ROSITA
1923, MoMA, 95 min, USA, Dir: Ernst Lubitsch

Mary Pickford was one of the biggest movie stars in the world when she brought Ernst Lubitsch to Hollywood to direct her in this impressive costume romance. Adapted from an 1872 opera, the film is set in Seville, Spain, where the title character (one of Pickford’s first adult roles) is a poor street singer who catches the eye of the king. Rosita has no interest in the lecherous monarch but is in love with Don Diego (George Walsh) - a soldier who has fallen out of favor with the king and been sentenced to death. For this restoration of ROSITA, composer and conductor Gillian B. Anderson worked from a 1923 cue sheet to track down the required pieces of music from collections all over the world and reassemble the film’s original score.


OUR TOWN
1940, 90 min, USA, Dir: Sam Wood

Thornton Wilder co-wrote the screenplay to this big-screen adaptation of his Pulitzer Prize-winning play about life in a small town at the dawn of the 20th century. William Holden and Oscar-nominee Martha Scott (one of several members of the original Broadway cast reprising their roles) star as George Gibbs and Emily Webb, who fall in love in Grover's Corners, New Hampshire. Music by Aaron Copland and production design by William Cameron Menzies add a bittersweet glow to this moving drama.


THE THIEF OF BAGDAD (1924)
1924, Warner Bros., 155 min, USA, Dir: Raoul Walsh

Raoul Walsh performs a high-wire act as director and comes out the winner in this magical melange of fantasy and fun. Working with his good friend, actor-producer Douglas Fairbanks, proved a match made in Hollywood heaven. Walsh's fine, realistic tone keeps Fairbanks in check as the actor tries again and again to go for physical hijinks and enough balletic action to take the audience's breath away. There are special effects galore, some of them straight from Walsh's imagination. Production design by the great William Cameron Menzies adds just the right zing to Fairbanks' and Walsh's vision in this tale about a clever thief named Ahmed who steals the heart of a princess and must win her love in the end. It's an Arabian Nights fantasy that Walsh infuses with gusto and bravado. The sets are sumptuous and the characters deliciously entertaining in this landmark silent film, one of the highlights of Walsh's earlier career. Also featuring the seductive Anna May Wong and a beautiful Julanne Johnston. Originally premiered at the Egyptian Theatre!


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