Erle C. Kenton

Active - 1916 - 1951  |   Born - Aug 1, 1896   |   Died - Jan 28, 1980   |   Genres - Drama, Comedy, Western

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Biography by AllMovie

Erle C. Kenton was another of those indefatigable journeyman directors who seemed to have been around since the days of the Magic Lantern. He started out as a Keystone Kop under the direction of Mack Sennett in 1914, working his way up the Sennett Studio ladder as a gagman and assistant director. After successfully handling several 2-reelers, Kenton was given a crack at directing a feature film, the 1920 Sennett production Down on the Farm. He continued working in a comic vein at other studios throughout the silent era; typical titles in the Kenton manifest included The Sap (1926), Bare Knees (1927) and Golf Widows (1928). Meeting the talkie revolution head-on, Kenton had no trouble adapting his working methods to the demands of the microphone, as proven by such early sound efforts as Mexicali Rose (1929), X Marks the Spot (1931) and Guilty as Hell (1932). For all his slapstick training, Kenton proved quite adept at horror films: his best films within the goosebump genre included Island of Lost Souls (1932) and Ghost of Frankenstein (1945). Kenton carried on the low-comedy tradition of his Keystone days by putting Abbott and Costello through their paces in Pardon My Sarong (1942) and Who Done It? (1942). A genial ham, Kenton banked upon his resemblance to Teddy Roosevelt by playing occasional cameo roles as T.R., notably in the 1935 western End of the Trail (1935). Saying adios to feature films in 1950, Erle C. Kenton devoted his last working years to television, helming episodes of such series as Topper and Amos 'N' Andy.

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