Tribute today to silent comedy producer and director Al Christie (1881-1951).
A director formerly associated with Nestor Studios and Universal Pictures, in 1916 he formed the Christie Film Company with his brother Charles. Al’s most successful enterprise to date had been the Mutt and Jeff series, featuring Bud Duncan. Through the end of the silent era Christie produced a series of comedy shorts featuring minor stars like Bobby Vernon, Fay Tincher, Jimmie Adams, Betty Compson, Billy Dooley, Dorothy Devore, and Neal Burns. After his own studio folded with the coming of sound, he continued to write and direct for other studios (e.g., Educational) through a good part of the 1940s before a long illness finally took him away.
For more on silent and slapstick comedy like the films of Al Christie, don’t miss Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube,