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With his quizzical expression and childlike demeanor, Harry Langdon was one of the slapstick cinema's brightest stars, a low-key alternative to his more fast-paced contemporaries. His hard-luck persona always had a melancholy air as he ambled through life, blissfully ignorant of the pitfalls of modernity. In 1927, enjoying> the power that came with owning his own production company, Langdon steered his trademark character even further from the conventionalized slapstick of his Mack Sennett background. His directorial debut, THREE'S A CROWD, didn't just dabble in pathos, it plunged its hapless hero into a netherworld of loneliness worthy of Samuel Beckett (a self-avowed Langdon fan). Harry stars as a slum-dweller who invites a freezing woman (Gladys McConnell), pregnant with another man's child, into his home. Nursing mother and child back to health, he achieves his dream of having a family...or so he hopes. Langdon's second film as director, THE CHASER (1928) is a dark, slightly kinky comedy in which carousing Harry is ordered by a judge to swap domestic duties (and clothing) with his wife. Deprived of his "manliness," Harry contemplates suicide while coping with flirtatious salesmen and the scorn of a former comrade. This DVD of THREE'S A CROWD and THE CHASER is authored from new HD masters derived from the 35mm negatives held by the Raymond Rohauer estate. Due to decomposition of the original film elements, portions of THE CHASER are mastered from a 16mm print.

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Feature Audio commentary for THREE'S A CROWD by film historian David Kalat

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KI4314 Harry Langdon DVD (Three's a Crowd/The Chaser) $29.95 $26.99