Vitagraph Announces Bunny's Honeymoon For 4/7/13 Release
John Bunny made a career out of being jolly.
Just the sight of him filled nickelodeons with joy. Maybe death in 1915 was a
savior; could he have sustained a longer stay? Bunny was best photographed
face-on, coat open with an expansive vest, pouring a drink or being servedone.
At a time when expressions were limited for lack of close-ups and compromised
images, his would glow forth like a sunburst. Bunny always was flushed and you
didn't need color film to see corpuscles at a bursting point. He would die of
Bright's disease like talking counterpart Sydney Greenstreet (does overweight
bring that on?). When Bunny left, it was losing a world's biggest star, maybe
because he was the first truly major name to depart. Astute observers might
have seen this as prelude to grief that would accompany later celebrity deaths;
certainly news gatherers got valued experience on how to handle (and exploit)
such events. In Bunny's Honeymoon, the stout star tries to end a friend's
drink habit by donning a nightgown, with bonnet, and crawling into bed with him.
Such was storytelling in wacky Vitagraph day. The scene goes quick enough to
avert discomfort, Bunny an undoubted good sport to have played it at all.
"Comedy" was genteel before Keystone took white gloves off. A single
amusing situation was thoughtadequate to see a reel through, but Mack Sennett
knew that physical action, and lots of it, would be needed to light up an
audience, and spent a next couple of decades proving his theory right.