She Could Be Chaplin!
The Comedic Brilliance of Alice Howell

By Anthony Slide
Foreword by George Stevens Jr.

144 pages (approx.), 6 x 9 inches, 43 b&w illustrations, foreword, appendices, filmography, bibliography, index

9781496806321 Cloth $26.00T

Cloth, $26.00


Alice Howell (1886-1961) is slowly gaining recognition and regard as arguably the most important slapstick comedienne of the silent era. This new study, the first book-length appreciation, identifies her place in the comedy hierarchy alongside the best-known of silent comediennes, Mabel Normand. Like Normand, Howell learned her craft with Mack Sennett and Charlie Chaplin. Beginning her screen career in 1914, Howell quickly developed a distinctive style and eccentric attire and mannerisms, successfully hiding her good looks, and was soon identi ed as the "Female Charlie Chaplin."

Howell became a star of comedy shorts in 1915 and continued her career through 1928 and the advent of sound in film. While she is today recognized as a pioneering female filmmaker, during her career she never expressed much interest in her work, seeing it only as a means to an end, with her income carefully invested in real estate. It has taken many years for her to gain her rightful place in film history, not only as a comedienne, but also as matriarch of a prominent American family that includes son-in-law and director George Stevens and grandson George Stevens Jr., founder of the American Film Institute and the Kennedy Center Honors, who provides a foreword.

Over the past forty-five years, ANTHONY SLIDE, Studio City, California, has written and edited more than two hundred books on the history of popular entertainment. He is a pioneer in the documentation of women in silent film, writing the First biography of Lois Weber, editing the memoirs of Alice Guy Blaché, and authoring the first study of women silent film directors. Lillian Gish called him "our preeminent film historian of the silent era." This is his seventh book published with UPM.

144 pages (approx.), 6 x 9 inches, 43 b&w illustrations, foreword, appendices, filmography, bibliography, index