What Fate Awaits The Last Man on Earth? Discover This Hilarious Silent Comedy in a 35mm Print from MoMA – Nov. 11 at the Music Box, Accompanied by Dennis Scott

Music Box Theatre – 3733 N. Southport Ave.
General Admission Tickets – $11 / Senior Tickets – $9 / Music Box Members – $7

Saturday, November 11 @ Noon
THE LAST MAN ON EARTH
Directed by J.G. Blystone • 1924
Live accompaniment by Dennis Scott, Music Box House Organist
Not to be confused with the post-apocalyptic Vincent Price vs. zombies pic adapted from Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend, the silent version of The Last Man on Earth is a work of speculative science fiction super-charged by festering 19th Amendment anxieties. It’s 1954 and the world has been beset by a global pandemic of masculinitis, a disease that mysteriously kills off all men aged fourteen years and older. Eventually one straggler (Earle Foxe) is discovered in the forest, a tree-dwelling Rip Van Winkle utterly unprepared to become a planetary sex symbol. (His childhood crush once taunted him, saying she wouldn’t marry him if he was the last man on earth. Who’s laughing now?) Foxe is soon set upon by female gangsters, female politicians, female scientists, female everything. The climax even comes down to an extended boxing match between the “Senatoresses” from California and Massachusetts! “The girls really amount to very little, except that there are so many of them,” lamented Variety. “In fact the picture is just a super bathing-girl comedy and would prove a great attraction for the average burlesque houses.” Preserved by The Museum of Modern Art with support from The National Film Preservation Foundation (KW)
70 min • Fox Film Corp • 35mm from the Museum of Modern Art, permission Fox
Preceded by: “It’s the Cats” (Fleischer Studios, 1926) – 7 min, 16mm

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Last month we had to cancel our screening of Monte Carlo due to a shipping error. It has now been re-scheduled for Monday, December 11 at 7:30PM at NEIU. Mark your calendars!

The Auditorium at Northeastern Illinois University – Building E, 3701 W. Bryn Mawr Ave
General Admission: $5 • NEIU Students: $2

Monday, December 11 @ 7:30 PM
MONTE CARLO: THE SILENT VERSION
Directed by Ernst Lubitsch • 1930
Live organ accompaniment by Jay Warren
Crack open any film history textbook and you’ll likely find an extended description of a sequence in Monte Carlo: runaway bride Jeanette MacDonald reclines in a train car and belts out “Beyond the Blue Horizon” with the clang of the engine and the whir of the wheels providing the syncopation. When placed beside the mumbly milestones of the very earliest talkies like The Jazz Singer and The Lights of New York, this simple production number in Monte Carlo looked like a quantum leap and pointed the way towards the creative application of sound technology. And yet this musical chestnut was also distributed mute in the waning days of the silent era, offered to theaters that had not yet been wired for sound. The plot—penniless countess MacDonald flees her wedding for Monte Carlo, where she hopes to gamble her way to financial stability but winds up instead with a count (Jack Buchanan) whom she mistakes for a hairdresser—follows the sound version, but clocks in twenty minutes shorter without all the songs. Discovered among reels of nitrate at the Paramount Pictures lot, the silent version of Monte Carlo was one of dozens of films donated to the American Film Institute in 1968 through the efforts of the late archivist David Shepard. (KW)
71 min • Paramount Pictures • 35mm from Library of Congress, permission Universal
Preceded by: Fractured Flickers: “Pilot Episode” (Jay Ward Productions, 1961) – 16mm – 24 min

 

And check out the rest of the season here.

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