Looking for Mabel Normand

Madcap Mabel Normand

Posted September 12, 2012



This is the joy of research, finding new stuff! We never know everything, so we hunt. We now need to add another movie to Mabel’s filmography.  After the screening on TCM on August 6, I got a phone call from Rudy Cecera, saying how lovely Mabel Normand looked in the park sequence and we talked about that it needed to be added to the list of Mabel’s films, and I said I would check to see if it is listed, so many comedies.  Last night I got a message from Brent Walker, author of Mack Sennett’s Fun Factory.  Here is his note:

Brent Walker (FaceBook) September 11, 2012 sent to: Brittany Jane Valente, Paul Gierucki and Marilyn Slater.

 “When I wrote Mack Sennett’s Fun Factory I had not seen ON HIS WEDDING DAY (1913), and only had stills of the wedding scene to go by in making my cast list.  So I was quite surprised (thanks to the Cinemuseum restoration aired on Turner Classic Movies) that Mabel Normand has a cameo role in a different scene. – correcting the fact that it wasn’t a cameo…Mabel has a pretty sizable role as a girl in the park (with her fiancée Charles Avery) who Ford Sterling tries to steal away.”

 With the information we can all see on Paul Gierucki’s restoration the revised information is: (isn’t it nice to see what has been missed until now!)


On His Wedding Day

- working title “The Chimney and His Wedding Day

(Keystone – March 1913) ½ reel (527 ft.) 

Location: Edendale Studio and Echo Park on February 1 to February 3, 1913. 

Released: March 31, 1913

Director: Mack Sennett

Cast: Ford Sterling – Krause

          Dot Farley – Bride

          Nick Cogley – Father

          Hale Studebaker – Minister

          Mabel Normand – Girl in the Park

          Charles Avery – Mabel’s beau in Park

           Helen Holmes – wedding guest

          Carmen Phillips – wedding guest

          Chester Franklin – wedding guest

          Bert Hunn – wedding guest

          Arthur Taves – wedding guest

Plot: Wedding bouquet is sprinkled with pepper as a joke by Krause’s friends. The ceremony is broken-up by sneezing.  Krause goes to park finds girl (Mabel) with her boyfriend; gets into a brawl and is chased by kops and others, returns to the wedding.


 Review by Michael Elliot (September 6, 2012)

“A groom (Ford Sterling) is on his way to the church to meet his bride when a prankster pours some red pepper into the flowers. The groom arrives at the church and everything begins sneezing so he must go out and try to find a new preacher. While on his journey, he ends up making several people mad and they spend the rest of the picture chasing him. This is another Mack Sennett film that's well worth watching and especially if you're a fan of his fast paced style. The film starts off on a pretty funny joke dealing with the red pepper but the rest of the film skips the laughs and instead just turns into a fast chase picture. It's never fully made clear why so many people are wanting to kill the groom but I'm sure Sennett didn't think that mattered as long as he could keep the action up to pace. Sterling once again delivers a fine performance in the lead role and some of his facial gestures were quite funny. Dot Farley appears as the bride and get a couple good sequences.”

NY Times 1913 Review Summary

Ford Sterling heads the cast of the Keystone half-reeler On His Wedding Day. Released with Her New Beau. A jilted suitor cooks up a scheme to spoil his rival's wedding to the heroine. To this end, the ex-suitor plants a red pepper in the bride's bouquet. The pepper results in an abundance of sneezing, thoroughly embarrassing both bride and groom and reducing the wedding ceremony to a shambles. On His Wedding Day was originally released as a companion feature for another Keystone mirth-provoker, Her New Beau. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi