Ted Okuda

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Ted Okuda (born December 8, 1953) is an American non-fiction author and film historian. He has many books and magazine features to his credit, under his own name and in collaboration with others.


Okuda's long-held interest in movie comedies led to his first book, The Columbia Comedy Shorts (1986, with Edward Watz) [1] an in-depth account of Columbia Pictures' short-subject department, detailing the production of two-reel comedies starring The Three Stooges, Buster Keaton, Andy Clyde, Charley Chase, and Gus Schilling & Richard Lane, among many others. Since the book's first publication in 1986, Okuda has explored other areas of popular culture, including science fiction, children's television, and silent films.

Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. is an American film studio, production company and film distributor that is a member of the Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group, a division of Sony Entertainment's Sony Pictures subsidiary of the Japanese multinational conglomerate Sony Corporation.

The Three Stooges American comedy team

The Three Stooges were an American vaudeville and comedy team active from 1922 until 1970, best known for their 190 short subject films by Columbia Pictures that have been regularly airing on television since 1958. Their hallmark was physical farce and slapstick. Six stooges appeared over the act's run : Moe Howard and Larry Fine were mainstays throughout the ensemble's nearly fifty-year run and the pivotal "third Stooge" was played by Shemp Howard, Curly Howard, Shemp Howard again, Joe Besser, and Curly Joe DeRita.

Buster Keaton American actor and filmmaker

Joseph Frank Keaton, known professionally as Buster Keaton, was an American actor, comedian, film director, producer, screenwriter, and stunt performer. He was best known for his silent films, in which his trademark was physical comedy with a consistently stoic, deadpan expression which earned him the nickname "The Great Stone Face". Critic Roger Ebert wrote of Keaton's "extraordinary period from 1920 to 1929" when he "worked without interruption" on a series of films that make him "the greatest actor-director in the history of the movies". His career declined afterward with a loss of artistic independence when he was hired by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, his wife divorced him, and he descended into alcoholism. He recovered in the 1940s, remarried, and revived his career to a degree as an honored comic performer for the rest of his life, earning an Academy Honorary Award.

Okuda's other books include Dorothy Lee: The Life and Films of the Wheeler and Woolsey Girl (2013, with Jamie Brotherton), [2] Stan Without Ollie: The Stan Laurel Solo Films (2012, with James L. Neibaur), [3] Chicago TV Horror Movie Shows (2007, with Mark Yurkiw), [4] The Soundies Book: A Revised and Expanded Guide (2007, with Scott MacGillivray), Charlie Chaplin at Keystone and Essanay (2005, with David Maska), [5] The Golden Age of Chicago Children's Television (2004, with Jack Mulqueen), [6] and The Jerry Lewis Films (1995, with Neibaur). [7] He also contributed chapters to the books Science Fiction America (edited by David J. Hogan) and Guilty Pleasures of the Horror Film (edited by Gary and Susan Svehla), [8] and wrote the foreword for MacGillivray's Castle Films: A Hobbyist's Guide. [9] His articles, interviews, and reviews have appeared in such publications as Filmfax, Classic Images, Cult Movies, Classic Film Collector, The Big Reel, and Movie Collectors World.

Dorothy Lee (actress) American actress and comedian

Dorothy Lee was an American actress and comedian during the 1930s. She appeared in 28 films, usually appearing alongside the Wheeler & Woolsey comedy team.

Stan Laurel English comic actor, writer and film director

Stan Laurel was an English comic actor, writer, and film director who was part of the comedy duo Laurel and Hardy. He appeared with his comedy partner Oliver Hardy in 107 short films, feature films, and cameo roles.

Soundies were three-minute American musical 16mm films, produced in New York City, Chicago, and Hollywood, between 1940 and 1946, each containing a song, dance and/or band or orchestral number.

He has also appeared on television, usually with popular movie host and Stooge expert Rich Koz.

Rich Koz is an American actor and broadcaster best known as horror-movie host Svengoolie. Out of costume, he is also the host of the syndicated The Three Stooges Stooge-a-Palooza program.

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Laurel and Hardy American comedy double act

Laurel and Hardy were a comedy duo act during the early Classical Hollywood era of American cinema. The team was composed of Englishman Stan Laurel (1890–1965) and American Oliver Hardy (1892–1957). They became well known during the late 1920s to the mid-1940s for their slapstick comedy, with Laurel playing the clumsy and childlike friend of the pompous bully Hardy. The duo's signature tune is known variously as "The Cuckoo Song", "Ku-Ku", or "The Dance of the Cuckoos". It was played over the opening credits of their films and has become as emblematic of the duo as their bowler hats.

Essanay Studios

The Essanay Film Manufacturing Company was an American motion picture studio. The studio was founded in 1907 and based in Chicago, and later had an additional film lot in Niles Canyon, California. It is best known today for its series of Charlie Chaplin comedies of 1915. In the 1920s, after it merged with other studios, it was absorbed into Warner Brothers.

Keystone Studios American film studio (Los Angeles; 1912–1935)

Keystone Studios was an early film studio founded in Edendale, California on July 4, 1912 as the Keystone Pictures Studio by Mack Sennett with backing from actor-writer Adam Kessel (1866–1946) and Charles O. Baumann (1874–1931), owners of the New York Motion Picture Company. The company, referred to at its office as The Keystone Film Co., filmed in and around Glendale and Silver Lake, Los Angeles for several years, and its films were distributed by the Mutual Film Corporation between 1912 and 1915.

Tor Johnson Swedish professional wrestler and actor

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<i>Making a Living</i> 1914 film by Henry Lehrman

Making a Living is the first film starring Charlie Chaplin. It premiered on February 2, 1914. Chaplin plays Edgar English, a lady-charming swindler who runs afoul of the Keystone Kops. It was written and directed by Henry Lehrman.

<i>Twenty Minutes of Love</i> 1914 film by Charlie Chaplin

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Svengoolie is a hosted horror movie show in the U.S. The show's title is taken from the name of the character host. The show is a long-running local program in the Chicago area and in recent years expanded nationally, airing Saturday nights on MeTV.

<i>The Gorilla</i> (1939 film) 1939 film by Allan Dwan

The Gorilla is a 1939 American horror comedy film starring the Ritz Brothers, Anita Louise, Art Miles, Lionel Atwill, Bela Lugosi, and Patsy Kelly. It was based on a play of the same name by Ralph Spence.

<i>A Burlesque on Carmen</i> 1915 film

A Burlesque on Carmen is Charlie Chaplin's thirteenth film for Essanay Studios, originally released as Carmen on December 18, 1915. Chaplin played the leading man and Edna Purviance played Carmen. The film is a parody of Cecil B. DeMille's Carmen 1915, which was itself an interpretation of the popular novella Carmen by Prosper Mérimée.

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<i>Triple Trouble</i> (1918 film) 1919 film

Triple Trouble is a two-reel American silent comedy film that was released in 1918. It starred Charlie Chaplin, Edna Purviance, and Leo White. This film was not an official Chaplin film, even though it has many Chaplin directed scenes; it was edited together out of outtakes and newly shot footage by the Essanay Film Manufacturing Company, with Leo White as director for the new scenes. Since Chaplin did not have legal control over the films made during his time with Essanay, he could not prevent its release.

<i>Duck Soup</i> (1927 film) 1927 film directed by Fred Guiol

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<i>Flying Elephants</i> 1928 film by Frank Butler

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<i>Leave Em Laughing</i> 1928 film by Clyde Bruckman, Frank Butler

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Chicago film industry

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Olives and Their Oil is a 1914 educational short film about the production of olive oil. The film was released by Keystone Studios on February 7, 1914, on a split reel with the Charlie Chaplin comedy Kid Auto Races at Venice.

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  1. Dick, Bernard F. (1993). The Merchant Prince of Poverty Row: Harry Cohn of Columbia Pictures. University Press of Kentucky. p. 206. ISBN   0-8131-1841-7.
  2. Brotherton, Jamie (2013). Dorothy Lee: The Life and Films of the Wheeler and Woolsey Girl. McFarland & Company. p. 196. ISBN   1476600481.
  3. Neibaur, James L. (2012). Stan Without Ollie: The Stan Laurel Solo Films, 1917-1927. McFarland & Company. p. 248. ISBN   0786489871.
  4. Yurkiw, Mark (2016) [2007]. Chicago TV Horror Movie Shows: From Shock Theatre to Svengoolie. Southern Illinois University Press. p. 270. ISBN   0809335387.
  5. Maska, David (2005). Charlie Chaplin at Keystone and Essanay: Dawn of the Tramp. iUniverse. p. 230. ISBN   0595365981.
  6. Mulqueen, Jack (2016) [2004]. The Golden Age of Chicago Children's Television. Southern Illinois University Press. p. 274. ISBN   0809335360.
  7. Neibaur. James L. (2013). The Jerry Lewis Films: An Analytical Filmography of the Innovative Comic. McFarland & Company. p. 295. ISBN   0786475005.
  8. Svehla, Gary J.; Sveha, Susan (eds.). Guilty Pleasures of the Horror Film. p. 320. ISBN   1887664033.
  9. MacGillivray, Scott (2004). Castle Films: A Hobbyist's Guide. iUniverse. p. 434. ISBN   0595324916.