Sunday, August 8, 2010

Jason goes to the Niles Film Museum for ORCHIDS AND ERMINE

But first a couple of shorts:

FELIX TURNS THE TIDE (1922): That clever cat goes to war--against the rats. Slapstick surrealism ensues. What with balloons anchored to clouds, fighting sausages transmitted over the airwaves, and battlefields stacked with the dead, it's odd that what really struck me was the cats were marching with what looked like the Japanese flag (although a helpful audience member pointed out the flag of the time was the rising sun with the rays, not the solid circle). Still, I don't get it, but it was funny.

BIG MOMENTS FROM LITTLE PICTURES (1924): Will Rogers teamed up with Hal Roach to make fun of other movies. Which works much better if you've seen what he's parodying, so I enjoyed about 75% of it. He mocks Valentino as a bullfighter in BLOOD AND SAND (which I haven't seen, so can't say if his mannerisms are correct, but the gags with the tame, restrained, fake-horned bull are hilarious). Then he mocks Douglas Fairbanks in ROBIN HOOD (which I have seen, and his extended "want to see some jumping?" gag is right on). I forget the third one, a weepy drama where Rogers creates real tears by reading a letter from Hal Roach cutting his pay in half. And finally, he ends it with a wicked send-up of Roach's top competition, Mack Sennet's KEYSTONE KOPS. Hilarious!

Then the intermission, and on to our feature:

ORCHIDS AND ERMINE (1927): Colleen Moore stars as a plain, simple girl who dreams of the good life with a rich husband (who provides her, among other things, with Orchids and Ermine). So she ditches her job and moves to New York, getting a switchboard job at the DeLuxe Hotel. Happens to be an oil millionaire is staying there with his valet. A bit of switched identity, a gold-digging competitor for the millionaire's affection, and some important lessons on love vs. money ensue. And, of course, it all works out in the end and it's sweet and funny along the way there.

And that was last night in Niles. Upcoming events: later today is the Laurel and Hardy matinee. Next weekend we have (besides our regular Saturday night show), a Sunday matinee of GUMBY DHARMA about the life of Art Clokey, creator of Gumby. And in two weeks, August 21, we have our monthly Comedy Shorts night, which is always special. But August 21 is extra special, for reasons that I'm not sure I can publish (Ooh! Mysterious!).

Total Running Time: 100 minutes
My Total Minutes: 192,962

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