'Metropolis,' Norma Talmadge and Louise Brooks: San Francisco Silent Film Festival

by Andre Soares

Louise Brooks Diary of a Lost Girl
Metropolis, Fritz Lang
George O'Brien, The Iron Horse, John Ford
Norma Talmadge, The Woman Disputed
Louise Brooks (center) in Diary of a Lost Girl (top); Fritz Lang's sci-fi classic Metropolis (upper middle); George O'Brien (center) in John Ford's The Iron Horse (lower middle); Norma Talmadge in Sam Taylor and Henry King's The Woman Disputed (bottom)

The San Francisco Silent Film Festival kicks off on July 15 with a screening of John Ford's The Iron Horse, at 7 p.m. at the Castro Theatre. The festival's Opening Night Party will follow the screening.

Starring George O'Brien (the male lead in F.W. Murnau's Sunrise) and popular silent film actress Madge Bellamy, The Iron Horse is a grandiose 1924 Western epic about the building of the United States' transcontinental railroad.

Among the SFSFF's other highlights are a screening of the restored version of Fritz Lang's Metropolis, starring Brigitte Helm; Louise Brooks in G.W. Pabst's Diary of a Lost Girl; and Benjamin Christensen's Häxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages.

Also, Dziga Vertov's The Man with a Movie Camera; silent era superstar Norma Talmadge's first (part-)talkie, The Woman Disputed, co-starring her off-screen lover Gilbert Roland, and co-directed by Sam Taylor and future Oscar nominee Henry King;and the early William Wyler effort The Shakedown, featuring The Crowd's James Murray and Lonesome's Barbara Kent – who is supposed to still be around at the age of 103.

For more information/to buy tickets visit the SFSFF's website.

SFSFF 2010 Schedule:

Thursday, July 15

7:00 pm - The Iron Horse
9:45 pm - Opening Night Party

Friday, July 16

11:30 am - Amazing Tales from the Archives I
2:00 pm - A Spray of Plum Blossoms
6:00 pm - Rotaie
8:15 pm - Metropolis

Saturday, July 17

10:00 am - The Big Business of Short, Funny Films
12:00 noon - Variations on a Theme
2:00 pm - The Flying Ace
4:00 pm - The Strong Man
6:30 pm - Diary of a Lost Girl
9:30 pm - Häxan

Sunday, July 18

10:00 am - Amazing Tales from the Archives II
12 noon - The Shakedown
2:30 pm - Man With A Movie Camera
4:30 pm - The Woman Disputed
7:30 pm - L'heureuse mort

Photos: San Francisco Silent Film Festival

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