Capitolfest, Rome, NY

Announcements of upcoming theatrical silent film exhibitions.
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LouieD

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Capitolfest, Rome, NY

PostMon Aug 14, 2017 5:52 pm

Just got back last night and it was an amazing weekend of films.
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FrankFay

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Re: Capitolfest, Rome, NY

PostMon Aug 14, 2017 7:09 pm

My two cents (I skipped some late features):
The Coast Patrol (Bud Barsky Corp., 1925) Melodrama- the villain abducts the girl & the hero saves her, This time updated with an airplane and speedboats. Good fun and for a cheap film the production values were above average. Young Fay Wray was VERY cute in overalls & Pickford curls. Gino Corrado (listed as "Geno") is the villain & does a fine slimy job.

The Sea God (Paramount, 1930) Oy.....this one was too much for me, when I was not on the edge if dozing I was laughing, and not because things were funny. Fay Wray looked great but this wasn't her best work. Richard Arlen was pretty stiff while delivering dialogue but he delivered in the fight scenes & gave some good Grazy Eye. Eugene Pallette saved the film from being a total dud.

Hit & Rum (RKO, 1935) Repeated from last year- VERY funny despite being an extremely splicy print. Lew Kelly manages to upstate Leon Errol.

Cheer Up & Smile (Fox, 1930) Early talkie musical, with Arthur Lake. Despite that I liked it. Lake is better than usual, Dixie Lee is VERY cute. Charles Judels slightly restrained (for him) Olga Baclanova vamped about but wasn't looking her best. Oh yes.....this is John Wayne's first talkie, he gets a pretty decent supporting role in the first part of the picture- looks impressive, voice sounds good, but that is about it. There's a young man singing "I'm the Campus Cut Up" & he steals the early part of the film- I have no idea who he is.

There It Is (1928) Charley Bowers . Dazzling technical work, great laughs, & Eric Grayson put together a neat vintage music & effects track for this showing

Little Orphant Annie (Selig, 1918) First showing of a 35mm print of this new restoration, the print specially struck for Capitolfest. The film looked as good as it possibly could, given the source materials. I enjoyed the picture, but some of the viewers didn't- and in one case it was because it didn't fit into the viewer's established picture of what Colleen Moore was like. Anyhow, a tip of the hat to Eric Grayson!

Rolling Along (Universal, 1930) Charlie Murray & George Sidney. Brisk moving short, good fun, not exactly a classic but worth watching

Hunting Trouble (Universal, 1933) HA! Not a moment of subtlety- hardly a moment to breathe. I liked it...but then again, I'm a Walter Catlett fan.

The Countess of Monte Cristo (Universal, 1934) This was a little gem. Fay Wray looked dazzling & her acting was up to her looks. Patsy Kelly is her sidekick, a bit more restrained than usual. There was a LOT of grumbling about the ending: "How could she POSSIBLY pass up Paul Lukas for Victor Jory?" I'll tell you....because that is the plot of the 1932 German film that this is a very close remake of.

Wild Horse Stampede (Universal, 1926) Nice restoration of a very improbable western- don't think about the plot details too much. Wray is fine, Jack Hoxie is......well, Jack Hoxie. It he hadn't been a fine rider he wouldn't have had a career.

Summers and Hunt in ‘Some Pumpkins’ (Vitaphone #929) Slightly risque cornball comedy. Once is enough....


Molly Picon, The Celebrated Character Comedienne (Vitaphone #917) (Warner Bros., 1929) Mollie Picon young & svelte, in a black lace jumpsuit. "I'm in Salome, with sound effects" Picture THAT next time you watch CAR 54 WHERE ARE YOU?

One Hysterical Night (Universal, 1929) One viewer called this the worst picture she'd ever seen. I'll be a little kinder, but in this 75 minute feature there is perhaps enough good material for a 2 reeler. Reginald Denny shows that American is not his native tongue, Nora Lane is an attractive stick of wood, Slim Summerville pansys it up, & Fritz Feld steals every scene he appears in- sometimes by force.

Screen Snapshots Series 19, no. 6 (1939) Basically a series of reaction shots by Buster Keaton

5 I Know Everybody and Everybody’s Racket (Universal, 1933) Walter Winchell does a pretty fair job of acting.

Disorderly Conduct (Fox, 1932) Taut melodrama, Tracy & Bellamy are both fine, but there are a couple of plot holes.

The Battle of the Century (Roach, 1927) Great to see this clean and nearly complete- and a very scruffy young Lou Costello is easily recognized in the fight crowd.

Naughty Baby (FN, 1928) Easily one of the best films of the weekend. Alice White is much better in silents. Andy Devine was young, slender & nearly handsome. Who'd have thought that Jack Mulhall had tattoos!

Zelda Santley in ‘Little Miss Everybody’ (Vitaphone #919) (1929) Once is enough.....she did decent vocal impressiomns but I'd rather see the originals

The Big Paraders (Vitaphone #840) (1929) D: Murray Roth (9 min.) Quite a bit of talent, nice finish, otherwise only mild entertainment for me

Innocents of Paris (Paramount, 1929) Great fun- Maurice Chevalier's first talkie & he hasn't yet been given the studio polish. The film is pretty much a thin plotline to connect his specialty numbers (many sung in French) and his charisma is evident- and so is the fact that he's 41. He's very much a vaudevillian in this one.

Hail the Woman (Ince, 1921) High quality strong melodrama, everyone does a great job (Even Lloyd Hughes, who I usually put in the Handsome Stick category).
Last edited by FrankFay on Wed Aug 16, 2017 10:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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smokey15

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Did anyone attend Capitolfest?

PostMon Aug 14, 2017 8:41 pm

I was unable to attend Capitolfest in Rome NY last weekend due to illness. Did anyone on the website
attend? If so, how was it? What were some of the highlights? Any films which particularly stood out?
I know Fay Wray was the main star for this year.

Also, did they mention who the main star will be for next year? I'd appreciate hearing any type of feedback.
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LouieD

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Re: Did anyone attend Capitolfest?

PostMon Aug 14, 2017 8:48 pm

viewtopic.php?f=12&t=24605

It was TERRIFIC! Lots of unseen films looking beautiful. I have to say, not a clunker the whole weekend. Seriously.
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LouieD

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Re: Did anyone attend Capitolfest?

PostMon Aug 14, 2017 8:50 pm

The star next year will be Ronald Colman.
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Mike Gebert

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Re: Capitolfest, Rome, NY

PostTue Aug 15, 2017 7:34 am

I merged the two nascent threads on this subject.
“Sentimentality is when it doesn't come off—when it does, you get a true expression of life's sorrows.” —Alain-Fournier
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smokey15

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Re: Capitolfest, Rome, NY

PostTue Aug 15, 2017 8:55 am

I'd love to hear some specifics on some of the films which were shown. Did any films especially stand out? What were some of the favorites?
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maliejandra

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Re: Capitolfest, Rome, NY

PostWed Aug 16, 2017 8:08 am

I saw every single film and had a great time. This was my first year attending and I would absolutely come back.

Favorites:

There It Is (1928) is a bizarre Charley Bowers short. It is full of nonsense like a literal Scotland Yard and a mysterious old man who floats through the air and walks through walls. It got lots of laugh belly laughs.

The Countess from Monte Cristo (1934) stars this years spotlighted star Fay Wray and Patsy Kelly as extras on a movie set. Wray has just been dumped and in her despair, she takes off in a prop car and makes her way to a lavish resort where the management mistakes for her a countess because of her costume. There are several great lines in this movie including, "I'm not dangerous; I'm debonair."

Disorderly Conduct (1932) is a film I've wanted to see for years since I've had a lobby card from it for about a decade. The story concerns Spencer Tracy, a good cop who goes bad because the system is against him. His nephew is Dickie Moore in a miniature police uniform and he's cute as can be. The print is splice-y and a few scenes end abruptly but it was a good movie anyway.

Battle of the Century (1927) was shown at Cinevent this year but I missed it so I was happy to get the chance to see it here. It is typical Laurel and Hardy, lots of laughs and tightly edited.

Naughty Baby (1928) is a great late silent film with an awesome cast. Alice White is adorable and I overheard someone remarking how much they enjoyed her and was shocked she didn't have a big career when talkies came. Thelma Todd, Andy Devine, George E. Stone, and Benny Rubin are all memorable too. There is some decomposition but it doesn't affect the story at all.

Innocents of Paris (1929) is a pleasant musical starring a very charming Maurice Chevalier. I have never been very impressed with him, until now. He oozes personality and I will definitely seek out more of his films. I also loved little David Durand, who I don't recall from other films, but who was excellent in a somewhat difficult role for a kid.

Hail the Woman (1921) is the epitome of melodrama, and the audience ate it up, clapping for the heroes and hissing at the villains. A friend recommended this many years ago and I am happy I finally got to see it. I've always thought Madge Bellamy was very beautiful and here we see she could act too. Florence Vidor is perfect in her role and the title cards are beautiful, especially the Christmas-themed ones.

Voice of Hollywood no. 11 (1930) was hosted by Marjorie White, the cutest blonde personality you ever saw. She sadly died in a car accident only 5 years later. She takes off in a blimp and "visits" lots of Hollywood personalities. This is fun fluff.

Corporal Kate (1926) is an excellent film, but a depressing way to end the show. This is a WWI drama peppered with comedy about two girls who join the war effort to entertain the troops. There is a lot of action, done with mattes and double exposures, and although it seems obvious to a modern eye, it is pretty impressive for that time.
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Henry Nicolella

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Re: Capitolfest, Rome, NY

PostWed Aug 16, 2017 10:26 am

Another excellent Capitolfest. Much as I loved Cinefest and feel its absence every March, the Rome show is much more relaxing.
THE COUNTESS OF MONTE -CRISTO was by far my favorite. Fay Wray and Patsy Kelly make quite the team and the scene where they drive off the set to the open-mouth astonishment of the director and crew is a classic bit that drew the biggest laugh of the whole weekend. Director Karl Freud didn't overwork himself though; the film is practically a shot by shot remake of the 1932 German COUNTESS OF MONTE-CRISTO with Brigitte Helm.
Best short was the very surreal THERE HE IS which also had some good stop motion effects.
DISORDERLY CONDUCT and WHITE LIES were so similar that my memory is already blending the two storylines.
A big surprise was the presence of Fay Wray's daughter Victoria Riskin. She introduced a couple of the films and later did a very good q and a that was cut off way too soon. Victoria is doing a book for Random House on her mother and her father, Academy Award winning scenarist Robert Riskin. She is hoping the publisher will keep her title ROSES IN DECEMBER ("God gave us memory so we might have roses in December.").
Least favorite film (and Art Pierce did warn us) was ONE HYSTERICAL NIGHT. It might have made an ok two reeler but as a feature it was excruciating.
Spent a good chunk of time in the dealers' room but I was still able to see almost all of the films.

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