Silent Movie Women Smacking the Crud Out of Hapless Dudes

In Time Bandits, Napoleon declared that he liked “little things hitting each other.” That sums up a fair portion of silent comedy and today, we’re going to be celebrating smacks, slaps, shoves and assorted assaults upon the gentlemen of silent cinema. The twist? All will be delivered by ladies.

Damsels in distress? Ha!

We’ll start with one of the queens of silent comedy, Mabel Normand, delivering a swift slap to her co-star in Fatty and Mabel at the San Diego Exposition.

Read my review here.

The short was released as part of the four-disc Forgotten Films of Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle box set.

In The Magic Cloak of Oz, our mistress of magic also wields a mean right arm, which she uses to defeat a servant who gets in her way. This was one of the Oz films produced by L. Frank Baum himself and it’s… something.

Read my review here.

My favorite home video edition is the one included as an extra on the 2005 DVD release of the 1939 Oz film.

Underrated comedy star Lupino Lane discovers that posing as a kid isn’t as easy as it looks when he runs afoul of a spirited lass.

Read my review here.

Presently, the only home media option is a bargain disc of so-so quality.

Mary Pickford clonks future husband Buddy Rogers over the head in My Best Girl, her last silent film and a delightful little rom-com.

Read my review here.

This film was released on DVD by Milestone.

Let’s close this with more Mabel! She’s fighting off some local jerks in Won in a Cupboard, which she also directed.

Read my review here.

This short was released in the compilation Lost and Found: American Treasures from the New Zealand Film Archive.

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6 Replies to “Silent Movie Women Smacking the Crud Out of Hapless Dudes”

  1. Heck, you could do a follow up called “Mabel Normand Smacking the Crud Out of Hapless Dudes” and still have enough left over for parts two and three.

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