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Madcap Mabel Normand

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159 Comments

Reply Scottpoers
7:48 AM on October 19, 2017 
Hi
Reply John Shetler
6:45 PM on September 27, 2017 

Hi Marilyn,

I have enjoyed your site for years now, but shame on me, I am way over due to send a note and say thanks for all of your exhaustive research on Mabel and for sharing all of this information with us.  

I was wondering, has there been any further news on that camera negative of Raggedy Rose at the LoC?  I would love to commision a high quality digital transfer and have it scored released on home video, as you know every copy out there now is pretty much from the same terrible dupe print!

Reply Rudy Cecera
2:08 AM on September 26, 2017 

Hey Marilyn,

It’s Rudy. Firstly, I want to inform you that my two Mabel short films (“Mabel’s Dressing Room” & “Madcap Mabel”) for which you were technical advisor, are doing quite well. I’m selling a few here and there at festivals and eBay and the feedback I’m getting about their realism is incredible and part of the reason for that is the actual Mabel possessions you lent me for the films.

As you know, my films, (specifically “Madcap Mabel”) were made with the intent of raising interest in my feature length Mabel Normand screenplay. Speaking of which, I would also like to thank you for your feedback on the script. It’s really helped me develop the characters. Having your endorsement on my project is vital as there is nobody more respected in Mabel then you.

In fact, once I received your thumbs-up, I immediately sent the script to a few directors and even a few A-List actresses. Their feedback has also been positive. Of course, getting it into the development stage is the next step and I’m looking forward to networking with those that could help bring this project to fruition. I think for your sake alone, Mabel would want it that way.

Rudy

 

Reply Robert Forte
4:30 PM on September 23, 2017 

Hello Marilyn, I am also a huge Mabel fan, I have a screenplay completed and optioned with Tipped Hat Entertainment but Heather is moving very slowly at funding it. If you know any investors who would like to see Mabel's story in theaters please let me know.

I have a book, The Woman In The Yellow Dress, a private eye story set in 1948 Los Angeles on Amazon.com and I'm finishing the follow up book, Magenta Dairy which will be out in December.

If you can give me any insights on Mabel or Julia Brew I would love to hear from you.

Sincerely,

Robert Forte

Reply Kel Boyce
10:25 AM on July 29, 2017 

July is nearly over, and I've just realized no Mabel and Charlie films were released in this month in 1914. I've been trawling the internet for more details on Charlie and Mabel as a pair. Everyone seems obsessed with Mack and Mabel, but i have just found a series of blogs on wordpress.com going into the relationship between Chas and Mabel.It's titled 'THE CHARLIE & MABEL STORY: How Screen Comedy Grew Up' Parts I to IV. Puts a different slant on what went on at Mack's Madhouse Studio.

Reply Magdalena-lisa
12:06 AM on June 1, 2017 
I fell down a rabbit-hole the other evening regarding William Desmond Taylor and his unsolved case. In all my surfing of his sad mystery I stumbled upon the story of your Mabel -- thank you for creating this website dedicated to Mabel Normand -- it is truly wonderful to explore -- especially the photographs of old Los Angeles and your heroine and others of the silent era. It is a nice bit of wonderland.
Reply Diane Crost
9:29 PM on February 1, 2017 

Thank you Marilyn for inluding me in the credits for your Hollywood Museum article. This is a fabulous website :)

Reply kerry michael boyce
1:04 PM on February 1, 2017 

I enjoyed reading the page about Mabel’s motorcycles. As well as the Indian there is a picture of a V–twin motorcycle that someone, I believe, has identified as a Flying Merkel. The Flying Merkel and Indian do have another (sort of) link with Mabel and ‘Mabel At The Wheel’ in that the company which produced Chaplin’s Thor IV motorcycle started in business making parts for Flying Merkel and Indian (including complete engines for the latter). If anyone is interested there is a video of a circa 1912 Thor engine being rebuilt by a couple of guys on YouTube. In another video, a Thor is shown in action. Although the cycle seems serene enough on silent film, the noise is actually horrendous! Furthermore, the hot exhaust gasses would have been vented towards Mabel’s right foot, even if a silencer was fitted (I can’t see that the Chaplin example was actually fitted with one). The precarious-looking passenger seat was an accessory. It is worth noting that all the photos of Mabel with the Indian show the machine on a stand, even when Jack Pickford is represented as the pilot. I believe the Indian belonged to Claude Normand (bought by Mabel perhaps?). Does anyone know if Mabel herself ever actually rode a motorcycle? A motorcycle would definitely have NOT been suitable for negotiating Edendale’s unpaved, muddy roads while wearing furs, dripping with diamonds, and a poke bonnet for head protection. Incidentally, Jack and Mabel seem very cosy sitting on the Indian, as indeed they were at Biograph, Goldwyn’s, and in an English comic-strip that can be seen on this site (I presume that the Jack illustrated is Jack Pickford).

Reply ★ Owner
8:13 PM on January 10, 2017 

Kel, 

Mabel Normand wrote a whole series of these silly letters.  She said that she was sending them to "put a smile" on the faces of very busy important men.  TheIMPORTANT men, like Zukor.  The letter was found in a personal papers of Zukor; so we know that he kept it.  The description of the girl sending the letter is COMICAL - fine-thin-fuzzt hair, no chin, very tall, pale eyes, etc.  You should read it in the spirit of hilarious farce as she intended.

MOLLY O' was the Christmas success and she was working on SUZANNA in February 1922.  When the comic letter was written, Mabel was planning a trip to Europe.  The Sennett Studios was waiting for her return to make more feature movies (MARY ANN and THE EXTRA GIRL).

I find the whole WDT case is in the realm of "recrearional thinking" it exists because it is a mystery, even if it were solved there will always be those that will find a constancy theory - (the grassy knoll or wind blowing the flag on the moon).  The fascinations is not with the murder, it is the ubsolved murder.

Kel Boyce says...

Having recently discovered Marilyn’s site, I was intrigued to find Mabel’s letter to Adolph Zukor among its pages. This is my take on Mabel’s scribings:

Mabel’s letter seems more impertinent than usual, and with good reason. Mabel felt she had been sacrificed following the W.D.Taylor murder, in order to protect Zukor’s big star Mary Miles Minter. The application for a job reflects the fact that Taylor had been unable, or unwilling, to get Mabel employed at Zukor’s studio. She seems to imply that Taylor was one of Zukor’s ‘temperamental directors’, and Mabel does not seem to have been impressed by Zukor’s flowers (according to Mack Sennett, Mabel had once threatened to ‘brain’ him and Zukor with a heavy book).

In Mabel’s description of herself, she refers to Syd Graumann who was an ally of Zukor, and much to Mabel’s annoyance, the first to ban Arbuckle’s films in 1921 (‘If I had ‘mad ‘ hair like Graumann would I be your friend too?’ she seems to say). The local theatre- owner she refers to is clearly Graumann. Mabel’s claim to be 7’ 9’’ inches tall, with bobbed hair is evidently a jibe at the new studio practice of casting more slender, taller-looking flappers.

The other Syd cited, Cohen, was leader of the independent exhibitors that were in a legal war with Zukor. With a bit of luck Zukor will get a bloody nose, thinks Mabel.

I am not sure this letter was ever read by Zukor, but I hope it was!C

 

 

Reply Kel Boyce
11:22 AM on January 10, 2017 

Having recently discovered Marilyn’s site, I was intrigued to find Mabel’s letter to Adolph Zukor among its pages. This is my take on Mabel’s scribings:

Mabel’s letter seems more impertinent than usual, and with good reason. Mabel felt she had been sacrificed following the W.D.Taylor murder, in order to protect Zukor’s big star Mary Miles Minter. The application for a job reflects the fact that Taylor had been unable, or unwilling, to get Mabel employed at Zukor’s studio. She seems to imply that Taylor was one of Zukor’s ‘temperamental directors’, and Mabel does not seem to have been impressed by Zukor’s flowers (according to Mack Sennett, Mabel had once threatened to ‘brain’ him and Zukor with a heavy book).

In Mabel’s description of herself, she refers to Syd Graumann who was an ally of Zukor, and much to Mabel’s annoyance, the first to ban Arbuckle’s films in 1921 (‘If I had ‘mad ‘ hair like Graumann would I be your friend too?’ she seems to say). The local theatre- owner she refers to is clearly Graumann. Mabel’s claim to be 7’ 9’’ inches tall, with bobbed hair is evidently a jibe at the new studio practice of casting more slender, taller-looking flappers.

The other Syd cited, Cohen, was leader of the independent exhibitors that were in a legal war with Zukor. With a bit of luck Zukor will get a bloody nose, thinks Mabel.

I am not sure this letter was ever read by Zukor, but I hope it was!C