Forget Special Victims Unit and Criminal Intent: Here’s the Original Law and Order in 35mm

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

Tuesday, February 21 @ 7:30 PM
Directed by Edward L. Cahn • 1932
Before John Huston directed his father Walter to an Academy Award in The Treasure of Sierra Madre, Huston père et fils collaborated on an equally stark frontier morality play—Law and Order, a loose retelling of the Wyatt Earp saga. Walter Huston stars as Frame Johnson, the man who “cleaned up Kansas and killed thirty-five men, one for each year of his life.” Upon his arrival in Tombstone, he reluctantly takes up the mantle of town marshal, only to learn that his new constituents hold niceties like the rule of law in low regard. Scripted by John Huston from a W. R. Burnett novel, Law and Order is further enlivened by the prowling, energetic camera sense of Edward L. Cahn, a longtime editor and apprentice of Paul Leni and Paul Fejos who began his solo directorial career with this film. Curator Dave Kehr and filmmaker Bertrand Tavernier have recently touted the vigor of Cahn’s early work, but the late historian William K. Everson sang the praises of Law and Order as far back as 1962, citing it as the only sound Western to match the “documentary-like austerity” of William S. Hart’s magisterial silent efforts. Avoid the 1952 Technicolor remake with Ronald Reagan! (KW)
75 min • Universal Pictures • 35mm from Universal
Preceded by: “Willie the Kid” (Robert Cannon, 1952) – 16mm – 7 min


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