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Arbuckle and Chaplin, the great comedy duo that never was.


slaytonf
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Not the schlemiel/schlimazel of Laurel and Hardy, or the schemer/stooge of Abbot and Costello. More like a collaboration of equals (geniuses). The presentation of the Sennet shorts shows their abilities by placing them in juxtaposition with the other run-of-the-mill players. The only interest most of the stuff tonight had was from a historical perspective. The films come alive, however, when they come on. They do the same gags as the others, but there is a refinement to their business which even today is fresh, witty, and makes you laugh. A wonderful example is The Rounders. When they are both on screen, there is almost too much going on. At points you are torn about which one to watch. But their actions always mesh seamlessly. Of course, it never would have lasted. Both Arbuckle and Chaplin were too talented to remain together. And we all know what happened. Happily for Chaplin, and sadly for Arbuckle. We lost the fourth great silent comedian with him.

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The Chaplin/Arbuckle films are fine but they don't quite match up to the Arbuckle/Keatons. I think Chaplin benefited the most from that partnership; his talent is obvious (indeed, especially next to Keystone's other regulars) but he just couldn't fully express himself at Keystone the way Arbuckle could. This is all hindsight, of course. The audiences back then were completely satiated and didn't know what was just around the corner. With Arbuckle, at least he had a sympathetic partner who was absolutely game.

 

The greatest thanks again to TCM for doing this Sennett/Keystone series, exceptional programming, the only thing "new" worth watching on TV this month.

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I never cared for Arbuckle. Never caught my fancy. From everything I ever read about Chaplin and Arbuckle, their egos would have caused too many "billing" issues for the team to have gone on.

 

 

And NO, I'm NOT saying I think Arbuckle wasn't any good. He simply never appealed to me. So put down your flamethrowers.

 

 

Sepiatone

 

 

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