George Marshall: Started Out Directing Silent Comedies


Today is the birthday of Hollywood director (not the U.S. general) George Marshall (1891-1975). He’d gotten his start in a bit part in Roscoe Arbuckle’s The Waiter’s Ball (1916). Then he began directing westerns with the likes of Tom Mix and Harry Carey and comedy shorts for Fox, Mack Sennett, RKO, and Hal Roach (including several Laurel & Hardy and Thelma ToddZasu Pitts classics). From there he went on to helm sound features. Notable among his works are Destry Rides Again (1939), W.C. Fields’ You Can’t Cheat an Honest Man (1939) and several Bob Hope and Martin & Lewis vehicles (in addition to many westerns and crime dramas). In latter years he also worked directing television westerns and situation comedies like Here’s Lucy and The Odd Couple.

For more on silent and slapstick film, don’t  miss my new book Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, just released by Bear Manor Media, also available from etc etc etc


To find out more about the variety arts past and present, consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.


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