The Signal Tower Illuminates the Music Box on Nov. 9 – Restored 35mm Print with Live Music from Dennis Scott

Music Box Theatre / 3733 N. Southport Ave.
General Admission: $11

Live accompaniment by Music Box house organist Dennis Scott

Saturday, November 9 @ 11:30 AM
Directed by Clarence Brown • 1924
Orson Welles famously described a film studio as the greatest toy train set a boy could have, but Clarence Brown lived the dream in reverse a generation earlier, turning a working rail line into his studio for The Signal Tower, a mountain melodrama shot entirely on location in California’s redwood country, hundreds of miles from Hollywood. “The whole railroad was ours,” beamed Brown. “They had one train a day. Once we let that through, it was our set.” Switch operator Dave (Rockcliffe Fellowes) works a 12-hour shift at the signal tower, then goes home to his wife Sally (Virginia Valli) and Sonny (Frankie Darro) in their made-to-order cabin. Still in debt to the lumber company, the family takes on a new boarder, Joe (Wallace Beery), the dandified city boy who alternates shifts with Dave at the signal tower and aspires to do so in the homestead too. A stunningly photographed and emotionally direct saga of man and machine, The Signal Tower survives thanks to Universal Show-at-Home 16mm prints, which retained the tints and much of the original photographic quality. Restored by the San Francisco Silent Film Festival in conjunction with Photoplay Productions. (KW)
84 min • Universal • 35mm from SFSFF Collection, Library of Congress

Preceded by: “Jane’s Declaration of Independence” (Charles Giblyn, 1915) – 20 min – 35mm

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