Wednesday, January 23 at 7:00 p.m.
The Woman God Forgot (1917)
Geraldine Farrar and Wallace Reid star in a Cecil B. DeMille historical spectacular feature film! Spanish conquistador Cortez arrives in Mexico during the reign of Emperor Montezuma. He sends Captain Alvarado (Wallace Reid) to the imperial palace to demand Montezuma's surrender but the emperor puts him in chains. Scheduled to be sacrificed to the Aztec gods, Alvarado is saved by the emperor's daughter Tecza (famed opera diva Geraldine Farrar) who has fallen in love with him. Natacha Rambova (once married to Valentino) had her first Hollywood assignment as costume designer. Geraldine Farrar said, "The gorgeous settings and costumes employed for the story of Aztec love and adventure made The Woman God Forgot a justifiable choice for my third season with the Lasky Company... It would be hard to tell here which of our Aztec scenes was the most beautiful. The feathered attire of the men and women was a great novelty, while even the soft rugs, underfoot, were riotous in exquisite colors blocked and handwoven in lustrous patterns, copied painstakingly from authentic designs." The film's costumes were also noted by critics: "There are probably a thousand gorgeous costumes worn by the numerous costumes and there have been few plays to offer such a unique sartorial exhibition." Wilfred Buckland, the movies first "official" art director and the first one to get that credit, was responsible for the art direction. Critics wrote, "A compound of high art and truly marvelous artistry... It entertains beyond measure [and] reveals the zenith of the splendor which the screen art can attain. Some of the features are absolutely original. A great battle between Spaniards under Cortez and the Aztecs takes place on a pyramid which is 200 feet in height." Another said, "The bigness of the production, which includes pageantry, fierce battles on high city walls, and beautiful scenes of old palaces and sacrificial altars, lifts it far above the ordinary feature release. In fact, the most notable thing about the film is the amount of spectacular interest crowded into the five reels." Our print for this show is amber tinted. Click for pictures: Geraldine Farrar as Montezuma's Daughter Tecza. Wallace Reid as Alvarado, sent ahead by Cortez to reconnoiter defenses of Montezuma's city, is discovered. Tecza hides Alvarado and they fall in love. Tecza advises Cortez of Alvarado's fate and shows him the secret entrance to the city. On the set.
DIRECTED BY CECIL B. DeMILLE. 1917. 70 MINUTES. CAST: WALLACE REID. GERALDINE FARRAR. SILENT WITH RECORDED MUSIC ACCOMPANIMENT.
Preceded by two short films:
Dream of a Rarebit Fiend (1906) is an early experimental film based on Winsor McCay's comic strip. A man eats and drinks too much and has strange dreams. Film pioneer Edwin S. Porter crammed as many camera tricks as he could into 7 minutes. McCay said this about the origin of the Rarebit comic strips: "The Dream of a Rarebit Fiend is an evolution of a drawing I made for the New York Telegram [in 1905] ... You know how a cigarette fiend is when he gets up in the morning and can't find a dope stick? ... My employer suggested that I make him a series of pictures and make them as rarebit dreams." McCay made four animated Rarebit films in 1921, but this one was made by Edwin S. Porter in 1906.
DIRECTED BY WALLACE McCUTCHEON AND EDWIN S. PORTER. 1906. 7 MINUTES. CAST: JACK BRAWN.
Fatty and Mabel Adrift (1916) with Fatty Arbuckle and Mabel Normand as sweethearts whose honeymoon cottage is sabotaged by jealous former suitor Al St. John and his hired hooligans. Luke the dog saves the day and steals the film in an uproarious Keystone chase. Mabel and Roscoe had been with Mack Sennett's Keystone film company and Keystone had become a part of Triangle, a newly formed production company, although it functioned as an autonomous unit under Sennett. This was the first film Mabel and Roscoe made together for the new company. It didn't last though; Sennett left in 1917 and Triangle folded in 1918. Click for pictures: Mabel and Fatty are sweethearts. The newlyweds have their first meal in their seaside cottage. Luke the dog is part of the family. A studio still showing how the cottage at sea sequence was shot. A poster.
DIRECTED BY MACK SENNETT. 1916. 25 MINUTES. CAST: MABEL NORMAND. ROSCOE ARBUCKLE. AL ST. JOHN. LUKE THE DOG.
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