Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Tuesday, April 3, 2018


Some people feel that Mack Sennett's talent went downhill after the age of the silents -- the talkies he directed have had mixed revues.  Such is the case of Ghost Parade, a 17-minute short comedy featuring Andy Clyde and Harry Gribbon.

Clyde wants to sell Mosby Manor but strange noises at night make him believe that the place is haunted by the civil war ghost of his uncle.  Perhaps not.  It turns out that mice have been scurrying across musical instrument that have been stored in the attic.  But when they show the house to some buyers, strange things happen...

Early in his 45 year film and television career, Clyde's familiar face and comedic talent graced many of Mack Sennett's shorts.  Some fans recognize him as California Carson, Hopalong Cassidy's sidekick in a dozen westerns in the late Forties.  On television he may be best remembered as Walter Brennan's neighbor George McMichael on The Real McCoys.  Clyde died in 1967 at age 75.  IMDb lists 391 credits from 1921 to 1966.

Harry Gribbon's film career started with Fatty Arbuckle and Mabel Norman shorts in 1915.  the tall (over 6' 5") Gribbon was known as "Silk Hat Harry" for his many portrayals as a top-hatted, mustached comic villain for Mack Sennett.  In Ghost Parade, Gribbon plays a local constable sent to investigate the goings-on at Mosby Manor, but his interest is more centered on Clyde's daughter, played by winsome Marjorie Beebe.

During Beebe's early career she was viewed as one of the best comediennes of her time.  she appeared in about forty shorts for Sennett, many of which he wrote especially for her.  Sennets career tanked in 1933 and Beebe never regained her former stardom.  She retired from films in 1940 and passed away in 1983 at age 74.

Ghost Parade also features a talking dog and a man (Charles Gemora) in a gorilla suit, which means that -- no matterhow many people knock the film -- it remains aces with me.


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