Like so many other American silent film directors, E. Mason Hopper came to movies with vast accumulated experience in any number of jobs. He'd been a vaudevillian, a stock actor/director, a food manufacturer, a baseball player and a student at the University of Maryland by the time he began directing one-reelers at Chicago's Essanay studios in 1911. Few of his feature films have been spotlighted in reference books; his success rested upon productivity and longevity. In the '20s, Hopper tackled everything from historical spectacle (Janice Meredith ) to bedroom farce (Getting Gertie's Garter ). Hopper's talkie assignments were principally of the B-quickie variety, but he finished on a high note with the above-average independent programmer Curtain at Eight (1934). After several years in retirement, E. Mason Hopper resurfaced in the late '40s and early '50s as a bit actor in such films as Billy Wilder's Sunset Boulevard (1950).