Pimple’s Progress

Fred Evans, Britain’s First Film Comedy Star

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About the Book

In 1915, British movie goers voted Fred Evans second only to Charles Chaplin as their favorite film comedian. Appearing as the roguish and anarchic “Pimple,” Fred made 200 silent movies between 1910-1922, running amok in frantic chases and sending-up currents events and fashions. With a rich family heritage in pantomime and music hall, he introduced a satirical approach to filmmaking which was frequently employed in lampooning the recently introduced feature films. Pimple’s burlesques deflated the seriousness of such productions, providing subversive support for audiences adjusting to the complexities of the new form. But continual mockery of themes, acting styles and film techniques did not endear him to those seeking to dignify cinema. Changing public taste and industry disapproval eventually resulted in an end to Evans’ screen appearances and a return to the stage.
As Fred Evans has been almost entirely side-lined by film historians, this is the first book-length biography of the comedian. It is based on original research and places Evans not only in a film context but within the wider entertainment and social perspectives of his time. Amongst topics discussed are the beginnings of the star system, war propaganda, the growth of film fandom and concerns about the influence of cinema on children.

About the Author(s)

Barry Anthony is a film and theater historian living in London. Over the last 30 years he has written several books and magazine articles about social history, the visual arts and popular entertainment.

Bibliographic Details

Barry Anthony
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Bibliographic Info: ca. 50 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2022
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8831-2
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4647-3
Imprint: McFarland