James Mason, Deborah Kerr in Hatter's Castle (top); Frances Dee, Maurice Chevalier, Stuart Erwin, Eugene Pallette in Playboy of Paris (bottom)
Thus far, the 2009 edition of Cinecon has already screened several rarities, including the Ludwig Berger-directed, 1930 comedy-musical Playboy of Paris, starring Maurice Chevalier and Frances Dee; the 1942 British production Hatter's Castle, starring Robert Newton, and featuring up-and-coming players Deborah Kerr and James Mason; Norman Z. McLeod's 1932 adaptation of The Miracle Man, starring Sylvia Sidney and Chester Morris (Lon Chaney became a star following the release of the now almost completely lost 1919 version); Erle C. Kenton's previously “lost” melodrama Trial Marriage, starring Norman Kerry, Sally Eilers, and Thelma Todd; and the World Premiere of the recently rediscovered 1915 Mary Pickford vehicle The Dawn of a Tomorrow.
Diana Barrymore, Brian Donlevy in Nightmare
Upcoming treats include the 1932 pre-Code thriller Afraid to Talk, featuring Eric Linden and Sidney Fox (who committed suicide in 1942) in a tale involving politicians, gangsters, and corruption; a q&a session with Adrian Booth (right), whose 1949 color Western The Last Bandit will be screened later this afternoon; the 1918 drama Broadway Love, directed by Ida May Park (one of several female writer-directors of the silent era), and starring Dorothy Phillips (a the time a top player) and featuring Lon Chaney in a supporting role; and Nightmare, a low-budget 1942 mystery thriller with Brian Donlevy and John Barrymore's daughter, Diana Barrymore.
Sunday highlights include a q&a session with Stella Stevens, whose 1966 Matt Helm flick The Silencers, starring Dean Martin, will be screened earlier in the afternoon; the newly discovered and restored 1926 costumer Bardelys the Magnificent, directed by King Vidor, and starring superstar John Gilbert and Vidor's soon-to-be wife Eleanor Boardman; Rex Ingram's 1922 pastoral dramatic-comedy Turn to the Right, written by top Metro power-player June Mathis, and starring Ingram's lovely wife Alice Terry and Jack Mulhall; and the early Gary Cooper talkie Only the Brave, released in 1930, and featuring Mary Brian.
Among Monday's highlights are the 1935 Paramount drama Rumba, starring George Raft and Carole Lombard (and with Margo and Gail Patrick in supporting roles); Frank Capra's 1929 part-talkie melodrama The Younger Generation, worth watching because of Jean Hersholt's excellent performance as a Jewish immigrant father destroyed by the materialism of his Americanized son (super-handsome Ricardo Cortez); and, most interesting of all, the 1918 Norma Talmadge-Eugene O'Brien vehicle De Luxe Annie – about amnesia, crime, remembrance, and the devil to pay – directed by the capable Roland West (best remembered for his 1930 suspense drama The Bat Whispers). I should add that Talmadge and O'Brien were a popular romantic team in the 1910s and 1920s; the pretty and talented Talmadge, in fact, was one of the top two or three female superstars of the silent era.
Directed by Wesley Ruggles, the 1935 Claudette Colbert comedy The Bride Comes Home, also scheduled for Monday and co-starring Fred MacMurray and Robert Young, is one of the poorer examples of 1930s screwballish humor, but since it stars Claudette Colbert it's worth a least a look.
Thus far, confirmed guests for the Sunday night banquet are actresses Denise Darcel (above), Adrian Booth, Stella Stevens, and Academy Award-winning Disney studios composer Richard M. Sherman.
For more information, go to the Cinecon website. Schedule subject to last-minute changes and delays.
Thursday September 3 7:00 Short Documentary (TBA) 7:30 FLAME OF CALCUTTA (Columbia, 1953) 8:40 Q&A w/ Denise Darcel 9:15 TRIAL MARRIAGE (Columbia, 1929) 10:40 PLAYBOY OF PARIS (Paramount, 1930)
Friday September 4 9:00 Love Detectives (Pre-Code; Betty Grable) 9:20 THE MIRACLE MAN (Paramount, 1932) 10:55 HE FELL IN LOVE WITH HIS WIFE (Pallas-Paramount, 1916) 12:00 Lunch Break 1:30 Cavalcade of Broadway (cabaret acts) 1:40 EASY LIVING (Paramount, 1937) 3:15 SPUDS (Pathe, 1927) 4:25 HATTER'S CASTLE (Paramount, 1942) 6:10 Dinner Break 7:45 South of the Boudoir (Columbia, 1940) (Charley Chase) 8:05 GIVE OUT, SISTERS (Universal, 1944) 9:20 PAID TO LOVE (Fox, 1926) 10:45 TRICK FOR TRICK (Fox, 1933)
Saturday September 5 9:00 Business Meeting 9:30 STRANGE AFFAIR (Columbia, 1944) 11:00 GOOD TIME CHARLEY (Warner Bros., 1927) 12:05 Lunch Break 1:35 Screen Snapshot (1923, Clara Bow) 1:45 THE DAWN OF A TOMORROW (Famous Players, 1915) 2:45 THANKS FOR EVERYTHING (Fox, 1938) 4:05 THE LAST BANDIT (Republic, 1949) 5:25 Q&A w/ Adrian Booth (a.k.a. Lorna Gray) 6:00 Dinner Break 7:50 Screen Snapshot (1930; Mickey Rooney) 8:00 AFRAID TO TALK (Universal, 1932) 9:20 BROADWAY LOVE 10:30 NIGHTMARE (Universal, 1942)
Sunday September 6 9:00 Perils of Nyoka, chapter 6: Human Sacrifice 9:20 ONLY THE BRAVE (Paramount, 1930) 10:35 TURN TO THE RIGHT (Metro, 1922) 12:00 Lunch Break 1:25 The Railroad Wretch (Scrappy) 1:30 LOVER COME BACK (1931) (Columbia, 1931) 2:50 THE SILENCERS (Columbia, 1972) 4:25 Q&A w/ Stella Stevens 5:00 BARDELYS THE MAGNIFICENT (M-G-M, 1926) (ends at 6:35) 7:15 COCKTAIL RECEPTION 8:00 BANQUET
Monday September 7 9:00 His Marriage Mix-Up (Harry Langdon) 9:20 THE BRIDE COMES HOME (Paramount, 1935) 10:55 DE LUXE ANNIE (Select, 1918) 12:10 Lunch Break 1:30 Hockey Homicide (Goofy) 1:35 RUMBA (Paramount, 1934) 2:55 ADVENTURE IN SAHARA (Columbia, 1938) 4:00 THE YOUNGER GENERATION (Columbia, 1929) 5:35 NIGHT RIDERS (Republic, 1938)