Silent movies and, occasionally, Robert Montgomery.

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Harry Langdon

Langdon’s magic was in his innocence, and [director Frank] Capra took beautiful care not to meddle with it. The key to the proper use of Langdon, Capra always knew, was “the principle of the brick.” “If there was a rule for writing Langdon material,” he explains, “it was this: His only ally was God. Langdon might be saved by the brick falling on the cop, but it was verboten that he in any way motivate the brick’s fall.” 

Quote from James Agee’s “Comedy’s Greatest Era,” 1949

Harry Langdon

Langdon’s magic was in his innocence, and [director Frank] Capra took beautiful care not to meddle with it. The key to the proper use of Langdon, Capra always knew, was “the principle of the brick.” “If there was a rule for writing Langdon material,” he explains, “it was this: His only ally was God. Langdon might be saved by the brick falling on the cop, but it was verboten that he in any way motivate the brick’s fall.”


Quote from James Agee’s “Comedy’s Greatest Era,” 1949

  • 15 June 2011
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