Mabel Normand, George Nichols, Laura La Varnie
One of the most showstopping stars of silent comedy – and the queen of our BFI Comedy Genius tour – Mabel Normand was the irrepressible spirit of early Hollywood, an extraordinary and prolific performer, appearing in films from the anarchic days of Mack Sennett’s Keystone company to the refined comedies of the 1920s. A notable innovator, she directed her own films, ran her own production company and worked with the best collaborators in the business; including Charlie Chaplin and a young Oliver Hardy.
One of the finest films of her career is Mickey, screened as part of the evening programme at our Archive Screening Day. Normand, who also produced the film, gives a terrific performance as an orphan brought up in a mining community; who, when she’s sent to live with a wealthy aunt, navigates her new environment with great humour, charm and mischief.
The film that proved that Normand could easily power a big budget feature with her charm and sheer charisma alone, even before her comedic talent and versatility, Mickey was a word-of-mouth hit with contemporary audiences and will still delight those a hundred years after its original release.
Please note: this film will screen in the evening at BFI Southbank in a screening also open to the public, for which the ICO will have only a limited number of comps available.