- Silent Film Organ Concert
- 20-Jan-2013 02:00PM
- The Arlington Theatre - Santa Barbara
SHOW PEOPLE" Accompanied by Dennis James
On January 20, 2013, 2 pm, silent film accompanist Dennis James returns to the Arlington to accompany one of the last silent films made by a major studio, MGM’s "Show People".
This film, a light comedy, is essentially "Hollywood" poking fun at itself. It stars Marion Davies, well known mistress of William Randolph Hearst, and a wonderful comedienne in her own right, and William Haines who was one of MGM's leading stars in 1928.
Add to this, cameo appearances of many of the movie stars of the day including Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, Renée Adorée, John Gilbert, William S. Hart, Rod La Roque, Mae Murray, Louella Parsons, Norma Talmadge, King Vidor (who directed this film) and Clair Windsor.
The story, which is very loosely based on the career of Gloria Swanson, is about a small town girl from the sticks who wants to be a movie star. She comes to Hollywood and gets a job in slapstick comedy films with full seltzer water and custard pies.
Eventually she gets into high-class feature films, assumes a haughty attitude and forgets the people in comedy who gave her start in films. A young actor, one of her former colleagues in comedy, loves her and tries to bring her back to reality.....with seltzer water.
starring Buster Keaton, is arguably the pinnacle of the slapstick two-reeler comedies. It shows that good intentions and hard work don’t always lead to success.
Through a series of blunders and mistakes, Buster is conned into "buying" a load of furniture from a crook that doesn’t own it and acquires a horse and cart to haul it away. He takes a wrong turn and finds himself amidst an annual policemen’s parade.
An anarchist throws a bomb, which lands in Buster’s cart. Buster unconsciously lights a cigarette from the burning fuse and tosses the bomb aside. It goes off among the cops and starts one of the greatest chase scenes ever filmed.
Buster’s antics to escape the angry hoard of cops are remarkable and demonstrate his athletic ability, strength and impeccable timing.
Dennis James, theatre pipe organist.
Dennis James represents the pinnacle of silent movie accompanists. He researches each film and finds original scores (if available). Dennis travels throughout the world doing silent movie accompaniment. Dennis has played at the Arlington many times, and we welcome him back.
The theatre pipe organ differs radically from a church pipe organ. Both organ types use ranks of whistles and horns (flues and reeds) to create music. A church pipe organ is used to create austere ethereal music, while a theatre pie organ emulates the sounds of a full orchestra, which used to be hired to play for silent movies. A theatre pipe organ is also known as a Hope-Jones Unit Orchestra. A theatre pipe organ runs on 15-times the air pressure of a church pipe organ, and also has a large array of sound effects: bells, train whistles, many drums, cymbals, xylophone, marimba, piano, chimes, and many more, all at the control of the organist.
- The Arlington Theatre