Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Phil attends the 14th Annual Broncho Billy Silent Film Festival: Day Three, Part Two: THE FAMILY SECRET screening-June 26, 2011

Hello again and welcome back to third and final day of my trip to the 14th Annual Broncho Billy Silent Film Festival at the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum. Today being the last day, they've saved the best for last. So let's not waste anymore time folks, and away we go!

Baby Peggy circa 1922
The final movie of the festival was a very special event. The museum screened the film THE FAMILY SECRET, starring the legendary (and adorable) Baby Peggy. The film's introduction was done by none other than Baby Peggy herself Diana Serra Cary. Ms. Cary treated the crowd with some fun an interesting stories about her filmmaking career. Once again returning to the piano was the great David Drazin.

In the film Baby Peggy stars as the (secret) child whose parents Abigail Selfridge (Gladys Hulette) and Gary Holmes (Edward Earle) are secretly married. Soon Abagail's father Simon Selfridge (Frank Currier) discovers their secret and forces Gary out of the picture. Fast forward three years and a half years later and Baby Peggy is busting out of her confined room and begins exploring her home and what's life is like outside. Simon is released from prison and is trying to get his life together without his beloved wife and daughter (the grandfather told Abigail that he died but was actually sent to prison). Down on his luck, he meets a shady individual and persuades him in to taking a job. Soon all three lives seem to become reacquainted, but will it last this time around?

This was a fun film and was interesting to see Ms. Cary so young. She was about six years old when she made the film and she still has those same eyes, full of life. At the age of 92, Diana Serra Cary is the last living actress from the silent era. It was a real pleasure to see her again.

Well folks, there you have it! Another great festival and another great time at the museum. Remember that the museum has weekly Saturday shows, and they will also be showing Hollywood Musicals on Friday nights, as well as the Laurel and Hardy talkies on Sunday afternoons. To learn more about the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum, how to become a member, and view their film schedule, visit their website at http://www.nilesfilmmuseum.org./

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

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