ALKALI IKE'S AUTO (1911): Starring Augustus Carney, Harry Todd, and Margaret Joslin, this fun short is about two guys named Alkali Ike and Mustang Pete (Carney and Todd respectively) who fight over the heart of Betty Brown (Joslin). After stopping them from shooting one another, they both try to one up each other, until Ike shows up in one of them fancy cars, which is actually a complete lemon! Hilarious!! The film was written and directed by Essanay co-founder Gilbert M. Anderson aka Broncho Billy. The short was released by the Essanay Film Manufacturing Company in May 1911.
BRONCHO BILLY AND THE BANDIT'S SECRET (2015): To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the arrival of Anderson and the Essanay Company back on April 1, 1912, in that same month in 2012, the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum begun making a silent western film, using the silent film cameras and techniques that these trailblazers used back then. The results were absolutely amazing! I had seen the rough cut of the film during the Broncho Billy Silent Film Festival back in 2013, so I was extremely ecstatic to finally see the finished film. The museum had a DVD release party for the film. Look for a more in-depth review of the film coming very soon!
After a short intermission, the show continued with the main feature of the night.
|Original Theatrical Poster (1926)|
You can see that Clara Bow was about to become a huge Hollywood star. In fact, she did just that two films later, when she starred in IT. The movie was written by Adelaide Heilbron and Ethel Doherty and was directed by the legendary Victor Fleming. Fleming had an amazing career, directing some of the greatest films of all time, including THE VIRGINIAN, TREASURE ISLAND, JOAN OF ARC, and quite possiby, two of the most beloved films of all time: THE WIZARD OF OZ and GONE WITH THE WIND. Fun Fact: both of those films were both nominated for Best Film at the Oscars in 1940. In case you were wondering, the Oscar went to GONE WITH THE WIND
And folks, there you have it! My triumphant return to one of my favorite places in the world! I can't wait to come back here again! Remember the museum is open for tours every weekend from 12pm-4pm and every Saturday night there's a silent film show starting at 7:30 (doors open at 7pm). So if you would like to learn more about the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum, becoming a member, and to view their film schedule, visit their website at www.nilesfilmmuseum.org.
Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!