Louis J. Gasnier
Louis J. Gasnier was a French film director
Film director
A film director is a person who directs the actors and film crew in filmmaking. They control a film's artistic and dramatic nathan roach, while guiding the technical crew and actors.-Responsibilities:...


Born in Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

, Gasnier was working in theatre
Theatre is a collaborative form of fine art that uses live performers to present the experience of a real or imagined event before a live audience in a specific place. The performers may communicate this experience to the audience through combinations of gesture, speech, song, music or dance...

 when Pathé
Pathé or Pathé Frères is the name of various French businesses founded and originally run by the Pathé Brothers of France.-History:...

 hired him to direct films in the earliest days of cinema
A film, also called a movie or motion picture, is a series of still or moving images. It is produced by recording photographic images with cameras, or by creating images using animation techniques or visual effects...

. He directed comedian
A comedian or comic is a person who seeks to entertain an audience, primarily by making them laugh. This might be through jokes or amusing situations, or acting a fool, as in slapstick, or employing prop comedy...

 Max Linder
Max Linder
Max Linder was an influential French pioneer of silent film.-Birth and early career:Born Gabriel-Maximilien Leuvielle in Saint-Loubès, Gironde, France to a Catholic wine-growing family, he grew up with a passion for the theatre and as a young man joined a theatre troupe touring the country...

 in many of his early short comedies. In 1912 he emigrated to the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, where he made his name working on several fairly prestigious productions, most notably the serial
Serial (film)
Serials, more specifically known as Movie serials, Film serials or Chapter plays, were short subjects originally shown in theaters in conjunction with a feature film. They were related to pulp magazine serialized fiction...

 The Perils of Pauline
The Perils of Pauline (1914 serial)
The Perils of Pauline is a motion picture serial shown in weekly installments featuring Pearl White as the title character. Pauline has often been cited as a famous example of a damsel in distress, although some analyses hold that her character was more resourceful and less helpless than the...

starring Pearl White
Pearl White
Pearl Fay White was an American film actress, the so-called "Stunt Queen" of silent films, most notably in The Perils of Pauline.-Early life:...

, with whom he made several other star vehicles.

Gasnier's career declined with the advent of sound, and he was later confined to making low-budget B movie
B movie
A B movie is a low-budget commercial motion picture that is not definitively an arthouse or pornographic film. In its original usage, during the Golden Age of Hollywood, the term more precisely identified a film intended for distribution as the less-publicized, bottom half of a double feature....

s. Arguably his most famous film, although not for artistic reasons, is the anti-marijuana opus Reefer Madness
Reefer Madness
Reefer Madness is a well-known 1936 American propaganda exploitation film revolving around the melodramatic events that ensue when high school students are lured by pushers to try "marijuana" — from a hit and run accident, to manslaughter, suicide, attempted rape, and descent into madness...

, made in 1936. The film's over-preachy, over-the-top propaganda
Propaganda is a form of communication that is aimed at influencing the attitude of a community toward some cause or position so as to benefit oneself or one's group....

 message has earned it a dedicated cult following
Cult following
A cult following is a group of fans who are highly dedicated to a specific area of pop culture. A film, book, band, or video game, among other things, will be said to have a cult following when it has a small but very passionate fan base...

, which remains strong to the present day. It is widely available in the public domain and on DVD
A DVD is an optical disc storage media format, invented and developed by Philips, Sony, Toshiba, and Panasonic in 1995. DVDs offer higher storage capacity than Compact Discs while having the same dimensions....

, and has been frequently shown on many terrestrial and cable TV channels, quite remarkable for an ultra cheap exploitation movie of the 1930s that apparently had very scant distribution when it was originally released. After Reefer Madness, Gasnier made an additional eight films before retiring in 1941. He died in Hollywood at the age of 87.

Selected filmography

  • The Exploits of Elaine
    The Exploits of Elaine
    The Exploits of Elaine is a film serial in the genre of The Perils of Pauline.The Exploits of Elaine tells the story of a young woman named Elaine who, with the help of a detective, tries to find the man, known only as "The Clutching Hand", who murdered her father. The Clutching Hand was the first...

  • The New Exploits of Elaine
    The New Exploits of Elaine
    The New Exploits of Elaine is a 1915 action film serial directed by Louis J. Gasnier, Leopold Wharton and Theodore Wharton.-Cast:* Pearl White as Elaine Dodge* Creighton Hale as Walter Jameson* Arnold Daly as Detective Craig Kennedy...

  • The Shielding Shadow
    The Shielding Shadow
    The Shielding Shadow is a 1916 action film serial directed by Louis J. Gasnier and Donald MacKenzie.-Synopsis:The 15 chapter story involves the heroine being protected by a shadow with burning eyes...

  • The Mystery of the Double Cross
    The Mystery of the Double Cross
    The Mystery of the Double Cross is a 1917 film and one of the few American silent action film serials to survive in complete form. It was directed by Louis J...

  • The Seven Pearls
    The Seven Pearls
    The Seven Pearls is a 1917 action film serial directed by Louis J. Gasnier and Donald MacKenzie. It is considered to be a lost film.-Cast:* Mollie King - Ilma Bay* Creighton Hale - Harry Drake* Léon Bary - Perry Mason* John J. Dunn - Grady...

  • Hands Up!
    Hands Up! (serial)
    Hands Up! is a 1918 adventure film serial directed by Louis J. Gasnier and James W. Horne.-Plot summary:A newspaperwoman finds trouble aplenty when an Inca tribe believes her to be thereincarnation of their long-lost princess.-Cast:...

  • The Tiger's Trail
    The Tiger's Trail
    The Tiger's Trail is a 1919 adventure film serial starring Ruth Roland, directed by Robert Ellis, Louis J. Gasnier and Paul Hurst.-Plot:A cult of Hindu Tiger Worshippers and a gang of Western outlaws outlaws attempt to cheat Belle Boyd out of the valuable mine that she has inherited from her...

  • White Man
    White Man (film)
    White Man is a 1924 American silent drama film directed by Louis J. Gasnier. The film set in a diamond mine in South Africa. The film marked Clark Gable's debut on the silver screen.-Cast:*Kenneth Harlan ... White Man...

  • Should Tall Men Marry?
    Should Tall Men Marry?
    Should Tall Men Marry? is a 1928 short silent comedy film featuring Stan Laurel.-Cast:* James Finlayson - Joe Skittle* Martha Sleeper - Martha Skittle* Theodore von Eltz - Teddy * Stuart Holmes - Snake-tail Sharkey...

  • Darkened Rooms
    Darkened Rooms
    Darkened Rooms is a 1929 American mystery film directed by Louis J. Gasnier and starring Evelyn Brent.- Cast :* Evelyn Brent as Ellen* Neil Hamilton as Emory Jago* Doris Hill as Joyce Clayton* David Newell as Billy* Gale Henry as Madame Silvara...

  • Slightly Scarlet
    Slightly Scarlet (1930 film)
    Slightly Scarlet is a 1930 American comedy film directed by Louis J. Gasnier and Edwin H. Knopf and starring Evelyn Brent.- Cast :* Evelyn Brent as Lucy Stavrin* Clive Brook as Hon...

  • Mysterious Mr. Parkes
    Mysterious Mr. Parkes
    Mysterious Mr. Parkes is a 1930 comedy drama film made by Paramount Pictures, directed by Louis J. Gasnier.-Cast:*Adolphe Menjou as Courtenay Parkes*Claudette Colbert as Lucy Stavrin...

  • The Virtuous Sin
    The Virtuous Sin
    The Virtuous Sin is a 1930 American comedy-drama film directed by George Cukor and Louis J. Gasnier. The screenplay by Martin Brown and Louise Long is based on the play The General by Lajos Zilahy.-Plot:...

  • Esperáme
    "Espérame" is a pop song recorded by Chilean singer and actress Denise Rosenthal and this song is the second single for her first solo studio album, El Blog de la Feña, released in Chile on August 11, 2008...


External links

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