Title Pathé All Comedy Circus "The Merriest Show on Earth"
Binding Hardcover. Paper pastedown.
Book Condition Very Good
Publisher Los Angeles (?) Pathe Exchange, Inc. Printed by Prospect Press, Inc. 1926
Seller ID 006303
Scarce Silent Era promotion, with no copies listed on OCLC, nor found elsewhere. Folio, 41.5 by 32 cm. 20 pp., followed by 4 mostly blank yellow leaves intended for the owner's notes. The oversized brochure is full of caricature and fun imagery, with the circus serving as a backdrop to highlight the studio's stars. The stars include not just the studio's then current list, but also, some who had moved on to other studios, such as Chaplin, because Pathe was even then reviving older early films of the likes of Chaplin and Lloyd. Thus this promotion provides early evidence of a revival business, at a time when generally the studios thought of their product as ephemeral and for all intents and purposes dead after its initial run. Pathe Exchange was an American spin-off of the French Pathe, which was at one time the largest film production and distribution company in the world. The twenties was a time of great tumult in the rapidly growing film industry, and so Pathe Exchange's relationship with the various production units and stars highlighted in this book can be assumed not to be straightforward. Nonetheless, promoted are Hal Roach and Mack Sennett comedies as well as stars such as Mabel Normand, Clyde Cook (who would appear to be something of a Chaplin imitator), Chaplin, Lloyd, Harry Langdon, Alice Day, Ben Turpin, Ralph Graves, "Our Gang", Charlie Chase, etc. etc. The promotion is similar to but also distinct from the typical studio campaign books, the often elaborate promotions already being put out annually by the major studios, inasmuch as the campaign books were pushing specific movies, whether ones in the can or ones projected to be made. This "All Comedy Circus", in contrast, is more about ginning up enthusiasm for a genre of films, and also calling attention to the importance of Pathe. Condition: moderate wear, light scattered soiling.