Theatre without a single screening of a silent film by Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, Harold Lloyd, Mack Sennett, or Laurel & Hardy. In addition to works from Hollywood studios (and
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Scariest Movies Ever - Screen Junkies
Google News - over 5 years
The movie stars Arthur Johnson, Mary Pickford, Marion Leonard, Mack Sennett and Henry Walthall. This movie is a play on Poe's "Cask of Amontillado." A king seals his unfaithful girlfriend and her lover in a vault while they are having sex
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'Paul Merton's Birth of Hollywood' Starts in Fort Lee - Patch.com
Google News - over 5 years
These particular Brits are all fans of early American cinema, and they were thrilled to retrace the steps of Mack Sennett and Mabel Normand, DW Griffith, Mary Pickford, Roscoe Arbuckle, Oscar Micheaux and Alice Guy Blache right here on the streets of
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Pie a la Murdoch: The iconoclastic creamers - Philadelphia Inquirer
Google News - over 5 years
How did a silly stunt, born in vaudeville, raised to a sacrament in the silent films of Mack Sennett and Charlie Chaplin, get into the House of Commons? How did pie-throwing become political protest? The story of pie (in the face) is about a century
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Rupert Murdoch and Jonnie Marbles: The latest, but not the greatest, in pieing ... - Entertainment Weekly
Google News - over 5 years
A pie in the face may have its origins in the slapstick films of Mack Sennett, Laurel & Hardy, and the Three Stooges, and reached its zenith in the hands of the late Soupy Sales. But in addition to being a celebratory tradition for winning baseball
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Pie in the Face at the Movies - New Yorker (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
It's worth noting that the tradition of the pie-in-the-face is cinematic—a Mack Sennett staple, a Charlie Chaplin spectacle, a Three Stooges riot, a cartoon custom—and that the most significant cinematic target of an off-screen pieing was, of course,
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Theater review: 'The Merry Wives of Windsor' in Griffith Park - Los Angeles Times
Google News - over 5 years
The spirits of Joseph Papp and Mack Sennett currently hover above Griffith Park, where "The Merry Wives of Windsor" goes for knockabout broke. Independent Shakespeare Company launches its seventh season of free outdoor productions with a corker of a
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Mack Sennett
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 1960
    Age 80
    Mack Sennett died on November 5, 1960 in Woodland Hills, California, aged 80, and was interred in the Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California.
    More Details Hide Details For his contribution to the motion picture industry, Sennett was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6712 Hollywood Blvd. He was also inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame in 2014. A line in a Henry Kuttner science fiction short story "Piggy Bank" reads "Within seconds the scene resembled a Mack Sennett pie-throwing comedy." Henry Mancini's score for the 1963 film The Pink Panther, the original entry in the series, contains a segment called "Shades of Sennett". It is played on a silent film era style "barrel house" piano, and accompanies a climactic scene in which the incompetent police detective Inspector Clouseau is involved in a multi-vehicle chase with the antagonists. In 1974, Michael Stewart and Jerry Herman wrote the musical Mack & Mabel, chronicling the romance between Sennett and Mabel Normand. Sennett also was a leading character in The Biograph Girl, a 1980 musical about the silent film era.
  • 1956
    Age 76
    He last contribution worth noting was to the radio program Biography in Sound which was broadcast February 28, 1956.
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  • 1954
    Age 74
    Sennett was profiled in the television series This is Your Life in 1954. and made a cameo appearance (for $1,000) in Abbott and Costello Meet the Keystone Kops (1955).
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  • 1949
    Age 69
    In 1949, he provided film footage for and also appeared in the first full-length comedy compilation called Down Memory Lane (1949), which was written and narrated by Steve Allen.
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  • FIFTIES
  • 1938
    Age 58
    In March 1938, Sennett was presented with an honorary Academy Award: "for his lasting contribution to the comedy technique of the screen, the basic principles of which are as important today as when they were first put into practice, the Academy presents a Special Award to that master of fun, discoverer of stars, sympathetic, kindly, understanding comedy genius - Mack Sennett."
    More Details Hide Details Rumors abounded that Sennett would be returning to film production (a 1938 publicity release indicated that he would be working with Stan Laurel of Laurel and Hardy), but apart from Sennett reissuing a couple of his Bing Crosby two-reelers to theaters, nothing happened. Sennett did appear in front of the camera, however, in Hollywood Cavalcade (1939), itself a thinly disguised version of the Mack Sennett-Mabel Normand romance.
  • 1935
    Age 55
    His last work, in 1935, was as a producer-director for Educational Pictures; in which he directed Buster Keaton in The Timid Young Man and Joan Davis in Way Up Thar. (The 1935 Vitaphone short subject Keystone Hotel is not a Sennett production; although it featured several alumni from the Mack Sennett Studios.
    More Details Hide Details Actually, Sennett was not involved in the making of this film.) Mack Sennett went into semi-retirement at the age of 55, having produced more than 1,000 silent films and several dozen talkies during a 25-year career. His studio property was purchased by Mascot Pictures (later part of Republic Pictures), and many of his former staffers found work at Columbia Pictures.
  • 1934
    Age 54
    On January 12, 1934, Sennett was injured in an automobile accident that killed Charles E. Mack in Mesa, Arizona.
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  • 1933
    Age 53
    Sennett's studio did not survive the Great Depression. Sennett's partnership with Paramount lasted only one year and he was forced into bankruptcy in November 1933.
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  • 1932
    Age 52
    Sennett also won an Academy Award in the novelty division for his film Wrestling Swordfish also in 1932.
    More Details Hide Details Sennett often clung to outmoded techniques, making his early-1930s films seem dated and quaint. This doomed his attempt to re-enter the feature film market with Hypnotized (starring blackface comedians Moran and Mack, "The Two Black Crows"). However, Sennett enjoyed great success with short comedies starring Bing Crosby; which were more than likely instrumental in Sennett's product being picked up by a major studio, Paramount Pictures. W. C. Fields conceived and starred in four famous Sennett-Paramount comedies. Fields himself recalled that he "made seven comedies for the Irishman" (his original deal called for one film and an option for six more), but ultimately only four were made.
    In 1932, he was nominated for the Academy Award for Live Action Short Film in the comedy division for producing The Loud Mouth (with Matt McHugh, in the sports-heckler role later taken in Columbia Pictures remakes by Charley Chase and Shemp Howard).
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  • FORTIES
  • 1928
    Age 48
    Sennett made a reasonably smooth transition to sound films, releasing them through Earle Hammons's Educational Pictures. Sennett occasionally experimented with color. Plus, he was the first to get a talkie short subject on the market in 1928.
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  • THIRTIES
  • 1917
    Age 37
    In 1917, Sennett gave up the Keystone trademark and organized his own company, Mack Sennett Comedies Corporation. (Sennett's bosses retained the Keystone trademark and produced a cheap series of comedy shorts that were "Keystones" in name only: they were unsuccessful, and Sennett had no connection with them.) Sennett went on to produce more ambitious comedy short films and a few feature-length films.
    More Details Hide Details During the 1920s, his short subjects were in much demand, featuring stars like Billy Bevan, Andy Clyde, Harry Gribbon, Vernon Dent, Alice Day, Ralph Graves, Charlie Murray, and Harry Langdon. He produced several features with his brightest stars such as Ben Turpin and Mabel Normand. Many of Sennett's films of the early 1920s were inherited by Warner Brothers Studio. Warners merged with the original distributor, First National and added music and commentary to several of these short subjects. Unfortunately, many of the films of this period were destroyed due to inadequate storage. As a result, many of Sennett's films from his most productive and creative period, no longer exist. In the mid-1920s Sennett moved over to Pathé Exchange distribution. Pathé had a huge market share, but made bad corporate decisions, such as attempting to sell too many comedies at once (including those of Sennett's main competitor, Hal Roach). In 1927, Paramount and MGM which were Hollywood's two top studios at the time took note of the profits being made by smaller companies such as Pathé Exchange and Educational Pictures. So, Paramount & MGM decided to resume the production and distribution of short subjects. Hal Roach signed with MGM. But, Mack Sennett remained with Pathé Exchange even during hard times which was brought on by the competition. Hundreds of other independent exhibitors and movie houses of this period had switched from Pathe′ to the new MGM or Paramount films & short subjects.
  • 1916
    Age 36
    Although Gloria Swanson worked for Sennett in 1916 and was photographed in a bathing suit, she was also a star and "vehemently denied" being one of the bathing beauties.
    More Details Hide Details Not individually featured or named, many of these young women ascended to significant careers of their own. They included Juanita Hansen, Claire Anderson, Marie Prevost, Phyllis Haver, and Carole Lombard. In the 1920s Sennett's Bathing Beauties remained popular enough to provoke imitators like the Christie Studios' Bathing Beauties (counting Raquel Torres and Laura La Plante as alumnae) and Fox Film Corporation's "Sunshine Girls" (counting Janet Gaynor as alumna). The Sennett Bathing Beauties would continue to appear through 1928.
  • 1915
    Age 35
    Also beginning in 1915, Sennett assembled a bevy of girls known as the Sennett Bathing Beauties to appear in provocative bathing costumes in comedy short subjects, in promotional material, and in promotional events like Venice Beach beauty contests.
    More Details Hide Details Two of those often named as Bathing Beauties do not belong on the list: Mabel Normand and Gloria Swanson. Mabel Normand was a featured player, and her 1912 8-minute film The Water Nymph may have been the direct inspiration for the Bathing Beauties.
    In 1915, Keystone Studios became an autonomous production unit of the ambitious Triangle Film Corporation, as Sennett joined forces with D. W. Griffith and Thomas Ince, both powerful figures in the film industry.
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  • 1912
    Age 32
    With financial backing from Adam Kessel and Charles O. Bauman of the New York Motion Picture Company, Michael "Mack" Sennett founded Keystone Studios in Edendale, California in 1912 (which is now a part of Echo Park).
    More Details Hide Details The original main building which was the first totally enclosed film stage and studio ever constructed, is still there today. Many important actors cemented their film careers with Sennett, including Marie Dressler, Mabel Normand, Charles Chaplin, Harry Langdon, Roscoe Arbuckle, Harold Lloyd, Raymond Griffith, Gloria Swanson, Ford Sterling, Andy Clyde, Chester Conklin, Polly Moran, Louise Fazenda, The Keystone Cops, Bing Crosby, and W. C. Fields. Mack Sennett's slapstick comedies were noted for their wild car chases and custard pie warfare especially in the Keystone Cops series. Additionally, Sennett's first female comedian was Mabel Normand, who became a major star under his direction and with whom he embarked on a tumultuous romantic relationship. Sennett also developed the Kid Comedies, a forerunner of the Our Gang films, and in a short time his name became synonymous with screen comedy which were called "flickers" at the time.
  • 1911
    Age 31
    A major distinction in his acting career, often overlooked, is the fact that Sennett played Sherlock Holmes 11 times, albeit as a parody, between 1911 and 1913.
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  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1883
    Age 3
    By 1883, when Michael's brother George was born, John Sinnott was working in Richmond as an innkeeper; he worked as an innkeeper for many years afterward.
    More Details Hide Details John Sinnott and Catherine Foy had all their children and raised their family in Richmond, then a small Eastern Townships village. At that time, Michael's grandparents were living in Danville, Québec. Michael Sinnott moved to Connecticut when he was 17 years old. He lived for a while in Northampton, Massachusetts, where, according to his autobiography, Sennett first got the idea to become an opera singer after seeing a vaudeville show. He claimed that the most respected lawyer in town, Northampton mayor (and future President of the United States) Calvin Coolidge, as well as Sennett's own mother, tried to talk him out of his musical ambitions. In New York City, Sennett became an actor, singer, dancer, clown, set designer, and director for Biograph.
  • 1880
    Age 0
    Born on January 17, 1880.
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Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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