Earlier this year it was announced that a stash of 75 silent films were being returned from
Among the treasures was a little romantic comedy called “Won in a Cupboard”. According to Brent Walker, the working title was “The Rube” it was filmed in December of 1913 in Edendale at the Keystone Studio. For years this 97 year old film was thought lost. Yet on December 10, 2010 the Library of Congress screened it and in the audience were a number of film historians, one of the assembled was Robert Farr, the founder of Slapsticon, who has given me permission to tell you what he saw… of course if you wish to wait I hope that Robert Birchard will be able to show it at Cinecon in Hollywood and for those attending Slapsticon in July maybe they will be screening it in Rosslyn Virginia.
But if you can’t wait…here is what Rob sent us, both shots he describes occur in the first half of the reel.
Looking for Mabel
It is incredible!!! I saw it at the Library of Congress-Culpeper yesterday and was totally blown away. Not by Mabel's performance (though she was at her peak: lovely and full of life) but by her directorial touches. Our first good look at Mabel is an amazingly well-executed "zoom" (actually a trucking shot) from a medium shot into a luminous close-up of her. And the film historians I viewed it with (Stone,
I think that once this film is widely disseminated, historians are going to have to take a harder look at Mabel's self-directed films and give her at least as much credit for innovation as anything done by Griffith, Guy-Blache, Ince, Arbuckle and Sennett. If anything, the case might be made that her films co-starring Chaplin actually inhibited her technique because with such a strong co-star, the stories became more personality-driven. Where are the other Mabel-directed films without Chaplin?
Remember last December “Mabel’s Blunder” (Keystone 1914) was named to the National Registry? It was directed and starring Mabel Normand and now, “Won in a Closet” is discovered in
Won in a Closet
Directed by Mabel Normand
Cast: Mabel Normand
Plot: Mabel enters into a love affair with many entanglements.