Sat

24/06

Cinema Lumiere - Sala Officinema/Mastroianni > 14:30

KID BOOTS

Frank Tuttle
Introduce

Kevin Brownlow e Bill Morrison

Piano accompaniment by

Donald Sosin

Projection
Info

Saturday 24/06/2017
14:30

Subtitle

Original version with subtitles

MILANO DALLE GUGLIE DEL DUOMO

Film Notes

A short documentary produced by Comerio in 1910 and considered lost until now. It is fascinating today to see picturesque footage of Milan shot from the roof of its cathedral, but the main point of interest of the ‘rediscovery’ is the nitrate print’s format: the 35mm film was split in two, and the frames were printed horizontally so that they could be read in one direction and, at the end of the reel, again in the opposite direction (like a kind of U-turn). This format was called duplex, an experimental format patented in 1910 by Carlo Rossi, founder of the production company that would later become Itala Film. Little is known about the story of this mysterious patent: it apparently was not widely used, but in 1912 an industry magazine mentions negotiations between Rossi and the French Ministry of Education for using the system for educational purposes north of the Alps. Nothing probably happened, but the duplex’s life wasn’t over yet. The Italian patent was almost certainly the basis for a similar system that was distributed in America after 1915 by a company called nothing other than Duplex Corporation.

Stella Dagna

 

Cast and Credits

DCP. D.: 5’. Tinted and toned 

THE CLOSED ROAD

Film Notes

Such was the prestige of Maurice Tourneur in 1916 that British star House Peters decided to leave the West Coast to sign a contract with the newly formed Paragon Films in Fort Lee just to be able to work under his direction. The Closed Road is the second of the four films they made together and certainly the most successful. The suspenseful plot offered enough thrills to satisfy the most difficult customer. After having built a case against himself to take a murderer’s place on the electric chair, Peters has to disprove the case in time to escape death, a storyline that predates Fritz Lang’s Beyond a Reasonable Doubt by 40 years. The only reel that survives offers a glimpse of Tourneur’s skills as a storyteller and his use of real locations. As for House Peters, his understated performance makes the loss of the rest of the film all the more regrettable. This reel was found underneath a skating rink in Dawson City, Yukon together with other silent treasures preserved by the permafrost. However for this story you can refer to the moving found footage film by Bill Morrison, programmed at the year’s festival.

Christine Leteux

Cast and Credits

Scen.: Maurice Tourneur. M.: Clarence L. Brown. Int.: House Peters (Frank Sargeant), Barbara Tennant (Julia Annersley), Lionel Adams (dottor Hugh Annersley), Leslie Stowe (dottor Appledan), George Cowl (Griswold). Prod.: Maurice Tourneur per Paragon Films. 35mm. L.: 211 m. D.: 10’ a 18 f/s. Bn. 

KID BOOTS

Film Notes

At first glance, one might think a film adaptation of a Broadway musical in the silent era would be somewhat pointless, but Kid Boots proves otherwise. Its theatrical run was a rousing success – nearly five hundred performances between 1923-1925 with another thousand road performances after that – and catapulted Ziegfeld favorite Eddie Cantor to national stardom. Cantor played a wily golf caddy/bookie/bootlegger at a swank country club and sang most of the more than twenty-five songs in the show.
In 1925, Paramount purchased the rights to Kid Boots for $75,000, and signed Cantor to reprise the title role for what would be his first motion picture. But rather than cast Cantor’s stage co-star Mary Eaton, the studio assigned Clara Bow, one of its ingénues who was just finishing the film that would make her a star, Mantrap. Kid Boots was extensively re-written and physical comedy added to account for the removal of all the songs; Cantor was now a tailor’s assistant who is eventually forced to hide out at a golf resort, all the while wooing swimming instructor Bow.
From all accounts, Cantor and Bow got along splendidly – he helped hone her comic timing and she taught him how to act for the cameras – and their chemistry pops off the screen. By the time Kid Boots opened, Bow was a major star due to Mantrap, while her next film It would make her a sensation. Kid Boots also launched Cantor’s highly successful career as a movie and radio star; unlike Bow, greater fame awaited him in the talkies.
This 2017 restoration by the Library of Congress combines a nitrate print in its Paramount Collection with a safety fine grain kindly provided by Paramount Pictures. Special thanks to David Stenn for his support.

Mike Mashon

Cast and Credits

Sog.: dall’omonimo musical di William Anthony McGuire e Otto Harbach. Scen.: Tom Gibson. F.: Victor Milner. Mus.: Cheerful Willoughby. Int.: Eddie Cantor (Samuel ‘Kid’ Boots), Clara Bow (Clara McCoy), Billie Dove (Eleanore Belmore), Lawrence Gray (Tom Sterling), Natalie Kingston (Carmen Mendoza), Malcolm Waite (Big Boyle). Prod.: Famous Players-Lasky Corporation. DCP. D.: 61’. Bn.