Fly Away with Us: Herbert Brenon’s Classic Silent Version of Peter Pan – Dec. 9 in 35mm at the Music Box Theatre

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

Monday, December 9 @ 7:00 PM
Directed by Herbert Brenon • 1924
Theatrical convention dictated that the eponymous lead of J.M. Barrie’s 1904 play Peter Pan; or, the Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up, be played by a girl. Every actress in Hollywood eyed the role, but Barrie himself insisted on casting the unknown seventeen-year-old dancer Betty Bronson over the likes of Gloria Swanson and Mary Pickford. Here and elsewhere, Herbert Brenon’s glorious adaptation benefits from its peculiar fidelity to the stage version: the Darling family dog is played by a man in a mutt costume and the very theatrical moment when Peter begs the audience to clap to save Tinker Bell (Virginia Browne Faire) is imported wholesale to the cinema. As curator James Card, who saved the last surviving copy of the film from the antechamber of the Eastman Theatre in Rochester, put it, “The greatness of Peter Pan resides in its magic, the roots of which stretch back three decades and across the ocean. The beauty of Peter Pan derives directly from Georges Méliès and, like his films, and like Caligari, too, demonstrates anew that film is not part of photography—that its goal need not be banal realism.” By locating the magic in plain sight, Brenon fashions an unassuming masterwork of silent cinema. (KW)
102 min • Paramount Pictures • 35mm from Kino Lorber
Cartoon: “Peter Pan Handled” (Walter Lantz, 1925) – 7 min – 16mm
Live accompaniment by Music Box house organist Dennis Scott

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“Bring Your Parents to Meet the Projectionists!”
57th ST. WINES – 1448 E. 57th Street – 60637

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