Ben Turpin Comedy Classics: Turpin Time [DVD]
As one of early Hollywood's most unusual success stories, Ben Turpin (1869-1940) parlayed a physical disadvantage - permanently crossed eyes - into the foundation of his shtick and his onscreen persona. This was hardly a fluke, however: the comic reportedly spent years working in such venues as circuses, vaudeville and burlesque prior to joining Mack Sennett's studio in 1917. Sennett's strategy involved casting the actor way against type, with roles such as an exotic playboy and a bellicose pirate - which made his goofy appearance that much more ironic. This box set features four Turpin silents: Broke in China (1927), with Turpin as a destitute sailor trailing a hoochie-coochie girl through a Shanghai, China bar; A Harem Knight (1926), with Turpin as a "love pirate" who takes a Rajah's beautiful daughter into his apartment; Why Ben Bolted, with Turpin as a hobo-turned-counterfeiter; and Yukon Jake (1924), with Turpin as the titular feared outlaw.