The OTHER “Tillie’s Punctured Romance”

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Today is the anniversary of the release date of the W.C. FieldsChester Conklin comedy Tillie’s Punctured Romance (1928), directed by Eddie Sutherland. As the name suggests, the film was a remake of the Mack Sennett film of 14 years earlier, although much altered. Mack Swain returns as Tillie’s father, but the now elderly Marie Dressler was replaced by Louise Fazenda, and the entire story was transplanted to a circus to make it a better vehicle for Fields.

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Fields’ film career was floundering at this stage, and even the recent effort to form a team with Conklin, begun with the previous year’s Two Flaming Youths wasn’t saving it. The critics panned this film, and the public stayed away. Sadly, this film is now considered lost; no known copies survive.

For more on silent and slapstick comedy, including the films of W.C. Fields, please see my book Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube

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