Sunday, July 1, 2012

Phil attends the 15th Annual Broncho Billy Silent Film Festival: Day Two, Part Two: The Essanay Niles Films-June 30, 2012

Hello everyone and welcome back to my up-to-the-minute play by play on the 15th Annual Broncho Billy Silent Film Festival, hosted by the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum! Magic is being made here at the Edison Theater here in the Niles District of Fremont, so let's not waste any more time. Let's talk about this afternoon's program!

The 3:30pm program focused on the Essanay films that were made here in Niles in 1912, the year that Anderson and his crew first arrive in Niles to make their films. All of this afternoon's films starred Anderson and showcased the beautiful Niles Canyon. Also every one of these film was made exactly 100 years ago! Some haven't been seen in decades and we had a packed house here to witness local filmmaking and film history dance across the silver screen! On the piano for this program was Judy Rosenberg.

BRONCHO BILLY'S NARROW ESCAPE: A 35mm print film from the BFI (British Film Institute), the film stars Anderson as Broncho Billy and Vedah Bertram as his love interest Lois Martin. Bertram was a very good in the film, but only appeared as Anderson's romantic lead in a couple of his films before her tragic death on August 26, 1912 at the age of only 20. The film was released on July 6th.

A WIFE OF THE HILLS: A 35mm print film from the EYE Film Institute, the film's titles were all in dutch, but the audience could still make out what the film was about. Anderson stars as Bart McGrew (an non Broncho Billy role but still looked like him) who finds himself on the wrong side of the law. He is saved at the last minute but his faithful wife, played once again by actress Vedah Bertram. Also starring Arthur Mackley and Brinsley Shaw. Released to theaters on July 20th.

AN INDIAN SUNBEAM: A 35mm print from the Library of Congress, it starred Anderson, True Boardman, Edna Sharpe, Fred Church, Brinsley Shaw, Frank Pementel, Victor Potel, and Harry Todd. The film was released on September 28th.

THE TOMBOY ON BAR Z: Another 35mm print from the EYE Film Institute, the film starred Virginia Eames, Jay Hanna, Brinsley Shaw, Fred Church, Augustus Carney, Roland Totheroh (future cameraman for Charlie Chaplin), Texas George Briggs, True Boardman (Virginia's husband) Frank Pementel, Victor Potel, Willis Elder, Pat Rooney, and Harry Todd. The film was released to theaters on October 22nd.

BRONCHO BILLY'S HEART:Another 35mm print from the BFI, the film starred Anderson, Arthur Mackley, Julia Mackley, Fred Church, Audrey Hanna, and Patrick Rooney. The film was released to theaters on November 22nd.

And that was it for this program! Amazing to see these 100 year old films made here in Niles! Now there's still the evening show HELEN'S BABIES starring Clara Bow and Baby Peggy! So make sure you check out that show because it will sell out fast! If you'd like to come check out the festival, be sure to visit the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum's website at

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

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