THE BIG NIGHT
1951, Park Circus, 75 min, USA, Dir: Joseph Losey

George LeMain (John Barrymore Jr.) “celebrates” his 16th birthday by witnessing his father (Preston Foster) stoically absorb a dreadful beating from a mysterious local operator. The youngster seeks answers - and revenge - during an all night odyssey through downtown L.A., making this a truly noir coming-of-age tale. Losey abandoned the film during editing, fleeing to England after being subpoenaed by HUAC; co-screenwriters Hugo Butler and Ring Lardner Jr. adapted Stanley Ellin’s novel Dreadful Summit but were denied credit and blacklisted (along with supporting players Dorothy Comingore and Howland Chamberlain).


LITTLE ANNIE ROONEY
1925, 94 min, USA, Dir: William Beaudine

Mary Pickford plays a tomboy of the tenements who tends to her brother and widowed father in a multi-ethnic New York neighborhood, re-created entirely on the backlot of the Pickford Fairbanks studio. Her crush on a young man (William Haines) from a rival gang results in complications when he is charged with murder. Pickford produced, starred in and wrote this comedy with pathos (under the name of Catherine Hennessey) and it was restored from her own tinted nitrate print by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and then scanned in 4K high definition. An original soundtrack by composer Andy Gladbach recorded with a 16-piece orchestra is presented in Surround Sound.


SPARROWS
1926, 84 min, USA, Dir: William Beaudine

In her final juvenile role, Mary Pickford shines as Molly, the eldest of a group of orphans held as virtual slaves by the nefarious Mr. Grimes (Gustav von Seyffertitz) on a farm deep in the bayou. With its German expressionist look and a thrilling chase through a swamp filled with hungry alligators, this is one of “America’s Sweetheart’s” most memorable silents.


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