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A Natural Born Gambler


"A Natural Born Gambler" is a 1916 silent film short, the first of only two films starring Broadway comic and singer Bert Williams. The film was Williams first two reel comedy and was a film that was expected not to disappoint audiences and was highly anticipated. It was produced by the Biograph Company and released by The General Film Company. Williams directed and G. W. Bitzer, also known as Billy Bitzer, who was usually D. W. Griffith's cameraman, was the cinematographer. A still surviving film featuring Williams in his famous blackface routine. An authentic comedic film for its time in which Williams, is still humorous without heavily relying on the popular physical style of slapstick comedy. Special and Strategic advertising along with the name Williams had created for himself made it possible for the film to get exposure throughout the country. Most of this exposure came from newspaper prints.

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Google previewThe New Historical Dictionary of the American Film Industry (2014)

by Anthony Slide

When thegreatblack vaudeville performer Bert Williams appeared in a 1916 one- reel short, A Natural Born Gambler, hewas also requiredtodon blackface makeup. BlackAmericans were seldom permitted major roles inwhite-produced ...

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