This article needs additional citations for verification . (September 2016) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
William K. Everson
William Keith Everson
8 April 1929
|Died||14 April 1996 (aged 67)|
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Occupation||Archivist, author, critic, educator, collector and film historian|
Keith William Everson (8 April 1929 – 14 April 1996) was an English-American archivist, author, critic, educator, collector, and film historian. He also discovered several lost films. Everson's given first names were Keith William, but he reversed them so that "William K." would mimic the name of Hollywood director William K. Howard, whom he admired.
Everson was born in Yeovil, Somerset, the son of Catherine (née Ward) and Percival Wilfred Everson, an aircraft engineer.His earliest jobs were in the motion picture industry; as a teenager he was employed at Renown Pictures as publicity manager. He began to write film criticism and operated several film societies.
This section needs additional citations for verification . (May 2016) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Following service in the British Army from 1946 to 1948, Everson worked as a cinema theatre manager for London's Monseigneur News Theatres.Emigrating to the United States in 1950 at age 21, he worked in the publicity department of Monogram Pictures (later Allied Artists) and subsequently became a freelance publicist.
Concurrently with his employment as writer, editor and researcher on the TV series Movie Museum and Silents Please,Everson became dedicated to preserving films from the silent era to the 1940s which otherwise would have been lost. Through his industry connections, he began to acquire feature films and short subjects that were slated to be destroyed or abandoned.
Many of his discoveries were projected at his Manhattan film group, the Theodore Huff Memorial Film Society, founded by Huff (the biographer of Charlie Chaplin), Everson, film critic Seymour Stern and Variety columnist Herman G. Weinberg as the Theodore Huff Film Society. After Huff's death, Everson added the word "Memorial". At each screening, Huff members were presented with extensive program notes written by Everson about each film. During the 1960s, these screenings were held in a hall at Union Square.
Occasionally, he would make special arrangements with a select invited group to see a 35mm print in a theater. For example, on a Sunday morning in the mid-1960s, he took over Daniel Talbot's New Yorker Theater to show the silent She (1925) to an audience of no more than 15 silent-film buffs. Later, the Huff Society screenings relocated from Union Square to The New School, by invitation of Everson's friend and fellow Huff Society member Joseph Goldberg, who was a professor at The New School. Everson was an influential figure to the generation of film historians who came of age from the 1960s to the 1980s, many of whom were regulars at his New School screenings. Other attendees at the Huff Society included such New York personalities as author Susan Sontag and publisher Calvin Beck.
Kevin Brownlow described an infamous incident at the Huff Society:
It was a society that showed the rarest films — often in a double bill with a recognised classic. Everson's programme notes became world-famous (and let us hope that some enterprising publisher will bring them out).
In 1959, MGM's Ben-Hur received rave reviews and Everson felt they were not deserved — so he showed the 1925 version at the Huff. Rival collector Raymond Rohauer, experiencing a little trouble himself over a lawsuit from MGM, told the FBI what Everson was doing, and they confronted him after the performance.They seized the print, and Everson spent the next few days squirreling other hot titles around New York. Lillian Gish had to intervene on his behalf.
In the 1970s, the FBI instituted a "witch hunt" among film collectors, but by then Everson was too highly respected to be touched. Archives came to depend on him — he would not only loan rare prints for copying or showing, but he would travel the world presenting the films he loved. I was astounded to meet him at an airport weighed down by three times as many cans of films as any human could be expected to carry. He had the uncanny knack of finding lost films. It would be no exaggeration to say that single-handedly, he transformed the attitude of American film enthusiasts towards early cinema.
Many of Everson's film programs were assembled from his own personal collection, which comprised over 4,000 titles by the 1970s. [ citation needed ]These screenings usually showcased minor masterpieces and critically overlooked B pictures that he deemed worthy of reappraisal. He brought these rediscoveries to other venues, such as the Pacific Film Archive and the Telluride Film Festival.
He worked as a consultant to producers and studios preparing silent-film projects, and collaborated closely with Robert Youngson, screening and assembling the best in silent comedy for Youngson's feature-length revivals. (Everson even wrote some of Youngson's promotional feature articles for publication.) He assisted in the production of the syndicated TV series The Charlie Chaplin Comedy Theatre (1965) and its offshoot feature film The Funniest Man in the World (1967). He was technical advisor on David L. Wolper's TV specials Hollywood, the Golden Years (1961) and The Legend of Rudolph Valentino (1982).
From 1964 to 1984 he taught film history at The School of Visual Arts,and from 1972 to 1996 was professor of cinema studies at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. He also taught film history courses at The New School. His courses often had an emphasis on comedy, Westerns and British films. Everson sometimes discussed film history as a guest on Barry Gray's late-night radio talk show in New York. He appeared as an actor in Louis McMahon's serial parody Captain Celluloid vs. the Film Pirates (1966); the four-part film, made by a cast and crew of like-minded movie buffs, concerned heinous traffic in rare silent-screen masterpieces.
In addition, Everson contributed articles and reviews to numerous film magazines, including Films in Review (1909–), Variety and Castle of Frankenstein .
Everson died of prostate cancer at the age of 67 in Manhattan, and he was survived by his wife, Karen Latham Everson,his daughter, Bambi (named for ballerina Bambi Linn), his son, Griffith and his granddaughter, Sarah. His film collection was taken over by his widow and sold to the George Eastman House. Most of his manuscripts, film screening notes and memorabilia were donated to the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, comprising the William K. Everson Collection.
In 2004, Everson was inducted into the Monster Kid Hall of Fame at the Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards.
Joseph Frank "Buster" Keaton, was an American actor, comedian, film director, producer, screenwriter, and stunt performer. He is best known for his silent films, in which his trademark was physical comedy with a consistently stoic, deadpan expression that 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 made him "the greatest actor-director in the history of the movies".
Laurel and Hardy were a comedy duo act during the early Classical Hollywood era of American cinema, consisting of Englishman Stan Laurel (1890–1965) and American Oliver Hardy (1892–1957). From the late 1920s to the mid-1940s, they were internationally famous for their slapstick comedy, with Laurel playing the clumsy, childlike friend to Hardy's pompous bully. Their signature theme song, known as "The Cuckoo Song", "Ku-Ku", or "The Dance of the Cuckoos" was heard over their films' opening credits, and become as emblematic of them as their bowler hats.
Kevin Patrick Smith is an American filmmaker, actor, comedian, comic book writer, author, and podcaster. He came to prominence with the low-budget comedy film Clerks (1994), which he wrote, directed, co-produced, and acted in as the character Silent Bob of stoner duo Jay and Silent Bob. Jay and Silent Bob also appeared in Smith's later films Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Clerks II and Jay and Silent Bob Reboot, which are set primarily in his home state of New Jersey. While not strictly sequential, the films have crossover plot elements, character references, and a shared canon known as the "View Askewniverse", named after Smith's production company View Askew Productions, which he co-founded with Scott Mosier.
Ronald Charles Colman was an English-born actor, starting his career in theatre and silent film in his native country, then emigrating to the United States and having a successful Hollywood film career. He was most popular during the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s. He received Oscar nominations for Bulldog Drummond (1929), Condemned (1929) and Random Harvest (1942). Colman starred in several classic films, including A Tale of Two Cities (1935), Lost Horizon (1937) and The Prisoner of Zenda (1937). He also played the starring role in the Technicolor classic Kismet (1944), with Marlene Dietrich, which was nominated for four Academy Awards. In 1947, he won an Academy Award for Best Actor and Golden Globe Award for Best Actor for the film A Double Life.
Harold Clayton Lloyd Sr. was an American actor, comedian, and stunt performer who appeared in many silent comedy films.
William Washington Beaudine was an American film actor and director. He was one of Hollywood's most prolific directors, turning out films in remarkable numbers and in a wide variety of genres.
Laurel and Hardy were a motion picture comedy team whose official filmography consists of 106 films released between 1921 and 1951. Together they appeared in 34 silent shorts, 45 sound shorts, and 27 full-length sound feature films. In addition to these, Laurel and Hardy appeared in at least 20 foreign-language versions of their films and a promotional film, Galaxy of Stars (1936), made for European film distributors.
Joe Franklin, born Joseph Fortgang, was an American radio and television host personality, author and actor from New York City. His television series debuted in January 1951 on WJZ-TV, moving to WOR-TV in 1962, remaining there until 1993, one of the longest running uninterrupted careers in broadcasting history.
Esther Ralston was an iconic American silent film star. Her most prominent sound picture was To the Last Man in 1933.
You're Darn Tootin' is a silent short subject directed by E. Livingston Kennedy starring comedy duo Laurel and Hardy. It was released on April 21, 1928, by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
The Battle of the Century is a 1927 silent short film starring American comedy double act Laurel and Hardy, who appeared in 107 films between 1921 and 1951.
Putting Pants On Philip is a silent short film starring British/American comedy duo Laurel and Hardy. Made in 1927, it is their first "official" film together as a team. The plot involves Laurel as Philip, a young Scot newly arrived in the United States, in full kilted splendor, suffering mishaps involving the kilt. His uncle, played by Hardy, is shown trying to put trousers on him.
Robert Youngson was a film producer, director, and screenwriter.
Film Booking Offices of America (FBO), also known as FBO Pictures Corporation, was an American film studio of the silent era, a producer and distributor of mostly low-budget films. It was founded in 1920 as Robertson–Cole (U.S.), the American division of a British import–export company formed by the English-born Harry F. Robertson. Robertson-Cole bought the Hallmark Exchanges from Frank G. Hall in 1920. Exhibitors-Mutual/Hallmark had distributed Robertson-Cole product, and acquiring the exchanges gave them the right to distribute their own films plus Hall's product, with the exception of Charlie Chaplin reissues which he had the rights to.
Edward Sedgwick was an American film director, writer, actor and producer.
To the Last Man is a 1933 American Pre-Code Western film directed by Henry Hathaway and starring Randolph Scott and Esther Ralston. The screenplay by Jack Cunningham was based on a story by Zane Grey. The Paramount property was previously made as a silent film, Victor Fleming's 1923 film version of the same title. The supporting cast of Hathaway's version features Noah Beery Sr., Jack La Rue, Buster Crabbe, Barton MacLane, Shirley Temple, Fuzzy Knight, Gail Patrick and John Carradine. Child actors Delmar Watson and Shirley Temple were praised by Variety.
Sherlock Holmes is a 1922 American silent mystery drama film starring John Barrymore as Sherlock Holmes and Roland Young as Dr. John Watson.
Raymond Rohauer was an American film collector and distributor.
John George was an actor who appeared in at least 130 movies from 1916 to 1960. George worked in films of all genres alongside countless stars although often for only the briefest of appearances, uncredited.
The King on Main Street, also known as The King, is a 1925 American silent romantic comedy film directed by Monta Bell and starring Adolphe Menjou and Bessie Love. The film was adapted for the screen by Bell, and was based on the play The King, Leo Ditrichstein's adaptation of the 1908 French play Le Roi by Gaston Arman de Caillavet, Robert de Flers, and Emmanuel Arène. It was produced by Famous Players-Lasky and distributed by Paramount Pictures.