Richard Smith (silent film director)
September 17, 1886|
|Died||1937 (aged 50)
Los Angeles, California
|Other names||Dick Smith|
|Occupation||Film director, screenwriter, actor|
Richard Smith (September 17, 1886–1937), also known as Dick Smith, was a screenwriter, actor, and film director. Smith was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and became a comedian active in the vaudeville era. He met his wife Alice Howell in 1910 and the two performed together as Howell and Howell. After working under direction of Mack Sennett at the American Mutoscope and Biograph Company in New York, Smith moved to Los Angeles, California. Smith and his wife starred in reels together produced by L-KO Kompany.
While Howell was contracted at Universal Studios, Smith directed her in films described in the book Clown Princes and Court Jesters as, "some of Universal's most memorable comedies of the twenties". With colleague Vin Moore, Smith directed actor Oliver Hardy in the 1920 film Distilled Love. Smith directed the Marx Brothers in 1921 in their first film, titled Humor Risk, which has since been lost. In 1925, Smith's directing work included films starring Bert Roach, Neely Edwards, and Charles Puffy. His contributions at Universal included a series of comedy films called "The Collegians".
Richard Smith was active in the field of comedy, and participated in the vaudeville scene. He met his wife Alice Howell when she was a member of a production by DeWolf Hopper, in 1910. The two utilized the title of a previously known vaudeville group, and performed together as Howell and Howell. The Howell and Howell duo performed together for three years. Their performances included burlesque and vaudeville. Mack Sennett directed Smith at the American Mutoscope and Biograph Company in New York. Sennett offered Smith a chance to go with him when he started the company Keystone Studios, but he declined the opportunity.
Due to a medical condition, Smith decided to switch his residence from New York to Los Angeles, California, where his wife began to gain roles in the film industry under Sennett in 1914. The two starred together in reels including Dad's Dollars and Dirty Doings, a comedy by L-KO Kompany. Under the production company Reelcraft Pictures, Smith wrote and directed several films which his wife starred in. In the book Clown Princes and Court Jesters, authors Kalton C. Lahue and Samuel Gill describe these films directed by Smith and starring Howell as "low-burlesque charades and as such were slanted toward the neighborhood and second-run houses, where they found receptive audiences."
After his wife became an actress in features at Universal Studios in 1921, Smith directed her in multiple comedies. Lahue and Gill characterize these films as, "some of Universal's most memorable comedies of the twenties", and note, "Starting with the usual framework provided by the situation comedy format, directors William Watson and Richard Smith inserted a sufficient amount of subdued slapstick to flavor these single reels with laugh after laugh." Comedian Oliver Hardy acted under the direction of Smith and associate Vin Moore, in the 1920 film Distilled Love; Smith also had an acting role in the film as an artist. He served as director in 1921 of Humor Risk, the first film starring the Marx Brothers. Smith directed actors including Bert Roach and Neely Edwards in the 1925 film A Nice Pickle, and Charles Puffy the same year in Muddled Up. After Howell retired from film in the 1926, Smith kept up with his contracted work at Universal and wrote a set of comedy films called "The Collegians". Smith died in 1937 in Los Angeles, California, at fifty years old.
|1914||Gussle, the Golfer||Actor: "Card Player"|
|1914||The Noise of Bombs||Actor|
|1915||A Bathhouse Tragedy||Actor|
|1915||A Stool Pigeon's Revenge||Actor|
|1915||Disguised But Discovered||Actor|
|1915||From Beanery to Billions||Actor|
|1915||Poor But Dishonest||Actor|
|1915||Scandal in the Family||Actor|
|1915||Too Many Bachelors||Actor: "One of Peggy's Suitors"|
|1915||Under the Table||Actor|
|1916||A Rural Romance||Actor|
|1916||Dad's Dollars and Dirty Doings||Actor|
|1916||Flirtation a la Carte||Actor|
|1916||Her Naughty Eyes||Actor|
|1916||How Stars Are Made||Actor|
|1916||Saving Susie from the Sea||Actor|
|1916||Shooting His 'Art Out||Actor|
|1916||The Bankruptcy of Boggs and Schultz||Actor|
|1916||The Double's Troubles||Actor|
|1916||The Great Smash||Actor|
|1917||Fatty's Feature Fillum||Actor: "Desmond"|
|1917||Hearts and Flour||Director|
|1917||Street Cars and Carbuncles||Director|
|1917||That Dawgone Dog||Director|
|1917||The Sign of the Cucumber||Director|
|1917||Vamping Reuben's Millions||Director|
|1918||Ambrose and His Widow||Actor|
|1918||Scars and Bars||Actor|
|1919||Bungs and Bunglers||Actor|
|1919||Cymbelles and Boneheads||Actor|
|1919||Flips and Flops||Actor|
|1919||Healthy and Happy||Actor|
|1919||Jazz and Jailbirds||Actor: "Thief"|
|1919||Let Fido Do It||Actor|
|1919||Mates and Models||Actor: "A Rival Artist"|
|1919||A Rag Time Romance||Actor|
|1919||Squabs and Squabbles||Actor|
|1919||Switches and Sweeties||Actor|
|1919||Tootsies and Tamales||Actor|
|1919||Yaps and Yokels||Actor: "The Father"|
|1920||Cinderella Cinders||Actor: "The Butler"|
|1920||Dames and Dentists||Actor|
|1920||Distilled Love||Director, Actor: "The Color Blind Artist"|
|1920||Lunatics in Politics||Director, Actor|
|1923||Little Miss Hollywood||Actor|
|1924||Marry When Young||Writer|
|1924||Mind Your Doctor||Director, Writer|
|1924||The Jail Bird||Writer|
|1925||A Nice Pickle||Director, Writer|
|1925||Black Gold Bricks||Director|
|1925||Muddled Up||Director, Writer|
|1925||Speak Easy||Director, Writer|
|1925||The Cat's Whiskers||Director, Writer|
|1925||The Lost Cord||Director, Writer|
|1925||The Lucky Accident||Writer|
|1925||The Milky Way||Director, Writer|
|1925||Under a Spell||Director|
|1926||Fresh Paint||Director, Writer|
|1926||Wide Open Faces||Director, Writer|
|1926||Babes in the Sawdust||Director, Writer|
|1926||Do or Bust||Director, Writer|
|1926||Find the Woman||Actor: "George Stevenson"|
|1926||Help Wanted||Director, Writer|
|1926||Hook or Crook||Director, Writer|
|1926||Horse Laugh||Director, Writer|
|1926||It's All Over Now||Director, Writer|
|1926||Love's Labor Lost||Director, Writer|
|1926||Mixed Doubles||Director, Writer|
|1926||Nobody Loves Me||Director, Writer|
|1926||The College Yell||Director, Writer|
|1926||The Crowned Prince||Director, Writer|
|1926||The Optimist||Director, Writer|
|1926||The Phoney Express||Director, Writer|
|1926||The Thirteenth Man||Director, Writer|
|1926||What Price Pleasure?||Director, Writer|
|1926||Where's My Baby?||Director, Writer|
|1926||Who's Next?||Director, Writer|
|1926||Wild Bill||Director, Writer|
|1926||Wise or Otherwise||Director|
|1926||Wives and Women||Director|
|1927||A One Man Show||Director|
|1927||A Sleepy Time Pal||Director, Writer|
|1927||Ali Gazam||Director, Writer|
|1927||High and Dizzy||Director, Writer|
|1927||Oh! What a Kick!||Director|
|1927||Why Mules Leave Home||Director|
|1929||Watch Your Friends||Director|
- Directorial debut
- List of directorial debuts
- List of film and television directors
- Lahue, Kalton C.; Samuel Gill (1970). Clown Princes and Court Jesters. pp. 185–189. ISBN 0-498-06949-4.
- Koszarski, Richard (2008). Hollywood On the Hudson: Film and Television in New York from Griffith to Sarnoff. Rutgers University Press. pp. 93, 192. ISBN 0-8135-4293-6. Retrieved February 12, 2011. "the first film, Humor Risk, had been completed, directed by Dick Smith from a script by Jo Swerling"
- Mitgang, Lee (September 28, 1990). "Groucho left a legacy of monkey business". Daytona Beach Sunday News-Journal. Associated Press. pp. 1D, 2D. Retrieved February 12, 2011.
- Merrick, Mollie (April 30, 1932). "'Marxmania' Result of Fortunate Accidents: Odd Happenings On, Off Stage Developed Famous Marx Style". The Calgary Daily Herald. N.A.N.A. Inc. p. 11. Retrieved February 12, 2011.
- Slide, Anthony (1998). Eccentrics of Comedy. The Scarecrow Press, Inc. pp. 75–80. ISBN 0-8108-3534-7. Retrieved February 17, 2011.
- Slide, Anthony (2002). Silent Players: A Biographical and Autobiographical Study of 100 Silent Film Actors and Actresses. The University Press of Kentucky. pp. 135–137. ISBN 978-0-8131-2249-6.
- Slide, Anthony (1970). Aspects of American Film History Prior to 1920. Scarecrow Press. pp. 11–15. ISBN 0-8108-1130-8.
- Quirk, James R. (1917). "Questions and Answers". Photoplay Magazine. 13-14 (Chicago, Illinois: Photoplay Publishing Company). p. 98.
- Mitchell, Glenn (1997). The Chaplin Encyclopedia. B.T. Batsford. p. 136. ISBN 0-7134-7938-8.
- "Dick Smith". Allmovie (All Media Network, LLC). 2013. Retrieved December 30, 2013.
- "Dad's Dollars and Dirty Doings". Newburgh Daily News (Newburgh, New York). March 30, 1916. p. 8.
- Smith, Richard; Vin Moore (1920). Distilled Love (Silent film). United States: Reelcraft Pictures.
- Distilled Love at allmovie
- Braff, Richard E. (1998). The Universal Silents: A Filmography of the Universal Motion Picture Manufacturing Company, 1912-1929. McFarland & Company. pp. 333, 345. ISBN 0-7864-0287-3.
- Couderc, Jean-Jacques. Les Petits Maitres du Burlesque Americain, 1909-1929 (in French). CNRS. pp. 481–485. ISBN 2-271-05691-8.
- Braff, Richard E. (2002). The Braff Silent Short Film Working Papers. McFarland & Company. ISBN 0-7864-1031-0.
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