Silent Cinema at the Music Box

Sat, Jan 6th, 2018

Classic silent films the way they were meant to be seen!  Featuring a live musical score on the famous Music Box organ by Dennis Scott, Music Box House Organist.

PRICING

General Admission Tickets – $11 / Senior Tickets – $9 / Music Box Members – $7

Movies & Showtimes for
Silent Cinema at the Music Box

Sat, Sep 9th
What Price Glory

11:30AM
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Wed, Oct 11th
The Phantom of the Opera

7:30PM
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Sat, Nov 11th
The Last Man on Earth

12:00PM
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Behind the Door

A FILM BY: Irvin Willat
WRITTEN BY: Gouverneur Morris (story), Luther Reed
STARRING: Hobart Bosworth, Jane Novak, Wallace Beery

Featuring a live musical score performed by Music Box House Organist Dennis Scott

One of the most perverse and unpredictable films of the silent era, this nautical revenge yarn alternates appalling sadism with prayerful longing for days gone by. Hobart Bosworth stars as Captain Oscar Krug, a lumbering taxidermist whose quiet life off the coast of Maine is interrupted by America’s entry into World War I. As an American of German descent, Krug must prove his patriotic bona fides by enlisting but even he underestimates the depravity of the enemy (a slick and smarmy Wallace Beery) and the destructive power of the U-Boat. The thinking man’s anti-Hun picture, BEHIND THE DOOR hit theaters a year after the Armistice and rubbed sea salt in America’s still-festering wounds. 

35mm print courtesy of San Francisco Silent Film Festival Collection, Library of Congress

Co-Presented by The Chicago Film Society

Technical Information

Production Year: 1919
Country of Origin: United States
Language: English
Run Time: 70 mins

The Last Man on Earth

A FILM BY: J.G. Blystone
WRITTEN BY: Donald W. Lee, John D. Swain (story)
STARRING: Earle Foxe, Grace Cunard, Gladys Tennyson
Not to be confused with the post-apocalyptic Vincent Price vs. zombies pic adapted from Richard Matheson’s I AM LEGEND, the silent version of THE LAST MAN ON EARTH is a work of speculative science fiction super-charged by festering 19th Amendment anxieties. It’s 1954 and the world has been beset by a global pandemic of masculinitis, a disease that mysteriously kills off all men aged fourteen years and older. Eventually one straggler (Earle Foxe) is discovered in the forest, a tree-dwelling Rip Van Winkle utterly unprepared to become a planetary sex symbol. (His childhood crush once taunted him, saying she wouldn’t marry him if he was the last man on earth. Who’s laughing now?) Foxe is soon set upon by female gangsters, female politicians, female scientists, female everything. The climax even comes down to an extended boxing match between the “Senatoresses” from California and Massachusetts! “The girls really amount to very little, except that there are so many of them,” lamented Variety. “In fact the picture is just a super bathing-girl comedy and would prove a great attraction for the average burlesque houses.” 
Preserved by The Museum of Modern Art with support from The National Film Preservation Foundation
 
BONUS: This screening will be preceded by the short cartoon “It’s the Cats” (Fleischer Studios, 1926, 7 min, 16mm)

Technical Information

Production Year: 1924
Country of Origin: United States
Language: English
Run Time: 70 mins
Format: 35mm

Little Orphan Annie

A FILM BY: Colin Campbell
WRITTEN BY: James Whitcomb Riley (story), Gilson Willets (scenario)
STARRING: Colleen Moore, Tom Santschi, Harry Lonsdale

Featuring a live musical score performed by Music Box House Organist Dennis Scott

Surrounded by a group of children, poet James Whitcomb Riley narrates the story of Little Orphant Annie, who loses her mother at an early age and is sent to an orphanage. Annie charms the other children with her stories of goblins and elves until her uncle comes to claim her. He and her aunt force Annie into a life of drudgery, treating her so cruelly that Big Dave, a neighboring farmer, takes her from them and places her in the charge of the kindly Squire Goode and his wife. Big Dave, who intends to marry Annie, is called away to fight in World War I. When Annie hears the news that he has been killed, she pretends to be gravely ill but wakes up to learn that it has all been a dream.

Technical Information

Production Year: 1918
Country of Origin: United States
Language: English
Run Time: 57 mins

The Phantom of the Opera

A FILM BY: Rupert Julian
WRITTEN BY: Gaston Leroux
STARRING: Lon Chaney, Mary Philbin, Norman Kerry

Music Box Members get in free by showing their membership cards at the box office an hour before the show

Featuring a live musical score performed by Music Box House Organist Dennis Scott

Based on the 1910 novel of the same name, THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA is the role Lon Chaney was born to play, with a face made so grotesque and emaciated that audiences who saw the film as children on its original release remembered the film in terror for decades. 

"It creates beneath the opera one of the most grotesque places in the cinema, and Chaney's performance transforms an absurd character into a haunting one." - Roger Ebert

Technical Information

Production Year: 1925
Country of Origin: United States
Language: English
Run Time: 93 mins
Format: 35mm

What Price Glory

A FILM BY: Raoul Walsh
WRITTEN BY: Maxwell Anderson (play), Laurence Stallings (play), Malcolm Stuart Boylan (titles), James T. O'Donohoe
STARRING: Victor McLaglen, Dolores Del Rio, Edmund Lowe

Featuring a live musical score performed by Music Box House Organist Dennis Scott

Released a year after the very successful THE BIG PARADE, WHAT PRICE GLORY is Walsh's first high-caliber war film and it's camouflaged beneath the same antiwar sentiment as the former. Unusually gritty battle scenes wallow in the muck of trenches even Kubrick would be proud of. But the real terrain to be taken is that of masculine rivalry. In roles they would reprise three times, Victor McLaglen and Edmund Lowe begin as suitors to the very suitable Dolores Del Rio, until the dreary realities of war arrive. Adapted from a notably bawdy play, lip-readers had a field day as McLaglen and Lowe dropped some profane bombshells. (description: Pacific Film Archive) 

Preserved by The Museum of Modern Art with support from the Celeste Bartos Fund for Film Preservation

Technical Information

Production Year: 1926
Country of Origin: United States
Language: English
Run Time: 116 mins
Format: 35mm

Music Box Theatre

3733 N Southport Ave Chicago, IL 60613 773 871 6604