CAPITOLFEST 18 Schedule is after:

Peter McCrea fielded questions from last year’s attendees of the 2019 Capitolfest 17 about his parents Frances Dee and Joel McCrea.

Here are some of the questions and comments. Look for more segments from Peter and others including Cora Sue Collins, featured in the 1932 movie “The Strange Case of Clara Deane”.

Cora Sue Collins, featured in the 1932 movie “The Strange Case of Clara Deane”, talks to fans at2019’s Capitolfest 17 in the Rome Capitol Theatre. The topics ranged from her age, marriage, career and childhood.


Session #1, Friday, August 14, 11:10 a.m.-5:05 p.m. Silent film accompaniment by Dr. Philip C. Carli

3:45 p.m. She Wanted a Millionaire (Fox, 1932) D: John G. Blystone; Joan Bennett, Spencer Tracy, Una Merkel, James Kirkwood (80 min.)

Session #2, Friday, August 14, 6:50-10:00 p.m. Silent film accompaniment by Bernie Anderson, Jr.


9:15 p.m. The Bat Whispers (United Artists, 1930) D: Roland West; Chester Morris, Una Merkel, Grace Hampton WIDE-SCREEN VERSION (83 min.)

Inspired by the 1908 “old dark house” novel, The Circular Staircase, by Mary Roberts Rinehart and the 1920 adaptation for the stage, entitled The Bat, by Rinehart and Avery Hopwood, The Bat Whispers takes a tongue-in-cheek approach to the deliberately old-fashioned melodrama, which revolves around the exploits of a master criminal who has dubbed himself “The Bat.” Shown at Capitolfest will be the rare wide-screen version, in a 35mm film restoration from the UCLA Film & Television Archive.

The New York Times said the movie was “A bigger and better picture of The Bat, the old would-be spine-chiller, in which shrieks and giggles are mixed…It is bigger because it is shown on an enlarged screen and it is better because the characters have voices.” Harrison’s Reports judged it to be “An entertaining mystery drama,” and thought that “Audiences should be gripped by the mysterious atmosphere of the production.”



Session #3, Saturday, August 15, 9:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Silent film accompaniment by Bernie Anderson, Jr.


9:50 a.m. Week Ends Only (Fox, 1932) D: Alan Crosland; Joan Bennett, Ben Lyon, John Halliday, Halliwell Hobbs, Walter Byron (70 min.)

Based on the “racy” novel by Warner Fabian (pseudonym of Samuel Hopkins Adams), Joan Bennett plays a girl from a good family who is forced to work as a hostess in an upscale club to make ends meet. She also takes a little extra work performing similar duties on weekends for private parties given by a wealthy man (John Halliday) at his home. Complications occur after she falls in love with a penniless artist (Ben Lyon), who misinterprets her extra-curricular activities.

Film Daily pronounced Week Ends Only to be a “modern romance that is bright and charming,” with direction “deftly handled by Alan Crosland…” Harrison’s Reports, however, did not approve of the more sordid aspects of the story, and cynically noted that it might be, “Good, perhaps, for sex-bent persons.”


Session #4, Saturday, 2:20-5:55 p.m.

4:30 pm Her Wedding Night (Paramount, 1930) D: Frank Tuttle; Clara Bow, Ralph Forbes, Charles Ruggles, Skeets Gallagher (75 min.)

A composer (Ralph Forbes) is tired of being chased by women, so he recruits his friend (Skeets Gallagher) to pose as him. One thing leads to another and the friend, winds up marrying a girl (Clara Bow) in the name of the composer.

Motion Picture News called Her Wedding Night “A comedy riot,” singling out Charles Ruggles by noting, “Ruggles, in particular, makes the house shake with laughter at his work.” Screenland heralded Clara Bow as back to form after her disappointing initial talkie appearances, saying, “Get out your adjectives and use them once more on Clara Bow. In Her Wedding Night Clara is the slim, smouldering gal of her early pictures.” Broadway and Hollywood Movies called the picture, “A sophisticated, red-hot, rollickingly funny screen story.”



Session #6, Sunday, August 16, 9:30 a.m.-1:05 p.m. Silent film accompaniment by Dr. Philip C. Carli

11:55 a.m. His Nibs (Exceptional, 1921) D: Gregory La Cava; Chic Sale, Colleen Moore, Joseph Dowling, J.P. Lockney SILENT (55 min.)

A tour-de-force for character comedian Chic Sale, who plays seven roles in this story of a small-town movie theater. Harrison’s Reports notes that Sale plays “the operator, the pianist in the role of the woman, the vaudeville performer, the newspaper reporter, and three other characters. As the moving picture machine operator, he is a scream.” Harrison holds that “One could hardly believe that so much humor, so much clean and wholesome comedy could be crowded into five reels.”