Royal Cinema 608 College St.
photo courtesy Joe Yranski
Why Be Good? 1929 84min * Canadian Premiere of Restoration
Director: William A Seiter
Starring Colleen Moore, Neil Hamilton
Although a top star in the 1920s, the name Colleen Moore has all but disappeared from memory as most of her work is now considered lost. Moore, with her razor-sharp black bob, lithe dancer body and cupid bow lips, was the physical embodiment of the flapper spirit of the Roaring ‘20s. Her on screen persona not only defined what her contemporary audiences embraced as the archetype flapper, but most of our modern interpretations of the red-hot jazz era come from her portrayals on screen.
Long thought lost, a 35mm print of this film was sitting virtually forgotten in the Bologna Italy film archive. Through the tireless work of several individuals and groups plus the co-operation of Warner Brothers and the archive, this rare treasure has been restored to full glory for modern audiences to renew their love for one of the great silent stars.
The rapidly evolving roles of women in the 1920s and the controversies surrounding them are deftly portrayed throughout the sparkling comedy. Rebelling against her father's rebukes about dress code and lifestyle, Moore, as Pert Kelly, argues that if she contributes to the household with her paycheque, then she has a right to look like and do what she wants. Pert is one of those “new women” an emancipated working gal by day complete with bobbed hair and lipstick and a wild jazz baby by night who smokes, drinks illegal booze, and flirts with men. Her flapper reputation catches up with her after a night of risqué dancing and partying and she finds herself mistakenly linked romantically to her boss. How she gets herself out of the jamb is pure Colleen Moore and is so deliciously Twenties. A re-discovery of one of her lost classics is such a pleasure for modern audiences that there will be no objection if would-be flappers start rolling their stockings, grab some giggle water and dance baby dance.
Print courtesy of Warner Bros.
Their First Misunderstanding 1911 10min * Canadian Premiere of Restoration
Director: Thomas Ince (?)
Starring: Mary Pickford, Owen Moore
Just over a decade ago, a contractor was hired to demolish an old decaying barn in the small town of Nelson in New Hampshire. Before tearing it down, he checked to see if it was empty. It wasn’t.
Inside he discovered several reels of 35mm nitrate film. Of those, four films were considered lost, including this Pickford title. Their First Misunderstanding is a light tale of a newlywed couples’ first argument and was typical of the type of films produced at that time.
Restored by the Library of Congress, which also holds Mary Pickford’s personal film collection, this is a rare opportunity to see the first film in which Pickford was actually named (practice at the time was not to name the players).
Print courtesy of Win Raynor Collection, Keene State College Film Archive
Musical Artist: Jordan Klapman