Fatty and Mabel – 2

Wished on Mabel
R: Roscoe ‘Fatty’ Arbuckle / Mabel Normand (?). D: Roscoe ‘Fatty’ Arbuckle, Mabel Normand, Edgar Kennedy, Alice Davenport, Joe Bordeaux, Glen Cavender. P: Keystone Film Company. USA 1915
Filming Locations: Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California, USA

Wished on Mabel is one of no less than a staggering 188 shorts in which Normand performed from the beginning of 1911 through 1915. This breakneck pace in production amounted to her working in shorts that were generally organized, quickly rehearsed, filmed, and edited on an average of one every 10 days for five straight years. Wished on Mabel is among three one-reel shorts that Mabel Normand and Roscoe Arbuckle made with other Keystone cast and crew while on location in San Francisco and the Bay Area between March 25 and April 18, 1915. In addition to filming Wished on Mabel, Keystone personnel shot footage for Mabel and Fatty Viewing the World’s Fair at San Francisco and for Mabel’s Wilful Way, the latter being filmed in Oakland, across the bay from San Francisco.”

“Although the plot here is simple and typical, a bit more went into this one-reeler than was usually the case. There’s obvious care in positioning the camera to take advantage of the setting – locations include the fountain, a building that I think is the Conservatory of Flowers, a tunnel, and the glen where Fatty and Mabel meet the bee. There are few, if any, “generic” shots as we see in many of the LA park comedies. There are also some good close-ups, including the theft of the watch and Mabel’s face with the bee on it.”
Century Film Project

That Little Band of Gold
R: Roscoe ‘Fatty’ Arbuckle. D: Roscoe ‘Fatty’ Arbuckle, Mabel Normand, Ford Sterling, Alice Davenport, Charley Chase, Minta Durfee, Edgar Kennedy, Al St. John. P: Keystone Film Company. USA 1915

“This little movie feels a trifle more mature and sophisticated than the usual Keystone comedy, if ever so slightly, touching on the consequences of infidelity, and having notes of pathos. (…) What’s interesting to me about this film is that it reminds me of a cruder version of Lubitsch — who wouldn’t be making his sophisticated comedies in America until almost a decade later. I’m also interested in the unrealized potential of Arbuckle as a director. He could stretch when he wanted to, but he oddly didn’t always want to. Strangely, many of his late films for Sennett are much more sophisticated storywise than his solo comedies for Comique, which came later but were straight ahead slapstick. Arbuckle was an artisan, sometimes a lazy one, but if he hadn’t died so young in 1933 he might have gone on to do some interesting things as a director.”
Trav S.D.

>>> Fatty and Mabel – 1