Mary Miles Minter, Alfred Hitchcock: Cinecon 2005

Mary Miles Minter Peggy Leads the Way Allan ForrestMary Milies Minter, Delbert Mann, Patricia Neal, and more

[See previous post: “Dressed to Kill Mary Astor: Cinecon 2005.”] Mary Miles Minter, now largely forgotten though she was Mary Pickford's biggest rival in those days, stars in the slow-moving Peggy Leads the Way (1917), a romantic melodrama set in Northern California, with Minter as the cute little waif who fights big (and heartless) business. Another long-forgotten top star of the 1910s and '20s, Thomas Meighan, can be found in William Beaudine's The Canadian (1925), while cool and elegant Florence Vidor can be seen in her last film and only talkie, William A. Wellman's Chinatown Nights (1929), co-starring Wallace Beery and Warner Oland. (Image: Mary Miles Minter, Allan Forrest Peggy Leads the Way.)

A screening of the longer (by about three minutes) version of the 1955 Best Picture Academy Award winner Marty, starring Best Actor winner Ernest Borgnine, will be followed by a Q&A with the film's Oscar-winning director, Delbert Mann. Academy Award winner Patricia Neal (for Martin Ritt's 1963 drama Hud) will also be on hand for a Q&A after a screening of the politics & romance tale Washington Story (1952), co-starring Van Johnson.

Cinecon 2005: Alfred Hitchcock, the Andrews Sisters, Susan Hayward

Other titles include Alfred Hitchcock's British-made Downhill (1927), starring West End heartthrob Ivor Novello; the futuristic (and pacifist) 1927 British drama High Treason, directed by the renowned Maurice Elvey; the musical Moonlight and Cactus (1943), featuring the boogie-woogieing Andrews Sisters singing about, one assumes, moonlighting and cactuses; and the rarely seen (and mildly amusing) Loretta Young who-done-it (if something has indeed been done) The Second Floor Mystery (1930), a romantic “thriller” co-starring Young's then husband, Grant Withers.

As so often in the past, Cinecon 2005 will be held in the heart of Hollywood, with most screenings taking place at the Egyptian Theater on Hollywood Boulevard. The five-day film marathon kicked off Thursday evening with the showing of one episode from the 1934 serial Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.

Dozens of movies later, this cinematic smorgasbord will come to a close on Monday afternoon, with a screening of the Baby Face-ish 1951 melodrama I Can Get It for You Wholesale, with a screenplay by blacklisted writer-director Abraham Polonsky, and starring Susan Hayward as a fashion designer ruthlessly making her way to the top in a man's world.

If you appreciate old and rare movies, be equally ruthless and make your way to the front line of the Egyptian's box office to buy either a full-day or a festival pass. For more information on Cinecon, visit the festival's website.

Mary Miles Minter, Allan Forrest Peggy Leads the Way image: Cinecon.

Mary Miles Minter, Alfred Hitchcock: Cinecon 2005 © 2004–2018 Alt Film Guide and/or author(s).
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