Sunday, November 27, 2011

Jason goes to the Niles Film Museum and sees STEAMBOAT BILL, JR.

Plus, of course, a couple of shorts.

First up, LEATHER PUSHERS, ROUND 3: THE KNOCKOUT (1922): A short time ago they played round 2 of this serial at Niles. In the series, Reginald Denny plays Kane Halliday, aka Kid Roberts, the son of a failed businessman who's trying to raise a fortune through boxing, even though that's not considered appropriate in his college-educated society circles. So he solves that by boxing behind a mask.

RUN, GIRL, RUN (1928): A Mack Sennet Comedies production, so you know wacky hijinks will be involved. Carole Lombard plays Norma, the star of a girl's track team so inept, they haven't won since the Dead Sea was only sick. Diminutive Daphne Pollard plays coach Minnie Marmon, and pratfalls abound in training Then when Carole is is trying to sneak out at night to see her boyfriend. And then finally at the big track meet. Very funny.

Then, after a brief intermission, we were back with the main event.

STEAMBOAT BILL, JR. (1928): The Buster Keaton classic. What can I say? Keaton at the top of his game, playing the puny college son of burly steamboat captain William "Steamboat Bill" Canfield (Ernest Torrence.) He's an embarrassment to his father, and to make things worse it turns out his college sweetheart is actually the daughter of his father's worst enemy, the rich and powerful (and appropriately named) Mr. King. It seems he's in for nothing but trouble, but when a big storm hits town, Steamboat Bill, Jr. uses his wits to save everyone and win the girl. It also features one of Keaton's most famous gags--where the side of a house falls on him, leaving him unscathed as the open window frame falls right around him.

Oh, and STEAMBOAT BILL, JR. was shown in a beautiful 35 mm print. Most films shown at Niles are on 16 mm, and the format made a huge difference. Just beautiful.

Total Running Time: 110 minutes
My Total Minutes: 257,627

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