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Howell Who? Remembering Female American Cinema Pioneer

19 April 2017 5:24 PM, PDT

See previous post: “Comedy Actress Rediscovered: 'She Could Be Chaplin!' Q&A with Film Historian Anthony Slide.” Could forgotten comedy actress really have been Chaplin? The title of your Alice Howell book is She Could Be Chaplin! Could she really have been that big and influential? If so, why didn't that happen? Perhaps I am guilty of a certain amount of hyperbole. The publisher and I were trying to come up with a good title for the book. We selected that title in part out of a belief that Chaplin's name on the cover would sell the book. But equally because throughout her career Alice Howell was described as a female Chaplin. Consistently film reviewers and writers compared her work to that of Chaplin. Personally I don't believe she was in any way influenced by Chaplin, but there is definitely a similarity during the early years of both their »

- Andre Soares

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Rediscovering Long-Forgotten Pioneering Comedy Performer: She Could Have Been Chaplin!

19 April 2017 5:23 PM, PDT

Comedy actress Alice Howell on the cover of film historian Anthony Slide's latest book: Pioneering funky-haired performer 'could have been Chaplin' – or at the very least another Louise Fazenda. Rediscovering comedy actress Alice Howell: Female performer in movie field dominated by men Early comedy actress Alice Howell is an obscure entity even for silent film aficionados. With luck, only a handful of them will be able to name one of her more than 100 movies, mostly shorts – among them Sin on the Sabbath, A Busted Honeymoon, How Stars Are Made – released between 1914 and 1920. Yet Alice Howell holds (what should be) an important – or at the very least an interesting – place in film history. After all, she was one of the American cinema's relatively few pioneering “funny actresses,” along with the likes of the better-known Flora Finch, Louise Fazenda, and, a top star in her day, Mabel Normand.[1] Also of note, »

- Andre Soares

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