Bessie is certainly a terror and manages without much trouble to get into all sorts of mischief. She gets tired of playing alone and schemes to have Andrew, the suitor of her Aunt Cissie, play with her. Andrew would rebel, but the injunction that he must amuse the kid, Bessie, or get out, makes him consent. The stunts she puts him through make him worthy of the bestowal of Cissie’s hand in marriage. Rel. June 3, 1912
* from Moving Picture World, June 14, 1912
Biograph Company Goes East
The big event of the week among the producing companies was the departure of the Biograph company the night of May 27. The Biograph players have been working here all winter and now go to New York for the summer. The two directors, Griffith, who has charge of the dramatic releases, and Mack Sennett, who directs the comedies, are to stop over for a few days at Albuquerque, N. M.,108 where a couple of pictures are to be made.
* from Biograph Bulletins
A Dash Through the Clouds
Arthur and Martha are sweethearts, but Martha becomes fascinated with the sport of aeroplane riding, and later is infatuated with the aviator. Arthur is a tutti-frutti salesman and goes to a neighboring Mexican town to sell his gum. Here he is a “cut-up” among the ladies. The Mexicans incensed at Arthur’s attentions to their sweethearts attempt vengeance. Arthur sends a boy with a note to Martha that his life is in danger at the hands of the Mexicans. This is where Martha and her aeroplane driver shine, for with the aeroplane they dash to the rescue. This is a farce comedy of a melodramatic type that has thrill in every foot. Rel. June 24, 1912
A party of tourists, on their way East across the continent take advantage of the short stop at Albuquerque, New Mexico, to purchase wares of the Indians congregated about the Indian Exhibits Building near the station. They become so engrossed in the Indians and their handiwork that they do not notice the time slipping by and their train slipping out. Left, they decide to make the best of it by sight-seeing until the next train arrives. Their experience in the interim was funny, unique and exciting. Rel. Aug. 5, 1912
What The Doctor Ordered
A Comedy of “Sunny” California
Jenks is a hypochondriac of the extreme type. Here he is at his villa, surrounded by flowers, gardens and orange groves. One would imagine that such a paradise would induce health and contentment in the most abject “gloom,” but no, he believes that he has one foot in the grave, with the other one on slippery ground. The next hour he knows is to be his last. Hence, to humor him, his doctor orders him to the mountains. While there he is caught in a snow-storm, and his experiences make him glad to get back among the flowers. Rel. Aug. 5, 1912
An Interrupted Elopement
The father of Bob’s sweetheart doesn’t think much of him, which fact is made undeniably clear when papa, upon entering the house, surprises the loving couple together and kicks Bob into the street. Bob’s friends suggest an elopement, to which plan he is heartily acquiescent. It was largely due to a trick of fate and Bob’s quick wit that the plan succeeded. But, oh, what an experience! Rel. Aug. 15, 1912
The Tragedy of a Dress Suit
Down and out, Dick sits in the park despairing until a friend approaches, who bids him cheer up and come with him to meet some swell folks at the tennis court. Dick makes quite an impression upon a young heiress and is invited to attend a house party to be given by her the following evening. He, of course, must wear a dress suit, and to effect this proper raiment he surreptitiously borrows his landlord’s -- but why spoil a good thing by saying more? Rel. Aug. 15, 1912
* Trade Ad from The Moving Picture News, August 24, 1912
First Release of
Monday, September 23
“Cohen Collects a Debt“
“The Water Nymph“
A split reel comedy, featuring Mack Sennett and Mabel Normand, the beautiful diving Venus.
On MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, two more rollicking comedies on one reel are presented in
“Riley and Schultze“
“The New Neighbor“
A Split Reel Released every Monday
Lose No Time in Booking
Keystone Films are new in name only. They are produced by the company heretofore with the Biograph Co., and directed by the same man -- Mack Sennett. The quality of these films is well known to exhibitors.
Keystone Film Company
Mutual Film Corporation, 60 Wall St., New York City, Sole Agents for U.S. and Canada
* from Fresno Morning Republican, September 4, 1912
Fresno Photo Theatre
“Hot or Cold – We Fool the Elements.”
Entire New Program Today
2 Dandy Biograph Comedies
1. “An Interrupted Elopement.” – A series of laughs.
2. “Little Keeper of the Light.” – A charming Kalem portrayal.
3. “Spring Log Driving in Maine.” – An excellent educational.
4. “Tragedy of a Dress Suit.” – Mabel Normand in a farce.
5. “Vultures and Doves.” – Powerful Vitagraph drama.
6. “Baseball Industry.” – See the Athletics and Senators in a fast and speedy baseball game.
* from Moving Picture World, September 14, 1912
Mack Sennett, director, and Mabel Normand, leading woman of the Keystone company of the New York Motion Picture Company, arrived in Los Angeles, August 28 as the advance guard of a new company which is to be located in the old Bison plant at Edendale. Both were formerly with the Biograph Company, and others from the same company are said to be coming later. The Keystone brand of films, according to reports, are to be produced from Los Angeles.
* from Moving Picture World, September 21, 1912
Preparations are also being made at Edendale for radical changes and extensions of the old Bison plant of the New York Motion Picture Co. Charles O. Bauman[n] and A. Kessel are here from New York for a personal inspection of the plant and Mack Sennett, the director of the new Keystone company, preceded them by a couple of days. Sennett with the assistance of Mabel Normand, Henry Lehrman and Ford Sterling, who came from New York with him, and Fred Mace, former director of Imp comedies, is already at work at the Edendale plant making comedies for future release. The balance of the company was employed here, being recruited from the ranks of other companies on the ground. Fred Balshofer has announced that there are to be two Western releases a week by Ince and Ford, two split reel comedies, one by Sennett and the other by Mace,109 and one dramatic by a director who is coming on in a few days but whose identity is not to be revealed at this time. It is reported that Bauman and Kessel, before they return to New York, may have other important revelations to make.
* from Hamilton Evening Journal [Ohio], October 1, 1912
The Grand’s [theater] five acts for Tuesday and Wednesday nights are sure to please. A day at the fair will not be complete without a trip to the grand. For tonight and Wednesday the vaudeville acts will be McIntyre and Hamilton, eccentric comedians, and Wheeler & Emerson, singers and dancers. Tuesday night’s photoplays include “The New Neighbors,” a Keystone comedy with Mary [sic] Normand, the former Biograph diving girl in the leads [sic].”Open to Proposals,” a Solax comedy, and “The Convict’s Hand,” a Gaumont feature, make up the bill.
* from Moving Picture World, October 5, 1912
The old Bison plant at Edendale has now been turned over to the Keystone company, which comprises among others Fred Mace and Mabel Normand, with Mack Sennett as director, and split reel comedies are being turned out at a merry rate. The company is working much faster than its schedule of releases so as to pile up a surplus against possible accidents or other interruptions. Last week Sennett completed a 500-foot comedy in a single day and claims a record on the feat. The Keystone company is a distinct organization, having no official connection with any other motion picture company, although it is owned by men who also own the New York Motion Picture Company as well as other motion picture concerns.
* from Motography, October 12, 1912
The New York Motion Picture Company will enlarge its possessions the last of October, by the accession of the “101 Ranch Wild West.” With the Indians it now has, the oxen, and cowboys, in addition to the ones now with the 101 Ranch Company on the road, the company expects to have approximately 100 Indians, 200 cowboys, 250 head of horses, 36 oxen, about 30 performing horses, and also the renowned horse, Snowball, stage coaches, prairie schooners and about 16 real teepees.
The Western company includes Mack Sennett, as director; Mabel Normand, Ford Sterling, Fred Mace and Harry Lehrman, formerly with the Biograph, who are posing for the Keystone brand of pictures.
* from Motion Picture Magazine, November 1912
Mabel Normand, called by some the “Divine Diver,” formerly of the Vitagraph and Biograph companies, is now diving for the Keystone Company. Appropriately mixed in with her diving is that same winsome smile, pretty pout and vivacious action.
* from New York Dramatic Mirror, November 27, 1912
Actress Has Narrow Escape: Mabel Normand is Nearly Pounded to Death by Surf on Rocks
Los Angeles--Mabel Normand was the victim of a near tragedy last week, while working in one of Director Mack Sennett’s Keystone productions near Topanga canyon. The heroine was lashed securely and placed on a jutting rock where the ocean breakers touched her. As the operator began to turn, a great breaker rolled in, snatching the helpless actress from her position and dashing her among the rocks of the beach. When rescued she was bruised and unconscious. Despite protests Miss Normand insisted upon finishing the picture, but it was done in a less dangerous place. The dailies made a thriller of the news story.
* from Moving Picture World, December 7, 1912110
Some of the friends of Director [Thomas] Ince, of the Kay-Bee Company, decoyed him to the Venice Country Club the night of November 15, where he was made the victim of a gigantic conspiracy. When he arrived there were about 300 grown-ups waiting for him to remind him in a vociferous manner of something that had entirely slipped his mind, namely, that it was his birthday. Never mind, it was one that comes after 21.
All the members of the Kay-Bee and the Broncho companies were present and a number of specially invited guests from other motion picture companies in the vicinity, among the latter being Mack Sennett and Mabel Normand of the Keystone, and Mr. and Mrs. James Young Deer [James Young?] of the Pathe Western Company.
There was a banquet, an impromptu entertainment and a dance and it took until nearly 4 o’clock in the morning to run through the program. During the evening they made Ince stand up and look sheepish while a presentation speech was made as a preliminary to handing him a topaz ring, the big stone surrounded with small diamonds. The topaz is supposed to have special significance for those born in November. After that Ince made a speech forgiving everybody for their share in the conspiracy.
* from Middletown Daily Times-Press, December 10, 1912
Gothic Hall -- Motion Pictures and Illustrated Songs
“The First Rose”
In Two Reels
One of the Thanhouser Company’s greatest productions. Made and produced in Cuddebackville, N.Y.
“Cupid on the Job”
A Majestic Comedy
“A Romance of the Rockies”
A Powerful Western Drama.
“Cohen Collects a Debt“
On the Same Reel.
“The Water Nymph“
Featuring Mabel Normand, Fred Mace and Mack Sennett, late of the Biograph Company.
REELS FOR 5 CENTS
* from Variety, January 10, 1913
What They Get
...There are some high-priced photo-players in the United States. While there are many leading film people who do not receive immense salaries, yet the figure they command is good the whole year round and that is more comfort than working the legitimate stage at a bigger salary for a short season.
Of the leads Maurice Costello, Vitagraph; Fred Mace, Keystone, and King Baggott, Imp, are probably the best paid, although there are dozens who get from $100 to $150 per week.
Of women, Mabel Normand, the “diving girl,” formerly heading the Biograph Co., now with the Keystone, and Florence Turner, of the Vitagraph, are considered the biggest money getters.
* from The New York Clipper, February 15, 1913
Recently in Los Angeles the photoplayers residing there voted Mabel Normand, of Keystone, the most popular woman in motion pictures. Miss Normand will lead the grand march, with Fred Mace, at the photoplayers’ ball, to be held on Feb. 14, at the Shrine Auditorium.
* from Los Angeles Times, February 12, 1913
Little Mabel Normand, leading woman with the Keystone company, who is to lead the grand march of the photoplayers’ ball with President Mace, Saturday evening, has had many hazardous experiences during her career as a photoplayer.
She says that while most people believe there are not risks to be taken in the making of comedy pictures, conditions are quite the reverse. In comedy, with which Miss Normand has been identified since her advent into the picture-making profession, action alone scores. In dramatic pictures, the spectator is given time to fathom the story and the action is much slower.
“In comedies,” asserts the dainty little Mabel, “we have risks as great, if not greater, than those necessary in dramas.
“About a year ago, I made an aeroplane flight with the late Phil Parmalee.111 It was my first time in the air. We reached an altitude of about 1000 feet, and suddenly the engine went dead. It seemed that one could have heard the proverbial pin drop.
“Gliding down, we landed unhurt. Mr. Parmalee discovered that his gasoline had been tampered with; and in some way paraffine had worked into the carburetor. When I was told of this, I realized the danger to which we had been exposed; but the picture had to be made, and several more flights were necessary.”
Miss Normand has had many adventures, such as being thrown from cliffs and into the ocean; but aside from a few scratches and bruises, she has never been injured.
A short time ago she was tied to a rock in Santa Monica Bay, about 100 feet from the shore. The continual breaking of the waves over her body washed her adrift. She has always been considered a clever swimmer, but was unable to successfully battle with the waves in her weakened condition. As she was sinking, members of the company came to her assistance and carried her to the shore.
“With all its risks and hard work,” says the little actress, “there is a certain fascination about the profession which holds one. I went into pictures three years ago without any previous experience, out of a convent.
“Since then I have played in a picture and a half a week without a break.
“They say I have made good and I will very probably play in pictures for the rest of my days.”
* from Los Angeles Times, February 26, 1913
Mabel Normand started something big when she appeared at the Garrick Theater in person Thursday night and was introduced during both performances.
This custom is to be followed regularly, and Fred Mace is to be introduced tomorrow evening. After the members of the Keystone company have all been presented the Tannhauser company is to be introduced one and a time. When Miss Normand appeared 1500 feet of films in which she was shown were run off.
* from Variety, March 14, 1913
The success of the “face to face” ball of the Photoplayers is still being talked of. All agree Mabel Normand was a lovely, graceful moving picture as she led the march with President Fred Mace who looked correspondingly proud.
* from Motography, March 15, 1913
Barney Oldfield in Keystone Speed Film112
Mack Sennett, the Keystone director, finished a picture recently in which speed is shown to an exaggerated degree. Barney Oldfield races his Benz at ninety miles an hour against a Santa Fe train, traveling at the rate of sixty five miles an hour, and rescues Mabel Normand, who is tied to the tracks.
Through the courtesy of E. W. McGee, general passenger agent for the Santa Fe, the Keystone director was granted the use of the old Redondo road and a late model locomotive, baggage car and passenger coach. A special permit was granted by the authorities of Inglewood, for Barney to go the limit in the speed line.
The villain, Ford Sterling, ties Miss Normand to the tracks, climbs into the cab of the locomotive and with a blow on the head renders Engineer McNeil of the Santa Fe, unconscious and with the throttle wide open dashes down the track.
Mack Sennett, the lover, discovers Barney’s car. He calls the speed king and asks him to help him save the girl. Oldfield jumps into the car and pulling Sennett into the seat beside him, dashes down the road in pursuit.
Lee Bartholomew, standing on the running board of the locomotive photographs every move of the villain at the throttle, while Walter Wright with another camera, catches the race between the train and the automobile and the rescue.
The climax comes when Oldfield rounds a curve at fifty miles an hour, stops the car and Sennett jumps out and rescues Miss Normand from the shadow of the approaching train. The race continues along the road and from the cab Sterling throws bombs at the car which gradually pulls away from the train as Barney hits the ninety mile pace.
* from Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette, March 27, 1913
The Sleuths at the Floral Parade
Advantage was taken of the fact that a floral parade was being held at Pasadena, Cal., in which the Keystone car was entered and won second prize to produce a comedy film around the incident.113 Fred Mace and Mabel Normand are invited to take part in the parade, and Mack Sennett planes to keep her away and take her place. Accordingly Mabel is locked up in her dressing room, but she escapes after considerable difficulty. She rushes to the line or march and makes frantic and amusing efforts to catch the Keystone automobile, while the two sleuths attempt to dodge her. Mabel gets into difficulties with the police who are endeavoring to maintain order and is championed by Ford Sterling, who is among the spectators. She finally gains her rightful place in the auto.
* from Fairbanks Sunday Times [Alaska], April 20, 1913
A Pathé Weekly, showing the current events the world over for a week, is to feature the Lorentzen program this evening at Eagle hall. The other pictures are of a high order, and Mr. Lorentzen promises to please the throng of showgoers who will flock to Eagle hall after 8 o’clock this evening.
Three comedies and one biblical play make up the rest of the program, and the 4,000 feet of new film will make up as well-balanced and interesting a program as has been shown in many a day.
“Joseph in Egypt,” by the Cines company, is a well-produced biblical play. The other pictures are “Fatal Chocolate“ and “Got a Match?” two good comedies on one reel by the Biograh company; “Dodging the Sheriff,” a Western comedy by the Melies players.
The first show starts at 8 o’clock and the second will follow. Twenty-five cents admission will be charged.
* from Motion Picture Magazine, May 1913
Roy B. Cook, of Chicago, Ill., writes this clever verse for Mabel Normand:
To Miss Normand.
Who is the maiden I like the best
Of all the films I see?
The problem is hard for one to guess,
But Miss Normand’s the one for me.
There isn’t a doubt as to her fame,
For once her face you’ve seen,
You’ll always remember the big, black eyes
Of the Motion Picture queen.
Oh! She is the prettiest, she is the wittiest,
She’s the one I like to see.
Oh! she is the dearest girl there is
Miss Normand’s the one for me.
* from Motography, May 3, 1913
The Keystone Film Company, with Mack Sennett’s master hand at the wheel is presenting a new variety of film at the present time, which marks a departure in the picture game. Mack calls them comedy-melodramas and judging from the praise of exhibitors throughout the country they are great. The stories have a well defined plot, filled with thrilling incidents and intense moments, while a light vein of comedy running all the way through the picture provides excellent relief and much laughter.
* from Variety, May 9, 1913
The Keystone Company left here for Mexico. It expects to be away for some weeks. Mabel Normand (Keystone) is off to Fresno for a short vacation, although I don’t imagine she will rest much.
* from Variety, May 16, 1913
Mabel Normand now runs her own car, a Marion, and is already a speed fiend. She drove her car this week to Tia Juana, Mexico, where Keystone is now working.114
* from Motography, May 17, 1913
from interview with Fred Mace:
...”Sennett and I have been looked upon as an established fact,” he ruminated, “and of course, we were. We worked together in Biograph films and went to Keystone at the same time and are still the best of friends. All of us in Keystone worked fine together, and Mabel Normand is one of the best little actresses I know. The only trouble I had with her were the times she’d start giggling and couldn’t stop; she’s a wonderful giggler.”
* from Variety, May 31, 1913
The Keystone company has returned from Mexico. Their director tells me he has “some great stuff.”
* from The New York Clipper, May 31, 1913
Mabel Normand received an ovation in San Francisco, Cal, recently, when she arrived in that city on a short vacation. The throngs about the train as she stopped off demanded a word from their favorite screen star and Miss Normand made a pretty little speech of thanks, although confessing afterwards that she was considerably flustered by her reception.
* from Motion Picture Story Magazine, June 1913
To Mabel Normand
The sweetest girl I’ve ever seen
Upon the motion picture screen
Is a dear little maiden, with winsome smile
That’s got other stars beat a mile
Her ways are cute, has a pretty pout
You can always guess what she’s about
She used to act for the A. B.,
But now has left it, as you all see:
Has gone to another company, fair
To continue her captivating acting there.
526 East 156th Street
New York City
* from Moving Picture World, June 7, 1913
There was something doing every moment on Photo Player’s Day in San Francisco. The Motion Picture Exhibitors’ League worked hard to make May 2nd, a day worthy of remembrance, and they were paid for their efforts by a grand turn-out all along the line of parade. A fact worthy of note in passing was the general comment by everyone that there were three times as many people lining the curbs to watch the parade as there were the previous day to see the big circus parade.
The excitement began at 9:30 in the morning, with the arrival of Mabel Normand of the Keystone Company, Carlyle Blackwell of the Kalem Company, and Miss Anne Schaeffer and George C. Stanley of the Western Vitagraph Company. The players were met by State Secretary, W. A. Cory, and representatives of the Golden Gate and General Film Exchange, who took the players to their hotel, where they made ready for the pageant which started at noon at Van Ness Ave. and Market Street.
Mabel Normand having been voted the most popular player in California was chosen queen of the occasion, and occupied the first automobile with Carlyle Blackwell and W.A. Cory and wife. Then came the two Vitagraphers, and following them, Mr. Gilbert M. Anderson, the popular “Broncho Billy” of the Essanay Company, followed by twenty-four of Anderson’s daring cowboys and cowgirls in picture costumes and mounted on their cow-ponies. The famous old stage coach which we have seen “Broncho Billy” hold up countless times was also there in all its glory. Several beautiful floats, representing miniature picture shows, and other spectacular features followed. Next came the members of the San Francisco and Oakland Exhibitor’s Leagues in gaily decorated automobiles, headed by a band of twenty pieces. The parade made a beautiful spectacle, and proved the best sort of advertising for the ball which opened at 9:30 that night with Mayor and Mrs. [James] Rolph leading the grand march. Following Mayor and Mrs. Rolph came the visiting actors and actresses, the committee in charge of arrangement and their ladies, with Anderson’s cowboys and cowgirls dressed in Wild West costume, followed by the different members of the league and the dancers.
The actors and actresses were introduced by Chairman Cory, and made happy little speeches, which were greatly appreciated by the great throngs present. The only one to avoid making a speech was “Alkali Ike”115 who, owing to his diminutive stature was enabled to hide behind the skirts of some kind lady and could not be found until the dancing was well under way.
Motion Pictures of the parade which were taken by Miles Brothers, and were exhibited on a screen, caused a great deal of merriment among the spectators as they recognized themselves in the photographs…
* from Moving Picture World, June 7, 1913
W. A. Cory
There was something doing every moment on Photo Players’ Day in San Francisco. The Motion Picture Exhibitors’ League worked hard to make May 2nd, a day worthy of remembrance, and they were paid for their efforts by a grand turn-out all along the line of the parade. A fact worthy of note in passing was the general comment by everyone that there were three times as many people lining the curbs to watch the parade as there were the previous day to see the big circus parade.
The excitement began at 9:30 in the morning, with the arrival of Mabel Normand of the Keystone Company, Carlyle Blackwell of the Kalem Company, and Miss Anne Schaeffer and George C. Stanley of the Western Vitagraph Company.
The players were met by the State Secretary, W. A. Cory, and representatives of the Golden Gate and General Film Exchange, who took the players to their hotel, where they made ready for the pageant, which started at noon at Van Ness Avenue and Market Street.
Mabel Normand having been voted the most popular player in California was chosen queen of the occasion, and occupied the first automobile with Carlyle Blackwell and W. A. Cory and wife. Then came the two Vitagraphers, and following them, Mr. Gilbert M. Anderson, the popular “Broncho Billy” of the Essanay Company, followed by twenty-four of Anderson’s daring cowboys and cowgirls in picture costume and mounted on their cow-ponies. The famous old stage coach which we have seen “Broncho Billy” hold up countless times, was also there in all its glory. Several beautiful floats, representing miniature picture shows, and other spectacular features followed. Next came the members of the San Francisco and Oakland Exhibitors’ Leagues in gaily decorated automobiles, headed by a band of twenty pieces. The parade made a beautiful spectacle, and proved the best sort of advertising for the ball which opened at 9:30 that night, with Mayor and Mrs. Rolph leading the grand march. Following Mayor and Mrs. Rolph, came the visiting actors and actresses, the committee in charge of arrangements and their ladies, with Anderson’s cowboys and cowgirls dressed in Wild West costume, followed by the different members of the league and the dancers.
The actors and actresses were introduced by Chairman Cory, and made happy little speeches, which were greatly appreciated by the great throngs present. The only one to avoid making a speech was “Alkalai Ike” who, owing to his diminutive stature was enabled to hide behind the skirts of some kind lady and could not be found until the dancing was well under way.
Motion pictures of the parade, which were taken by Miles Brothers, and were exhibited on a screen, caused a great deal of merriment among the spectators as they recognized themselves in the photographs.
No expense was spared in the management of the affair; the aim of the committee being to boost the business in general, rather than make money out of this particular occasion. The entire Scottish Rite Temple, which is the most beautiful building of its kind in San Francisco, was rented for the occasion, one floor being reserved for society dances, another for those who wanted to rag, large orchestras being provided in each hall. This arrangement left everybody happy, and the crowd divided up according to individual taste. The ball broke up about two o’clock Saturday morning, with everybody voting it a grand success, and eagerly awaiting next year’s second annual grand ball.
* from Variety, June 27, 1913
Ford Sterling was badly injured last week while working in a Keystone picture. In an exciting scene it was Mr. Sterling’s business to throw a bomb from a stage coach. The bomb exploded, igniting some powder in the coach. He is certain to lose several fingers and is suffering intensely from body burns. Mabel Normand, with him in the coach, was severely shaken up, but otherwise unharmed. Mr. Sterling has been doing some splendid work recently. Mack Sennett is much upset over the affair.
* from Motography, July 12, 1913