Friday, March 20, 2009

The Prime of Lloyd Hamilton

Last year, partial prints of Hungry Lions in a Hospital (1918) and His Musical Sneeze (1919), two Lloyd Hamilton comedies long thought to be lost, were discovered by preservationist organizations. Laughsmith Entertainment, best known for the DVD release The Forgotten Films of Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle, had a surprise showing of Hungry Lions in a Hospital at Slapsticon 2008. The Film Archive of the Danish Film Institute generated buzz in silent film comedy forums when they announced the discovery of His Musical Sneeze. These comedies feature Hamilton at a transitional period in his career. It was during these years that the comedian was working hard to develop his classic "poor boy" character.

I must admit that, as excited as I was to learn about these discoveries, these were not the Hamilton comedies that I was most anxious to see turn up. Hamilton reached a very definite creative peak from 1921 to 1924 and, as it now stands, the films from this period are almost entirely lost. I would be thrilled to hear that someone had uncovered any one of these comedies. This includes, among others, Robinson Crusoe Ltd. (1921), The Advisor (1921), The Educator (1922), The Rainmaker (1922), Poor Boy (1922), The Optimist (1923) and Good Morning (1924).

I have a few images from The Educator.

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