Friday, August 9, 2024

Session #1  Silent movie accompaniment by David Peckham

9:40 a.m. The Leather Pushers, episode 2, “Round Two” (Universal, 1922) (digital presentation [DCP], black & white, 15 minutes).

Directed by Henry A. Pollard; with Reginald Denny, Hayden Stevenson, Helen Toombs, Brian Darley.

Based on H.C. Witwer’s Collier’s Weekly short stories, The Leather Pushers was a series of 18 loosely connected episodes that were produced by Universal in 1922. Reginald Denny rose to prominence as the American prize fighter Kane “Kid” Halliday (the son of a formerly rich tycoon who has “gone bust”) in these pictures which are a blend of comedy and drama.

9:55 a.m. Crooked Alley (Universal, 1923) (35mm film; black & white; approx. 50 minutes)

Directed by Robert F. Hill; with Thomas Carrigan, Laura LaPlante, Tom Guise, Owen Gorine. The character of Boston Blackie, an almost reformed crook, was created by prison inmate Jack Boyle and was first brought to the screen in 1918. Thomas Carrigan essayed the Boston Blackie character for the first and only time in 1923’s Crooked Alley, in which the “hero” schemes to get revenge on the judge who refused to give his freedom to a dying friend of Blackie. A teen-aged Laura La Plante is the leading lady, in one of her earliest films for Universal Pictures.

11:20 a.m. Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy (Paramount/Fleischer, 1941) (digital presentation [DCP], color; 17 minutes)

Directed by Dave Fleischer; with the voices of Cecil Roy, Bernie Fleischer, Pinto Colvig, Jack Mercer, Johnny Rogers. A two-reel color Fleischer “special,” part of the Fabulous Fleischer Cartoons Restored project.


11:30 a.m. Superman: The Mechanical Monsters (Paramount/Fleischer, 1941) (digital presentation [DCP]; color; 10 minutes)

Directed by Dave Fleischer and Steve Muffati; with the voices of Bud Collyer, Joan Alexander, and Jackson Beck. The Fleischer Superman cartoons represent the earliest screen incarnation of “the man of steel.” Another animated short made available by Fabulous Fleischer Cartoons Restored.


11:40 a.m. Talking feature to-be-announced


Friday, August 9, 2024

Session #2

1:45 p.m. Bimbo’s Initiation (Paramount/Fleischer, 1931) (digital presentation [DCP]; black & white; 6 minutes)

Directed by Dave Fleischer and Grim Natwick; with the voices of Marjorie Hines, Billy Murray, and William Pennell. Bimbo’s Initiation is one of the most bizarre and beloved of the Fleischer cartoons, and the last time a film in which Betty Boop appeared was directed by her creator, Grim Natwick. From Fabulous Fleischer Cartoons Restored.


1:55 p.m. Dinah (Paramount/Fleischer, 1933) (digital presentation [DCP]; black & white; 7 minutes)

Directed by Dave Fleischer and Dave Tendlar; with the Mills Brothers. One of the Fleischer “follow-the-bouncing-ball” sing-a-longs combining live sequences and aniimation, this one featuring the Mills Brothers singing the title song by Harry Akst, Sam M. Lewis, and Joe Young. Supplied to Capitolfest by Fabulous Fleischer Cartoons Restored.


2:05 p.m. The Voice of Hollywood (Tiffany, 1931) (digital presentation [DCP]; black & white; 10 minutes)

Reginald Denny and a various performers.

2:20 p.m. Temple Tower (Fox, 1930) (35mm film; black & white; 58 minutes)

Directed by Donald Gallaher; with Kenneth MacKenna, Marceline Day, Henry B. Walthall, Peter Gawthorne. The seventh movie featuring H.C. McNeile’s rugged (but gentlemanly) adventurer, Bulldog Drummond, and the second with dialogue, was 1930’s Temple Tower starring Kenneth MacKenna. (Until Ronald Colman reprised his characterization of Drummond in 1934’s Bulldog Drummond Strikes Back, no actor had played the character on screen more than once.) Here Hugh Drummond tries to penetrate the seemingly impenetrable title fortress, a den for criminals.

     “An excellent melodrama….The action is interesting, particularly to melodrama loving picturegoers, and holds one in tense, at times breathless, suspense.” –Harrison’s Reports.


3:45 p.m. Talking two-reel comedy short t.b.a.


4:10 p.m. Janko Muzykant (Blok-Muzafilm, 1930) (Digital presentation [DCP]; black & white; 70 minutes)

Directed by Ryszard Ordynski; with Stefan Rogulski, Witold Conti,, Maria Malicka, Adolf Dymsza. One of Poland’s first sound films (silent with music and effects), Janko Muzykant movingly relates the tale of a peasant boy whose drive to succeed as a concert violinist brings him hardships and triumphs. Until recently missing the original soundtrack recording, a set of discs was located in Italy and Janko Muzykant was restored by the National Film Archive, Warsaw, Poland. The Capitolfest screening will be the American premiere of the restoration.


Friday, August 9, 2024

Session #3  Silent movie accompaniment by David Peckham

7:10 p.m. Ko-Ko’s Kink (Inkwell Studios/Paramount, 1928) (Digital presentation [DCP]; black & white, 6 minutes)

Directed by Dave and Max Fleischer. A Ko-Ko the Clown silent cartoon, part of the collection made available by Fabulous Fleischer Cartoons Restored.

7:20 p.m. That’s My Daddy (Universal, 1928) (Digital presentation [DCP]; black & white; silent; 70 minutes)

Directed by Fred Newmeyer; with Reginald Denny, Barbara Kent, Lillian Rich, Jane La Verne. Reginald Denny is a wealthy playboy who lies his way out of a speeding ticket by claiming he’s on his way to a children’s hospital to visit his sick daughter. An runaway orphan (Jane La Verne) attaches herself to him and he has to keep up the deception while trying to keep the whole business from his society fiancée.

     “It’s an excellent picture for family audiences, wholesome and honestly funny.” –Film Daily


8:40 p.m. The Gay Divorcee (RKO, 1934) (35mm film; black & white; 104 minutes)

Directed by Mark Sandrich; with Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Alice Brady, Edward Everett Horton, Erik Rhodes, Eric Blore, Betty Grable. The Friday night “war horse” will be one of the great RKO Astaire-Rogers musicals, (this the first in which they were top-billed) with an outstanding supporting cast including Capitolfest tribute star Edward Everett Horton. Despite the presence of two of the greatest dancers ever to appear on screen, one of the most memorable numbers is the “Let’s K-K-Knock Knees” scene with Horton a young on-the-verge-of-stardom Betty Grable.                                                                       

“Top Astaire-Rogers froth with usual needless plot and unusual musical numbers, including Oscar-winning ‘Continental’ and Cole Porter’s ‘Night and Day.’ –Leonard Maltin’s Movie and Video Guide.




Saturday, August 10, 2024

Session #4  Silent movie accompaniment by Dr. Philip C. Carli

9:30 a.m. The Old Man of the Mountain (Fleischer/Paramount, 1933) (digital presentation [DCP]; black & white; 7 minutes)

Directed by Dave Fleischer and Bert Wolf; with the voices of Cab Calloway, Bonnie Poe. A Fleischer cartoon featuring Cab Calloway (who also posed for the rotoscope animation sequences) and His Orchestra and Betty Boop. Part of the Fabulous Fleischer Cartoons Restored project.

9:40 a.m. The Wiser Sex (Paramount, 1932) (35mm film; black & white; 76 minutes)

Directed by Berthold Viertel; with Claudette Colbert, Melvyn Douglas, Lilyan Tashman, William “Stage” Boyd, Ross Alexander, Franchot Tone. Claudette Colbert plays a woman who goes undercover to clear her district attorney fiancée (Melvyn Douglas) of a crime for which he has been framed. Film debut of Franchot Tone.

“Sure, this will tax your credulity, but if you don’t take it too seriously and realize that it’s all in movie fun, you’ll enjoy it….A well-done movie.” –Photoplay.


11:00 a.m. Try and Get It (PDC, 1924) (35mm film; black & white; approx. 30 minutes)

Directed by Cullen Tate; with Bryant Washburn, Billie Dove, Edward Everett Horton, Lionel Belmore. Bryant Washburn and Edward Everett Horton are ordered to retrieve an old $25 debt from a stubborn (and violent) client. The fact that he has an attractive daughter (Billie Dove) could complicate or simplify the situation! Originally released at six reels, only reels 1, 2, and 6 survive in the Library of Congress collection. (Continuity will be provided for the missing sequences via on-screen text.)


11:40 a.m. Beggar on Horseback (Paramount, 1925) (35mm film; black & white; approx. 30 minutes)

Directed by James Cruze; with Edward Everett Horton, Esther Ralston, Edwin Connelly, Gertrude Short, Ethel Wales. Based on the Broadway comedy by George S. Kaufman and Marc Connelly, Edward Everett Horton plays a composer of serious music who, in order to make a living, takes on work as a jazz arranger. Only the first three reels of this seven-reel feature survive (including the fascinatingly bizarre dream sequence!) concluding titles will be created to round out the story.


Session #5  Silent movie accompaniment by Ben Model

1:50 p.m. 2-reel talking comedy short to-be-announced

Version 1.0.0

2:10 p.m. Rob Stone Short Subject Program part 1 (various years) (digital presentation; black & white; approx. 45 minutes)

Comedy film historian and author Rob Stone will host a program of comedy shorts from the silent era, accompanied by Ben Model on the Capitol Grand Organ.

3:15 p.m. Hush Money (Fox, 1931) (digital presentation [DCP]; black & white; 68 minutes)

Directed by Sidney Lanfield; with Joan Bennett, Hardie Albright, Owen Moore, Myrna Loy, C. Henry Gordon, George Raft. Joan Bennet is a bad girl who, after a stretch in prison reforms with the help of a kindly police detective. But after her racketeer boy friend is released from the slammer her past threatens to catch up with her.

“This is a good one…Genuine novelty and suspense…Vastly exciting…Joan Bennett gives sister Constance a run for her money as a dramatic actress.” –New York Daily Mirror.

4:30 p.m. Rob Stone Short Subject Program part 2 (various years) (digital presentation [DCP]; black & white; approx. 45 minutes)

A conclusion of Rob Stone’s program of silent comedy short subjects.


Session #6  Silent movie accompaniment by Avery Tunningley

7:30 p.m. The Leather Pushers, episode 5 “The Taming of the Shrewd” (digital presentation [DCP]; black & white; approx. 15 minutes)

Directed by Henry A. Pollard; with Reginald Denny, Hayden Stevenson, Norma Shearer. Another episode of The Leather Pushers series starring Reginald Denny (see Session #1), this one featuring a pre-stardom Norma Shearer in the leading lady role.


7:55 p.m. Clear the Decks (Universal, 1929) (digital presentation [DCP]; black & white; approx. 70 minutes).

Directed by Joseph Henabery; with Reginald Denny, Olive Hasbrouck, Otis Harlan, Lucien Littlefield. A persuasive aunt wants her nephew to take an ocean voyage for his health, but he convinces a pal (Reginald Denny) to assume his identity and take his place. As the pal is anxious to be near a girl (Olive Hasbrouck) he has fallen in love with at first site who happens to be taking that same cruise, he is glad to oblige. What follows is a series of comic complications involving a male nurse, a stolen necklace, and a some gangsters. Originally released in a sound version (three talking sequences) and a silent version, only the silent version is known to survive, courtesy of a Universal “Show-at-Home” print.

“…a greater laugh-provoking comedy than any of those released since the year when Skinner’s Dress Suit and five other Denny comedies of the same caliber were released.” –Harrison’s Reports.


9:45 p.m. Okay, America! (Universal, 1932) (35mm film; black & white; 77 minutes)

Directed by Tay Garnett; with Lew Ayres, Maureen O’Sullivan, Louis Calhern, Edward Arnold, Walter Catlett, Alan Dinehart, Margaret Lindsay. Lew Ayres is a snooping Broadway columnist who is careful to avoid the wrath of the criminal element, until he makes the decision to buck the mob in order to save a kidnapped girl.

“It has suspense, thrills and good old hokum.” –Photoplay


Sunday, August 11, 2024

Session #7  Silent movie accompaniment by Ben Model

9:20 a.m. Broadway (Universal, 1929) (digital presentation [DCP]; black & white/color; 105 minutes)

Directed by Paul Fejos; with Glenn Tryon, Evelyn Brent, Myrna Kennedy, Robert Ellis, Thomas E. Jackson, Otis Harlan. Produced on a mammoth-scale and directed by the remarkable Paul Fejos, the story-line of this musical melo-drama concerns a show-girl (Myrna Kennedy) who is the victim of the undesired attentions of a bootlegger (Robert Ellis). A chorus boy (Glenn Tryon) gets into hot water when he steps in as the girl’s protector. Songs by Con Conrad, Archie Gottler, and Sidney Mitchell include “Hot Footin’ It,” “Hittin’ the Ceiling,” and the title number. The Capitolfest screening will be the premiere of the new 4K restoration by Universal Pictures, which includes an extended Technicolor sequence.

Broadway is the best picture ever made by Universal.” –New York Evening World.


11:20 a.m. The Pill Pounder (All-Star Comedies, 1923) (Digital presentation [DCP]; black & white, approx. 10 minutes)

Directed by Gregory LaCava; with Charlie Murray, James Turfler, Clara Bow. This recently discovered Charlie Murray comedy was preserved by the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, where it was shown in April. Of particular note is that Clara Bow plays a supporting part.

11:30 a.m. Universal City Studios and Stars (Universal, 1927) (digital presentation [DCP]; black & white; approx. 10 minutes)

(No director credited.) A tour through the Universal Studios with glimpses of several of their contract players film makers.

11:40 a.m. I’ll Show You the Town (Universal, 1925) (35mm film; black & white; approx. 80 minutes)

Directed by Harry A. Pollard; with Reginald Denny, Marion Nixon, Edward Kimball, Lilyan Tashman, Hayden Stevenson, Cissy Fitzgerald, Margaret Livingston. Reginald Denny plays an assistant professor of Latin at a minor university who, through circumstances not entirely of his making, finds himself juggling relationships with three women, cumulating with a date with all of them at the same restaurant at the same time.

“With artificially cooled air keeping the Mark Strand at a comfortable temperature, the audience yesterday afternoon did not find it too warm to greet Reginald Denny’s comical expressions and farcical antics in I’ll Show You the Town with frequent explosions of laughter. Despite Mr. Denny’s marvelous energy in this film, which was adapted from a novel by Elmer Davis, the humorous twists in the story proved excellent hot weather entertainment. It has a rapidity of action which barely gives Mr. Denny an opportunity to take a good, long, deep breath, and although it is a diversion with few plausible moments, there are situations which defy almost anybody to keep a straight face.” –New York Times.


Session #8  Silent movie accompaniment by Dr. Philip C. Carli

2:00 p.m. Taking feature t.b.a.


3:05 p.m. The Infernal Machine (Fox, 1933) (35mm film print; black & white; 65 minutes)

Directed by Marcel Varnel; witih Chester Morris, Genevieve Tobin, Victor Jory, Elizabeth Patterson, Edward Van Sloan. Passengers on an ocean liner receive word that a bomb is hidden somewhere on board; their reactions to the situation reveal their true characters.

“The plot elements are difficult to handle in conserving the flow of action, but here’s one you will rise to; it’s a howling success. The vivacious Genevieve is a “red hot” number in this.” –Broadway and Hollywood “Movies.”

4:30 p.m. Man, Woman and Sin (MGM, 1927) (Digital presentation [DCP]; black & white; 70 minutes)

Directed by Monta Bell; with John Gilbert, Jeanne Eagels, Gladys Brockwell, Marc McDermott. A struggling cub reporter (John Gilbert) falls for the society editor (Jeanne Eagels), who is involved in an affair with the managing editor. New restoration from the George Eastman Museum.