Roméo Bosetti – 2

Patouillard crieur de journaux
R: Roméo Bosetti. D: Paul Bertho. P: Societé Anonyme des Phonographes et Cinématographes Lux. Fr 1911
Print: EYE (Desmet collection)

“Lux (…) bought into the comic series craze with Patouillard or Bill, as Bertho’s character was known in both England and the United States. Bertho had been a comic opera singer and music hall comedian before singing briefly with Pathé, apparently to substitute for Deed in a brief continuation of the Boireau series and then appear in several films as Calino, prior to Gaumont’s appropriation of the character. In 1910, Lux hired Bertho to create a weekly comic series, which quickly became a favorite of cinema audiences worldwide.”
Richard Abel: The Ciné Goes to Town. French Cinema 1896 – 1914. Updated and Expanded Edition. Berkeley, Los Angeles, London 1998, p. 232

Patouillard fait du Sandow
R: Roméo Bosetti. D: Paul Bertho. P: Societé Anonyme des Phonographes et Cinématographes Lux. Fr 1911
Print: EYE (Desmet collection)

>>> Sandow, the famous “strong man” of the epoch, filmed 1895 by Edison’s assistant Dickson.

Patouillard a mangé du homard
R: Roméo Bosetti. D: Paul Bertho. P: Societé Anonyme des Phonographes et Cinématographes Lux. Fr 1911
Print: EYE (Desmet collection)

La bouteille de Patouillard
R: Roméo Bosetti. D: Paul Bertho. P: Societé Anonyme des Phonographes et Cinématographes Lux. Fr 1911
Print: EYE (Desmet collection)

Well-known and unknown European comedians of the period before WW I

Pacifico Aquilanti – Italian comedian who played Coco (1909-?) for the Cines company, as a response to the success of André Deed’s Cretinetti at Itala.

Lucien Bataille – Gaumont comedian, whose Zigoto character (1911-1912) spoofed the popular detective films of the period; then became Casimir for Eclair (1913-1914).

Paul Bertho – French comedian who created two comic personas for Lux: Patouillard (known as Bill in Britain and the USA), and Gavroche (1912-1914).

Roméo Bosetti – early example of a named comedy series performer, he played the character Roméo for Gaumont (1907-1908), for whom he went on to be a prolific comedy director, before being lured away by Pathé.

Ernest Bourbon – French comedian, adept at combining elegance with acrobatics, who starred in the popular Onésime series (1912-1914) for Gaumont, occasionally being partnered with Calino.

Sarah Duhamel – a former child performer of wide girth who enjoyed much success as Rosalie (1911-1912) for Pathé, in which she was often partnered with Little Moritz. She subsequently played as Pétronille for Eclair (1913-1914).

Marcel Fabre – Spanish clown who worked in France for Eclair and Pathé before moving to Italy with the Ambrosio company and creating the Robinet character (1911-1914), in which he was regularly partnered by Nilde Baracchi as Robinette. His character was known as Tweedledum in Britain and the USA.

Tommy Footit – son of a famous nineteenth-century clown, George Footit (English, but found fame in France), who starred as Tommy for Eclair in 1911.

Raymond Frau – French comedian who established the comic character Kri Kri for the Italian company Cines (known as Bloomer in Britain). In 1916 he returned to France and created the Dandy character for Eclair.

Lea Giunchi – Italian comedienne who played comic foil to Tontolini (played by her brother-in-law, Ferdinando Guillaume) and Kri Kri, but also starred in the Lea series (1911-1914) for Cines. Her son, Eraldo Guillaume, was a child comedian for Cines, Cinessino.

Ferdinando Guillaume – Italian comedian from a circus family who appeared as Tontolini (Jenkins in Britain and USA) for Cines 1909-1911, then as Polidor for Pasquali. Directed many of his films. In later life appeared in a number of Fellini films.

Clément Migé – French comedian who starred in an early Gaumont comic series, as Calino (1909-1913), a series which demonstrated notable comic invention and delight in chaos. For a short period a rival Calino series was produced by Pathé.

Moritz Schwartz – diminutive German comedian who played Little Moritz for Pathé (1911-1912), a highly popular series in its time. He was partnered romantically with Sarah Duhamel’s Rosalie for a number of films.

Alma Taylor and Chrissie White – English stars of the Hepworth company’s series of Tilly films (1910-1915), playing gleefully anarchic teenagers (Unity More played Tilly in the first film in the series), as well as many other shorts (dramatic and comic) before both went on to continued success as adults in British feature films.

Ernesto Vaser – Italian performer promoted as the Ambrosio company’s answer to Cretinetti, under the name Fricot (1909-1912?).

(This list has been published by The Bioscope, Sept. 2007)

>>> Roméo – 1