Sennett, Mack


Sennett, Mack
orig. Michael Sinnott

born Jan. 17, 1880, Richmond, Que., Can.
died Nov. 5, 1960, Hollywood, Calif., U.S.

Canadian-born U.S. film director.

He performed in burlesque and vaudeville before joining the Biograph studio in 1908, and he soon was directing comedies under D.W. Griffith's tutelage. He left to form his own Keystone Co. in 1912. Considered the father of slapstick comedy in motion pictures, he produced the first U.S. feature-length comedy, Tillie's Punctured Romance (1914), and made over 1,000 comedy shorts, often featuring the wild antics of the Keystone Kops. He hired stars such as Mabel Normand, Fatty Arbuckle, and Charlie Chaplin. Important directors such as Frank Capra and George Stevens also received experience under Sennett. Sennett excelled in comic timing, improvisation, and effective editing, and he used trick camera work and high-speed and slow-motion photography to produce his famous comic chase scenes. In 1937 he received a special Academy Award.

Mack Sennett.

Courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art Film Stills Archive, New York

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▪ Canadian-American director and producer
original name  Michael Sinnott  
born Jan. 17, 1880, Richmond, Que., Can.
died Nov. 5, 1960, Hollywood
 creator of the Keystone Kops and the father of American slapstick comedy in motion pictures. A master of comic timing and effective editing, Sennett was a dominant figure in the silent era of Hollywood film production and was the first director of comedies to develop a distinctive style.

      He performed in the circus, burlesque, vaudeville, and the legitimate theatre before joining Biograph studios in 1909 as an actor. He soon became a scriptwriter and director, learning movie technique from D.W. Griffith, a director who pioneered in the development of cinematic art. Three years later he left to form his own independent Keystone Company in Los Angeles.

      In 1914 Sennett's company produced the first American feature-length comedy, Tillie's Punctured Romance, but he is most famous for more than 1,000 one- and two-reel comedy shorts. At first he both directed and acted in his short comedies, many of which were improvised on the spot to take advantage of parades, fires, and similar events too costly to stage. His name is generally associated with the bathing beauties who adorned his comedies and with the antics of the Keystone Kops, a group of uniquely talented actors who became internationally popular comedians. The vintage Sennett films, however, such as His Bitter Pill (1916), A Small Town Idol (1921), and The Shriek of Araby (1923) were often biting parodies or incisive satires that mocked the foibles of an increasingly mechanized society. His films were characterized by trick camera work and high-speed and slow-motion photography reminiscent of the French “chase” comedies popular in the United States after 1907.

 Sennett trained a coterie of clowns and comediennes that made the Keystone trademark world famous: Mabel Normand, Marie Dressler, Gloria Swanson, Fatty Arbuckle, Harry Langdon, Ben Turpin, Charlie Chaplin, Harold Lloyd, and W.C. Fields among them. Such important directors as Frank Capra, Malcolm St. Clair, and George Stevens also received experience under Sennett's tutelage.

      The coming of sound, the advent of double features, and the popularity of animated cartoons, combined with the Wall Street crash of 1929 that wiped out his large personal fortune, severely crippled Sennett's style, and he retired in 1935. In 1937 the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voted him a special award “for his lasting contribution to the comedy technique of the screen.”

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Sennett, Mack — orig. Michael Sinnott (17 ene. 1880, Richmond, Quebec, Canadá–5 nov. 1960, Hollywood, Cal., EE.UU.). Director de cine estadounidense nacido en Canadá. Actuó en el burlesque y el vodevil, y en 1908 se incorporó al estudio Biograph. Al poco tiempo… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Sennett, Mack — • СЕ ННЕТТ (Sennett) Мак (наст, имя и фам. Майкл Синнотт, Sinnott) (17.1.1880 5.11.1960)    амер. режиссёр, актёр. В 1902 07 работал в т ре. В 1908 был принят на студию Байограф , где играл в к/м фильмах Д. У. Гриффита. В 1910 12 пост. неск.… …   Кино: Энциклопедический словарь

  • Sennett,Mack — Sen·nett (sĕnʹĭt), Mack. 1880? 1960. Canadian born American filmmaker known for his slapstick motion pictures featuring the Keystone Kops. * * * …   Universalium

  • Sennett, Mack —    см. Сеннет, Мак …   Режиссерская энциклопедия. Кино США

  • Sennett, Mack —  (1884–1960) Canadian born American film producer and director; born Michael Sinnott …   Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors

  • Sennett, Mack — soprannome di Sinnott, Michael …   Sinonimi e Contrari. Terza edizione

  • Mack Sennett — En 1910 Données clés Nom de naissance Michael Sinnott Surno …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Mack Sennett — Infobox actor name = Mack Sennett birthname = Michael Sinnott birthdate = birth date|1880|1|17|mf=y birthplace = Richmond, Quebec, Canada deathdate = death date and age|1960|11|5|1880|1|17 deathplace = Woodland Hills, California yearsactive =… …   Wikipedia

  • Mack at It Again — Infobox Film name = Mack at It Again image size = caption = director = Mack Sennett producer = writer = narrator = starring = Mabel Normand Mack Sennett music = cinematography = editing = distributor = released = 1914 runtime = country = USA… …   Wikipedia

  • Mack Sennett — noun United States filmmaker (born in Canada) noted for slapstick movies (1880 1960) • Syn: ↑Sennett • Instance Hypernyms: ↑film maker, ↑filmmaker, ↑film producer, ↑movie maker * * * Mack …   Useful english dictionary


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