Mabel's Blunder - Who is Mabel's Brother?

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Phil Posner
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Mabel's Blunder - Who is Mabel's Brother?

Postby Phil Posner » Mon Aug 30, 2010 3:33 pm

Image

This is obviously not Al St. John. But who is it?
Phil

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Steve Rydzewski
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Re: Mabel's Blunder - Who is Mabel's Brother?

Postby Steve Rydzewski » Tue Aug 31, 2010 1:59 pm

Hi Phil,
Guess I'm looking after the shop while everyone is away????
Hate to say it but, to me, here's another instance of a "helpless" scan.
I can't see the guy well enough to even guess who he is.
Even that woman captioned as Mabel doesn't look like Normand.
Try getting a better scan or tell us where to find this film on video/dvd and I'll take an edumacated stab at it.

The mafia must be here somewhere, probably still on their way home from Slapsticon (or just in hiding)

SteveR

Phil Posner
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Re: Mabel's Blunder - Who is Mabel's Brother?

Postby Phil Posner » Tue Aug 31, 2010 5:02 pm

The film is on You Tube, so you can look for yourself. It's hard to capture frames from YT but my tries are below. The film has an interesting cast: Mabel, Harry McCoy, Charles Bennett, Helen Carruthers (as Harry's sister - a big part for her), Charley Chase. Mabel's brother is not played by St. John to my eyes.

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The last image is Helen and Harry.
Phil

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Steve Rydzewski
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Re: Mabel's Blunder - Who is Mabel's Brother?

Postby Steve Rydzewski » Thu Sep 02, 2010 12:54 am

Phil, thanks for that link and for posting the grabs.
Never saw the film until now (this is a newly discovered short, right?) and enjoyed it.
And a lot has to do with Helen Carruthers.
She & Harry McCoy have a believable relationship and I like her personality in it.
But I don't know who that "mystery kid" is. Might have been a good part for little Billy Gilbert or St. John.
I didn't immediately recognize him; maybe it'll take more screenings! LOL
Brent should be able to nab Mabel's brother, I'm sure the kid has been in other Keystones and BW must have watched tons! Might be a guy that wound up behind the camera(?). I myself haven't seen too many Keystones, mostly only those floating on video over the years.
I did notice Wallace MacDonald and Billy Hauber near the end.
Hope this short turns up on DVD soon, will love to see a better print.

SteveR

Phil Posner
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Re: Mabel's Blunder - Who is Mabel's Brother?

Postby Phil Posner » Thu Sep 02, 2010 12:15 pm

Yep, I recognized McDonald and Hauber as well. Brent's book has no credit for the brother, so he hadn't id'd her as of the writing. Thanks for looking Steve-o!
Phil

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Brent Walker
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Re: Mabel's Blunder - Who is Mabel's Brother?

Postby Brent Walker » Tue Sep 07, 2010 12:50 pm

Phil, I've tried for quite a while before the book came out to ID Mabel's brother, but he's somebody I've never seen before and have no good guesses (other than being 100% sure it's not Al St. John).

By the way, I still can't say conclusively myself (and I also know Bo Berglund can't) that the woman in all of these 1914 Keystones is for sure Helen Carruthers. I put her speculatively as such in the book, because she is the closest resemblance I've seen, but based on that one photo in the Oregonian it is really hard for me to say conclusively. I've tried to turn up another photo that might give a better look and haven't come up with any--it may indeed be her, but I still don't feel comfortable myself saying it is 100% for sure her. Hopefully something will surface, or we will see a Selig or Essanay film (where the newspaper article mentioned that she also worked) that has a similar looking woman.

Phil Posner
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Re: Mabel's Blunder - Who is Mabel's Brother?

Postby Phil Posner » Wed Sep 08, 2010 8:10 pm

Brent Walker wrote:Phil, I've tried for quite a while before the book came out to ID Mabel's brother, but he's somebody I've never seen before and have no good guesses (other than being 100% sure it's not Al St. John).

By the way, I still can't say conclusively myself (and I also know Bo Berglund can't) that the woman in all of these 1914 Keystones is for sure Helen Carruthers. I put her speculatively as such in the book, because she is the closest resemblance I've seen, but based on that one photo in the Oregonian it is really hard for me to say conclusively. I've tried to turn up another photo that might give a better look and haven't come up with any--it may indeed be her, but I still don't feel comfortable myself saying it is 100% for sure her. Hopefully something will surface, or we will see a Selig or Essanay film (where the newspaper article mentioned that she also worked) that has a similar looking woman.


I wasn't questioning your research for your fantastic book, just noting that this guy was unidentified.

I'm a lot more convinced about Carruthers than you are. I have two versions of the Oregonian pic and the more I look at them the more convinced I am that the ID is solid. Check the article on my website and you can see them side by side. Still, you're right, it would be great to get some independant confirmation.
Phil

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Steve Rydzewski
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Re: Mabel's Blunder - Who is Mabel's Brother?

Postby Steve Rydzewski » Wed Sep 08, 2010 11:08 pm

Hi Guys...
Phil, looking at the portraits of Helen from the old news article, to this day it still looks like the same girl to me.
There are similarities.
However your clipping may show a younger, Carruthers; or maybe the Keystone films made her look older.
What surprises me now is that I just re-read the articles since your original posting of them and, although she committed suicide, it was not fatal.
Were there any additional follow-up stories? Perhaps an article about a marriage? Anything? Or an obit if she didn't survive the suicide afterall?


SteveR

Phil Posner
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Joined: Fri Jun 11, 2010 2:28 pm

Re: Mabel's Blunder - Who is Mabel's Brother?

Postby Phil Posner » Wed Sep 08, 2010 11:47 pm

Steve Rydzewski wrote:Hi Guys...
Phil, looking at the portraits of Helen from the old news article, to this day it still looks like the same girl to me.
There are similarities.
However your clipping may show a younger, Carruthers; or maybe the Keystone films made her look older.
What surprises me now is that I just re-read the articles since your original posting of them and, although she committed suicide, it was not fatal.
Were there any additional follow-up stories? Perhaps an article about a marriage? Anything? Or an obit if she didn't survive the suicide afterall?

SteveR


I wish I knew. I looked for all that online with no luck. Plus, I made contact at that time with the Oregonian and the main Portland library, but the gist of it was that I'd have to go there to do any research. So if we have any Portland peeps reading this.....
Phil

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Brent Walker
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Re: Mabel's Blunder - Who is Mabel's Brother?

Postby Brent Walker » Mon Sep 13, 2010 1:57 pm

To me, the nose is very different, and some other features (such as hair) aren't visible due to the hat. It could indeed be her ( I originally mentioned her because she was the closest thing I've seen, and still is), I just can't say for sure myself until another photo or film is found.

I did a lot of newspaper searching a few years ago on Helen Carruthers and found no concrete matches for her (or her sister Gladys Lynch). There was a Helen Caruthers who did commit suicide in the 20's leaping out a window in New York, but she was a slightly younger socialite from Texas whose details did not match this Carruthers. The closest I've found is the 1920 census for San Francisco (where the article mentions her as having formerly lived). There's a Helen Caruthers (two R's, not three), born in Ohio circa 1892, listed as widowed with no occupation, living with her mother Alice Doolittle and older sister Leila Doolittle (a secretary). There was a Clay Swango (born in Kentucky in 1893) living in Stockton, Ca., in 1910.


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