Sunday, January 8, 2012

Jason goes to the Niles Film Museum and sees HELL'S HINGES

But first, a couple of shorts, starting with the first in our two-month tribute to Georges Méliès (interest has certainly peaked after HUGO).

THE DOCTOR'S SECRET (1910): Georges Méliès and his team of doctors cure an infirm fat man through a series of torturous treatments, including a grand finale that...I won't spoil, but it's pretty wild.

GOLF (1922): Larry Semon brings his own brand of absurdist comedy to a story of a young woman (his sister), her beau (Vernon Dent), the infatuated and infuriated neighbor (Oliver Hardy), and a bizarre series of golfing misadventures.

Then after an intermission, the feature:

HELL'S HINGES (1916): William S. Hart stars as Blaze Tracy in this story of "bad men vs. worse men." He's a murderous cowboy in the town locally known as Hell's Hinges. Only a few residents, the "petticoat brigade" believe in any sort of morality, and they've sent for a preacher. Well, he arrives in town with his beautiful sister Faith (Clara Williams) and is immediately a target for the ruffians of town, led by Blaze and the saloon keeper Silk (Alfred Hollingsworth). But Faith's beauty turns Blaze's heart, and he declares them off limits. Which, of course, is no good for Silk, and of course there will have to be a big showdown. More than most silent films, this has a hard-bitten dramatic sensibility that I think would be ripe for a modern remake.

Oh yeah, and since the museum is doing a Méliès tribute for two months inspired by HUGO, I should point out that the brief snippet of William S. Hart seen in HUGO is from HELL'S HINGES.

And that was my first show at Niles in the new year. Next week is comedy shorts night, with some Chaplin, Charley Chase, Keaton, and Laurel and Hardy.

Total Running Time: 101 minutes
My Total Minutes: 260,432
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