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Harry Langdon: Lost and Found - A Story in Five Parts (1997)

Not Rated | | Documentary | Video 27 December 2007
An off-screen narrator and nine talking heads make the case for Harry Langdon being ranked just below Chaplin, Keaton, and Lloyd as a fine movie comedian. They celebrate his slowed-down ... See full summary »
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Cast

Credited cast:
Robert Arkus Robert Arkus ... Himself
Charles Chaplin ... (archive footage)
Beth Daniels Beth Daniels ... Narrator
Ken Gordon Ken Gordon ... Himself
David Kalat David Kalat ... Himself
Harry Langdon ... (archive footage)
Bruce Lawton Bruce Lawton ... Himself
Steve Massa Steve Massa ... Himself
Hooman Merhan Hooman Merhan ... Himself
Ben Model Ben Model ... Himself
William Schelly William Schelly ... Himself
Chris Seguin Chris Seguin ... Himself
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Storyline

An off-screen narrator and nine talking heads make the case for Harry Langdon being ranked just below Chaplin, Keaton, and Lloyd as a fine movie comedian. They celebrate his slowed-down style as original and, later, influential. They take issue with Frank Capra's assessment of Langdon's small talent and large ego, suggesting instead that the villain in Langdon's rapid fall may well have been his second wife. Langdon's story is told chronologically, with many clips from silent and sound films. The film celebrates his supporting roles and later writing credits as well as his earlier silent features. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

Not Rated
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 December 2007 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

All-Day Entertainment See more »
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User Reviews

 
Solid documentary, makers' enthusiasm shows through
16 September 2009 | by hte-trasmeSee all my reviews

This documentary, included in the "Harry Langdon: Lost and Found" DVD set, does a nice job of telling the story of Langdon's career, and I like the method of using expert interviews to get the story across. The spare narration and the multiple perspectives that we get on many of the issues surrounding Langdon's career keep it a relatively evenhanded piece. It's interesting to hear the varying thoughts of different film historians on the relative merits of some of Langdon's films. At the same time, it's clear that everyone involved has a deep affection for Harry Langdon's comedy, and that the resulting documentary is a real labor of love.

A lot of the interviews look like they were shot on consumer video equipment and seem to have been recorded in hotel rooms, often on the bed. This is probably because the recording was done at a film convention, but it gives some of them an odd look. This is pretty incidental though, to the substance of the analysis we get in them, which s good, and most of the experts seem very likable and enthusiastic.

The film clips are generally used well, and I am glad they allowed many of them to run for a considerable amount of time, though rights issues seem to have prevented the producers from using extracts from any of Langdon's much-discussed silent features.

At 74 minutes this is a very substantial documentary feature to find on the Langdon set, interesting as well as informative, and not reaching beyond its means.


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