Turn On the Heat! Fox Film Corp’s Musical Triumph Sunnyside Up – Restored 35mm Print from MoMA

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

05 Sunnyside Up_600

Wednesday, February 10th @ 7:30 PM
Directed by David Butler • 1929
After their triumphant turns in 7th Heaven and Street Angel, Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell stood as America’s most beloved silent screen couple. They could have made any film they wanted in 1929, and they embarked on a big, brash musical, undaunted by new Movietone recording technology or their own lack of vocal training. The result, Sunnyside Up, boasted a score by Tin Pan Alley veterans DeSylva, Brown, and Henderson (Just Imagine) and proved one of the major films of its era, outgrossing even The Broadway Melody. The story can be solved from a mile away—will Farrell’s stuffy Southampton playboy fall for Gaynor’s Yorkville tenement princess?—but the songs are memorable and the camerawork is exceptionally fluid. Then there’s the singular, Eskimo-themed show-stopper “Turn On the Heat,” a literal barn-burner whose appeal has been aptly described by musical historian Richard Barrios: “There was no restraint, not from sound men telling [director David] Butler and [choreographer Seymour] Felix what wouldn’t work, nor from censors, innate finer feelings, or the studio fire marshal.” (KW)
121 min • Fox Film Corp. • 35mm from the Museum of Modern Art, Permission Criterion
Preceded by: Short TBA


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