Marie Prevost Project Addendum

Long story short, I removed some pictures from Marie Prevost Project #4 and added some new material. I’m reproducing the most interesting items here so you don’t have to go back and re-read something that is 3 days old, since 3 days equals 17 years in Internet time.

First, I want to direct you to Mythical Monkey’s terrific blog post “Buster Keaton’s Pie Recipe.” If you’re at all interested in early comedies, you will want to read this post.

And here are the two pictures and accompanying captions I added to the Marie Project #4 post:

This one is a puzzler! I originally saw this on Chained and Perfumed a couple of years ago. It’s credited as being a 1917 comedy, and that is obviously Chester Conklin the middle, with a dancer that looks like Marie just to his left. I asked on Nitrateville, where Richard Roberts speculated the far left dancer was probably Sybil Seeley, and in comparison I would have to agree. Now, per the IMDb, Marie and Sybil and Chester all appeared in “Secrets of a Beauty Parlor,” but Richard Roberts then informed me that they ran “Secrets” at Slapsticon in 2005 and discovered Chester was not in the film at all. Short story: No idea what film, if any, this picture is from. My guess is that is is from a film because of the costumes, but why Marie looks unhappy and why someone took a grey editing pen to her bloomers is beyond me.

From the 1933 book The American Procession: American Life Since 1860 in Photographs, a copy of which I just bought — the very copy that was in the MGM library and used as research for costumes, might I add. It’s falling apart and, while readable, isn’t worth anything, but the idea that someone may have used this book for costumes in an MGM film gives me flappy hands of excitement.

The photos were compiled by Agnes Rogers, with commentary by Frederick Lewis Allen. This photo, credited to Culver Service, is from “Whose Little Wife Are You?” Per Allen, “The bathing costumes look quite orthodox to present-day eyes, but in 1916 such suits were worn only by motion-picture bathing girls.” Other photos of swimsuits are also featured as comparison, with Allen claiming that suits like this weren’t even worn until 1920, and not common until 1923. Interestingly, in the post I recently wrote here, the LA Times says the Bathing Beauty type suits had to be banned in 1920; obviously, enough women wore them that banning was required, so I think Allen’s memory may be off by a few years.

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  1. I meant to thank you the other day for the nice plug — thanks! I’ve had this urge to bake a Buster Keaton pie ever since, but can’t imagine what I’d do with it afterwards …

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