Silent Cinema at the Music Box

Sat, May 4th, 2019

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. Co-presented by The Chicago Film Society.

PRICING

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

Movies & Showtimes for
Silent Cinema at the Music Box

Sat, May 4th
Branding Broadway

11:30AM
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Branding Broadway

A FILM BY: William S. Hart
WRITTEN BY: C. Gardner Sullivan
STARRING: William S. Hart, Seena Owen, Arthur Shirley

Live accompaniment by Music Box house organist Dennis Scott | Co-presented by the Chicago Film Society

The popular Western actor-director William S. Hart was releasing films at such a gallop—1918 saw eight features and a half-reel short for the Liberty Loan Campaign in which Hart took a six-gun to the Kaiser—that studio marketers understandably emphasized novelty whenever possible. Hence BRANDING BROADWAY, the story of a Western rabble-rouser run out of Arizona on a rail and deposited in Manhattan to play bodyguard for a rich kid, was advertised as a gawky new opportunity to "See Bill Hart in Evening Clothes." This proto-COOGAN'S BLUFF finds time for unlikely romance, physical comedy and a few saloon dust-ups, and remains a Hart film through-and-through.

35mm courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art

Technical Information

Production Year: 1918
Country of Origin: United States
Language: English
Run Time: 53 mins
Format: 35mm

Hotel Imperial

A FILM BY: Mauritz Stiller
WRITTEN BY: Lajos Biró (story), Jules Furthman (screenplay)
STARRING: Pola Negri, James Hall, George Siegmann

Live accompaniment by Music Box house organist Dennis Scott | Co-presented by the Chicago Film Society

The height of Hollywood's polyglot cosmopolitanism from Paramount, the most continental of studios, Hotel Imperial was based on a 1917 play from Hungarian writer Lajos Biro, directed by Swedish pioneer Mauritz Stiller, produced by German UFA exile Erich Pommer, and built around the peculiar glow of Polish star Pola Negri. The titular hotel stands as a bygone luxury in war-torn Galicia, with the Russian army advancing on Austro-Hungarian forces. An escaped Hussar (James Hall) finds refuge in the Hotel Imperial and poses as the establishment's butler with the help of housekeeper Anna (Negri), who must fend off the amorous advances of a Russian general (George Siegmann) and keep her eyes on an infamous spy (Michael Vavitch). Stiller's only extant American feature, Hotel Imperial is a rare glimpse of a cinema too fragile to last.

Print courtesy of the Library of Congress

Technical Information

Production Year: 1927
Country of Origin: United States
Language: English
Run Time: 85 mins
Format: 35mm

The Scarlet Letter

A FILM BY: Victor Sjöström
WRITTEN BY: Nathaniel Hawthorne (novel), Frances Marion (adaptation)
STARRING: Lillian Gish, Lars Hanson, Henry B. Walthall

Live accompaniment by Music Box house organist Dennis Scott | Co-presented by the Chicago Film Society

The Scarlet Letter is that rarest of things: a movie adapted from a great work of American literature that doesn't embarrass the source material. Indeed, this tale of adultery, hypocrisy, and mutilation purportedly reached the screen only because Lillian Gish's wholesome bona fides, not Nathaniel Hawthorne's literary reputation, assuaged church group skepticism. Gish stars as Hester Prynne, the Puritan woman whose affair with pastor Dimmesdale (Lars Hanson) brings an out-of-wedlock birth and the injunction that the adulterous wife be forced to wear a scarlet 'A' affixed to her dress. Discussing the choice to hire Victor Sjöström (The Wind) to direct this quintessentially American story, Gish explained, "The Swedish people are closer to what our Pilgrims were, or what we consider them to have been, than our present day Americans."


Print courtesy of UCLA Film & Television Archive

Technical Information

Production Year: 1926
Country of Origin: United States
Language: English
Run Time: 100 mins
Format: 35mm

Music Box Theatre

3733 N Southport Ave Chicago, IL 60613 773 871 6604