Silent film series starts up again May 14
Classics from the silent film era return to the big screen this May at the Brandon Town Hall and Community Center, which will host another season of vintage cinema with live music.
First up is Harold Lloyd in “For Heaven’s Sake” (1926), an uproarious romantic comedy which screens on Saturday, May 14, at 7 p.m.
Admission is free; donations are welcome to help support ongoing Town Hall renovation efforts.
Live music for each silent film program will be provided by Jeff Rapsis, a New Hampshire-based performer and composer who specializes in scoring and presenting silent films.
In “For Heaven’s Sake,” Lloyd plays a wealthy young man smitten with the daughter of an impoverished clergyman who ministers to the urban poor.
On the day Lloyd and the girl plan to marry, Lloyd’s wealthy country club friends kidnap him to prevent what they see as an embarrassing mistake.
Can the urban mission’s petty criminals and chronic alcoholics rescue Harold and get him to the church on time?
“For Heaven’s Sake,” promoted with the tagline “A Man With A Mansion, A Miss with a Mission,” became the fourth-highest grossing film of 1926, earning $2.6 million.
Critic Leonard Maltin described “For Heaven’s Sake” as “a screamingly funny silent comedy.”
In accompanying films live, Rapsis uses a digital synthesizer to recreate the texture of the full orchestra. He improvises the music in real time, as the movie is shown.
“It’s a real treat to return to Brandon for another season of great silent film,” Rapsis said. “If you’ve never seen one of these movies in a theater, check it out. These films were the pop culture of their day, and retain their ability to hold an audience and deliver a great time at the movies.”
It’s the 11th year of the popular silent film series, which gives residents and visitors a chance to see great movies from the pioneering days of cinema as they were meant to be shown — on the big screen, with an audience and accompanied by live music.
Screenings are held once a month on Saturday nights starting in May and running through November.
Other films in this year’s Brandon Town Hall silent film series include:
Saturday, June 11, 7 p.m.
“The Adventures of Robin Hood” (1924) starring Douglas Fairbanks Sr. 100th anniversary of blockbuster adaptation of the tales of Robin Hood. The top grossing film of 1922.
Saturday, July 23, 7 p.m.
“Sherlock Jr.” (1924) and “Battling Butler” (1926). A Buster Keaton double feature showing the stone-faced comedian at the peak of his physical comedy powers.
Saturday, Aug. 13, 7 p.m.
“Blood and Sand” (1922) starring Rudolph Valentino in his first starring role, as a sexy bullfighter in this romantic thriller. Celebrating its 100th anniversary.
Saturday, Sept. 10, 7 p.m.
“The Flying Ace” (1926), rare example of movies produced for black-only theaters in segregated parts of the nation; added to the National Film Registry in 2021.
Saturday, Oct. 22, 7 p.m.
“Nosferatu” (1922) Just in time for Halloween. Celebrate the 100th anniversary of F.W. Murnau’s original adaptation of Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” story.
Saturday, Nov. 19, 7 p.m.
“Her Sister from Paris” (1925) starring Constance Talmadge, Ronald Colman. The scene: Europe. The cast: Rich people. Effervescent battle-of-the-sexes comedy.
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