Silent Films
29th Annual West Coast Ragtime Festival
Added 11/12/2015  Previous Update 11/6/2015


Friday, 10:00 pm - California Ballroom

Douglas Fairbanks in THE MARK OF ZORRO (1920)
Accompanied by Frederick Hodges
Douglas Fairbanks was perfectly a man of his time. No other star, ever, has so exemplified what so many Americans wanted to believe were their own traits. 1920’s The Mark of Zorro skillfully blends elements of the Western and the old Fairbanks light comedy roles in an effort to ease the transition to the genre-defining swashbucklers Fairbanks had in mind. Director Fred Niblo, skilled at action sequences, was enlisted to keep the plot moving as nimbly as Fairbanks. Zorro is a dual character, a romantic, avenging aristocrat by night, and a listless, world-weary fop by day. The Mark of Zorro alternates between light romance and thrills: 95 years on, Fairbanks’ stunts and physical exuberance continue to surprise audiences. (Added to the National Film Registry, 2009)

mark-of-zorror_silent-film.jpg (207954 bytes)
Click images for full-size view.

Saturday 3:15 pm: Two films - California Ballroom
In this special set we present two terrific silent comedies produced by Hal Roach and directed by Leo McCarey  (The Awful Truth, Going my Way).
Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy in LIBERTY (1929)
Accompanied by Adam Swanson
“Two minds without a single thought” is how Stan Laurel described this most beloved comedy team in the history of movies. As escaped prisoners, they only want to change pants but find themselves on the girders of a skyscraper under construction.

liberty_laurel&Hardy.jpg (177384 bytes)

Charley Chase in HIS WOODEN WEDDING (1925)
Accompanied by Squeek Steele
Charley Chase is about to get married and the best man, a rejected suitor, wants both the bride and the heirloom diamond Charley has given her as a wedding present. He writes Charley an anonymous note that the girl he is about to marry has a wooden leg. It works: we have a perfect little farce that will leave you breathless.

his-wooden-wedding_Charley-Chase.jpg (134595 bytes)

The films will be presented by David Shepard, film historian, teacher, archivist, and film restorer with over 150 early classic films to his credit. Mr. Shepard will introduce and provide background information about the films.