Music Box Theatre – 3733 N. Southport Ave.
General Admission: $11 • Seniors: $9 • MBT Members: $7
Saturday, March 10 @ Noon
LITTLE ORPHANT ANNIE
Directed by Colin Campbell • 1918
Live Accompaniment from Music Box Organist Dennis Scott
One of the final features produced by Chicago’s own Selig Polyscope before the company’s bankruptcy, Little Orphant Annie is a film steeped in deprivation: children fight over dinners rescued from garbage cans by day, and cower under the covers, menaced by grotesque puppet monsters, by night. Into the breach steps Little Orphant Annie (Colleen Moore, in her earliest extant performance), an eternal optimist and skilled storyteller whose fireside parables teach the other ragamuffins that “the Gobble-uns’ll git you Ef you Don’t Watch Out!” Adapted from the 1885 poem by Indiana’s favorite son James Whitcomb Riley that would later inspire the Little Orphan Annie comic strip, the film version is a work of dark whimsy to stand beside other silent fairy tale productions such as The Blue Bird and Peter Pan, albeit with a higher proportion of cardboard and tarpaulin to outright wonder. (Riley himself, two years deceased at the time of the film’s release, appears as a stock footage apparition at the beginning and the end.) Long available only in tattered and incomplete 16mm prints derived from a 1926 reissue that omitted all production credits, Little Orphant Annie has been painstakingly reconstructed by independent archivist Eric Grayson using materials from the Library of Congress and assorted film collectors. (KW)
Introduced by Eric Grayson.
58 min • Selig Polyscope Company • 35mm from Eric Grayson
Short: “The Haunted Hotel” (J. Stuart Blackton, 1907) – 16mm – 5 min