Mack Sennett’s Fun Factory

A History and Filmography of His Studio and His Keystone and Mack Sennett Comedies, with Biographies of Players and Personnel


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About the Book

This is a comprehensive career study and filmography of Mack Sennett, cofounder of Keystone Studios, home of the Keystone Kops and other vehicles that showcased his innovative slapstick comedy. The filmography covers the more than 1,000 films Sennett produced, directed, wrote or appeared in between 1908 and 1955, including casts, credits, synopses, production and release dates, locations, cross-references of remade stories and gags, footage excerpted in compilations, identification of prints existing in archives, and other information. The book, featuring 280 photographs, also contains biographies of several hundred performers and technical personnel connected with Sennett.

About the Author(s)

Brent E. Walker is a web developer and historian who has contributed to numerous film publications, DVD commentaries, and Turner Classic Movies. He lives in Long Beach, California.

Bibliographic Details

Brent E. Walker

Format: softcover (8.5 x 11)
Pages: 671
Bibliographic Info: 280 photos, filmography, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2020 [2013, 2010]
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8003-3
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5707-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments      1

Introduction to Part I      7
1. From Broadway to Biograph: Mack Sennett at the Biograph Company      14
2. Creating a Legend: The Keystone Film Company in the Mutual Years      25
3. One Point of the Triangle: Keystone Joins the Triangle Film Company      56
4. On His Own: The Paramount–Mack Sennett Comedies      86
5. The Feature Film Quest: Associated Producers and Associated First National      109
6. Back on Two-Reels: The Sennett-Pathé Years      128
7. Learning to Talk: Mack Sennett and Educational Pictures      184
8. The Last Hurrah: Sennett and Paramount Publix      208
9. Taking Early Retirement: The Post-Studio Years      222

Introduction to Part II      245
The Biograph Company (1908–1912)      251
Keystone Comedies Released by Mutual (1912–1915)      265
Keystone Comedies Released by Triangle (1915–1917)      322
Paramount–Mack Sennett Comedies Released by Famous Players–Lasky (1917–1921)      348
Mack Sennett Comedies Released by Associated Producers and Associated First National Pictures (1921–1922)      369
Mack Sennett Comedies Released by Pathé (1923–1929)      377
Mack Sennett Comedies Released by Educational (1928–1932)      432
Mack Sennett Comedies Released by Paramount Publix (1932–1933)      451
Feature Films Produced by Mack Sennett (1914–1932)      460
Other Mack Sennett Film Credits, and Appearances on Broadway, Radio and Television      469
Theatrical Compilation Films Featuring Mack Sennett Footage      473

Introduction to Part III      481
Performers      483
Creative and Technical Personnel      556
Other Notable Personnel      586

Chapter Notes      599
Bibliography      602
Index      605

Book Reviews & Awards

  • San Francisco Examiner Top Ten Title
  • “this volume will be especially useful for researchers. It belongs in any comprehensive film-studies collection…useful…exhaustive”—Booklist
  • “an exceptional work…. Walker has made a significant 9780786457076contribution to the history of the film industry…essential”—Library Journal
  • “The most thorough resource to date on Sennett and his wacky world of gags, speedy comic chases, and the inevitable abuse of human bodies and property. Recommended”—Choice
  • “Brent E Walker has compiled and published an impressively detailed compendium comprising an exhaustive and chronologically presented filmography…a welcome and seminal addition that should be a core part of personal, academic, and community library American Film history reference collections.”—Midwest Book Review
  • “a Homeric achievement in scholarship, and undoubtedly the standard reference to a major career”—; “decades of careful research…an expert look at each phase of Sennett’s career…indispensible, one of the most perfect film history books ever to be published…no excuse to not own Mack Sennett’s Fun Factory…to describe this book as impressive is putting it mildly…a beautiful work of scholarship and a remarkable accomplishment…fascinating information. As a reference work and as a guide to an important slice of film history, this work has few equals”—Examiner
  • “mammoth study that is not only the first and last word on Sennett’s screen work, it is one of the most comprehensive and beautifully mounted film books that I have seen in nearly 50 years of movie geekdom. I can offer no greater praise than to state that anyone with even a remote interest in early cinema should own this book. For libraries and study centers it is essential. For comedy film buffs, it is indispensable. Mack Sennett’s Fun Factory is what this reviewer would call a perfect book”—Rogue Cinema
  • “massive tome…a gem and treasure trove of information…highly recommend…stands as a model of superior research and scholarly work”—Reference Reviews
  • “this is no dry academic treatise: it is thorough, and offers more detail than a casual reader might care to know, but for someone who cares about Sennett and his work, it’s manna from heaven. I can promise film buffs and comedy aficionados that it’s worth every penny”—Leonard Maltin’s Movie Crazy
  • “no tribute to the ‘King of Comedy’ is as fitting or as accomplished as Brent Walker’s monument to the Fun Factory”—Literary Review of Canada
  • “a major contribution to comedy film scholarship…is the essential book for all things Sennett”—Fielding’s Review
  • “grand, comprehensive…jam-packed…massive hardback study…many joyful surprises, load of hilarious anecdotes and even the occasional pie in the face”—Wimgo