Thursday, October 21, 2010

Jason celebrates Edna Purviance's birthday at the Niles Film Museum

Happy 115th, Edna, you don't look a day over 20-something. Of course, I only see you in those Chaplin movies, when you were his greatest leading lady, so that might explain that. Niles is proud to keep your memory alive.

First up, the short A NIGHT OUT (1915): Edna's debut, and filmed right here in Niles. Charlie and Ben Turpin paint the town a drunken shade of red, and after being tossed out of the restaurant, they end up in a hotel. In the room across the hall is the lovely Edna Purviance, and Charlie immediately has his eye on her. Too bad about her husband.

Then a brief intermission, with a little birthday cake and punch.

Then the feature, A WOMAN OF PARIS (1923). Charlie directed this movie, his first attempt at straight drama, in an attempt to make Edna Purviance more famous (it didn't work, but did wonders to further the career of Adolphe Menjou. Marie (Purviance) starts out poor, with her loving but poor artist fiancé, Jean (Carl Miller). But she heads off to Paris where she becomes the mistress of the wealthiest bachelor in town, Pierre Revel (Menjou). When Pierre gets engaged (not to her), and Jean comes to town, she has a choice of being the wealthy "other woman" or being the poor wife of her old love. Or, she would've had a choice if Jean's mother didn't get involved, and misunderstanding lead to tragedy.

We would've had a second short, A JITNEY ELOPEMENT (1915, also an Essanay film, like A NIGHT OUT), but we ended the show early so everyone could watch "60 Minutes" on TV. Why the big deal? Well, our historian/projectionist David Kiehn was on, as was the museum. And if you look at the very end of this segment, I make a split-second appearance. Woo hoo!

Total Running Time: 111 minutes
My Total Minutes: 211,574
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