Welcome to the filmographic appendix for the book Hokum! The Early Sound Slapstick Short and Depression-Era Mass Culture (University of California Press, 2017). Unlike conventional filmographies which give cast and credits of individual films, this website provides fine-grained detail on yearly short-subject release slates during the period 1926 to 1939.
The “Studio Data” pages enumerate short-subject releases for all of the major U.S. studios and some of the more prominent independents, breaking those releases down into specific categories (e.g., live-action comedy, animation, travelogues, etc.). For each company, quantitative data on short-subject releases is presented in two ways: as a table detailing studio output by series names (listing the different series titles per season) and as an interactive graph depicting number of releases per season in each genre category. The “Short-Subject Categories” pages are similarly arranged, providing industry-wide totals per season for each category of short-subject filmmaking.
Following industry practice of the time, release slates are arranged by annual “season” (which typically started in late August/early September each year) rather than by calendar year.
A Word on Sources: Data for each studio’s output has been synthesized from a range of primary sources, many of which are now available online at the Media History Digital Library (mediahistoryproject.org). The basic approach was to begin with the Film Daily Yearbook, which, for most of the years of this study, included quantitative summaries of short-subject releases and series. These statistics would then be checked against trade-press ads and announcements outlining each studio’s yearly short-subject slate. Any discrepancies between these two data sets would then be resolved by close scrutiny of Motion Picture Herald’s weekly “Release Charts.”
I have also drawn upon information from a number of existing filmographies, notably Edwin M. Bradley’s The First Hollywood Sound Shorts, 1926-1931 (Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co., 2005), Roy Liebman, Vitaphone Films: A Catalogue of the Features and Shorts (Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co., 2003), Richard M. Roberts, with Robert Farr and Joe Moore, Past Humor, Present Laughter: Musings on the Comedy Film Industry, 1910-1945, vol. 1 (Phoenix, AZ: Practical Press, 2013), and Brent E. Walker, Mack Sennett’s Fun Factory: A History and Filmography of His Studio and His Keystone and Mack Sennett Comedies, with Biographies of Players and Personnel (Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co., Inc., 2010).
Acknowlegments: Thanks to Carolyn Condon, Wentao Ma, and Shao-Hung Teng for their invaluable work classifying the filmographic data.