This Thursday, I will be showing a 8mm print of the Goose Woman (1925) Directed by Clarence Brown, and Starring Louise Dresser, Jack Pickford, and Constance Bennett. Fred Magee, will be adding piano accompaniment.
The Rex Beach short story is based in part on the then already sensational Hall-Mills murder case in which a woman named Jane Gibson is described as a pig woman because of the pigs she raised on her property.
While the film was in production, the murders had not been solved, so Brown and scenarist Melville Brown had to be cautious not to duplicate the facts of the crime and incite libel suits. In the short story and film, opera star Marie de Nardi loses her voice after giving birth to an illegitimate son. Overwhelmed by scandal and bitterness, she changes her name to Mary Holmes, rejects her child, and retreats to a shack in the New Jersey marshland. Her life is reduced to swilling gin, raising geese, and playing old recordings of her once glorious voice. When a murder occurs nearby, she lies to the prosecutor to gain publicity and renewed fame.
Both critics and audiences favorably received the film. The Goose Woman was remade in 1933 as The Past of Mary Holmes featuring Helen McKellar and Jean Arthur.
All Films are shown on Reel Film, Thursday nights October through March at 7:30pm upstairs in the WOMR Davis Space at the Schoolhouse, 494 Commercial Street Provincetown (corner of Commercial & Howland St). There is a $5 suggested donation to help support community radio WOMR in the off season, and free popcorn will be provided courtesy of The Provincetown Inn.
Wine, Beer, and Soda are also available for donation, and WOMR Film Series T-Shirts available for $25 dollars too, designed by Ned Sontag.
Announcements of upcoming theatrical silent film exhibitions.