During the peak of his career, Douglas MacLean — who typically played energetic, industrious and charming young men, very much in the mold of Douglas Fairbanks — starred in 23 feature films, appearing on screen with nearly the same frequency as the outputs of Charles Chaplin, Harold Lloyd and Buster Keaton combined. Unlike these giants of comedy, whose films were regularly revived and reissued, MacLean’s films have been practically impossible to see until now. The Douglas MacLean Collection offers viewers a chance to rediscover the work of a forgotten master of silent comedy.
Undercrank Productions, in partnership with the Library of Congress, has revived two of MacLean’s most entertaining films, One a Minute (1921) and Bell Boy 13 (1923), in brand new digital restorations sourced from the best surviving elements. Douglas MacLean’s fast-moving and whimsical comedies of the early 1920s were some of the Thomas H. Ince studio’s most popular releases. A bonus short, A Trip Through the World’s Greatest Motion Picture Studios (1920), presents a fascinating glimpse into the Ince studios at Culver City, and features Ince with many of his contract players including MacLean.
With new scores by Ben Model, these classics belong on the shelf of every silent film comedy fan.
One a Minute (1921) – 56 min.
Bell Boy 13 (1923) – 44 min.
A Trip Through the World’s Greatest Motion Picture Studios (1920) – 23 min.
123 mins ● B&W ● Stereo ● 4:3 aspect ratio ● Not Rated ● NTSC ● Region 0 (all-regions)
Produced for DVD by Ben Model/Undercrank Productions
Release date: February 18, 2020
“While Lloyd could be a brash young man, his moxie was balanced by naïve innocence and purity, especially around women. By contrast, MacLean comes across as a knowing fellow who understands how the world works and is prepared to exploit it, because the young, handsome and charming can get away with anything.”
“The Douglas MacLean Collection is an excellent example of a window in the early days of filmmaking . . . Having seen the two films on this DVD, I would love the chance to see some of the other films. I give One a Minute (1921) and Bell Boy 13 (1923) 5 Stars.”
—Selig Film News
“Douglas MacLean was known as “The Man with the MIllion Dollar Smile”, and in these newly restored prints, you can see every tooth or dollar of it — the films look as though they had never been run through a projector . . . I urge you to check it out.”
“I had a fine time with [One a Minute] and wondered where Maclean had been all my life . . . An admirable endeavour.”
“Like his peers, he has the ability to mix many different aspects of comedy successfully; visual gags, facial expressions, and body language. As with all good comedy, it is the execution that is key to the humour, and MacLean demonstrates this with the finite precision and ease that a lesser comedian would fail at. It is a great privilege that a number of his films survive as testament to his comic genius.”
—South West Silents
“Through his passion for silent cinema and particularly those figures overlooked by conventional cinema history, historian and musician Ben Model has been instrumental in the recent release and subsequent appreciation of films like MacLean’s.”
— Film International
“These films look so good it is nearly inconceivable they are nearly a hundred years old.”
— Ink 19