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Join California Historical Society and the Tenderloin Museum for a special night that shares the history of the Old Mint through a screening of the 1920s silent movie, The Penalty.
Starring Lon Chaney in his breakout role as a vengeful, amputee underworld boss hell-bent on robbing the Old Mint, The Penalty is a frightening noir that draws heavily on San Francisco's historical viceland. California Historical Society and the Tenderloin Museum present a screening of this macabre classic of the silent film era, followed by a century-spanning look of The Penalty’s many recognizable locales. Don Herron, acclaimed literary walking-tour guide and Dashiell Hammett expert, will host the evening, which features an exclusive virtual tour of movie’s locations by CitySleuth (aka Brian Hollins), the authority on the urban history of SF film noir.
Don Herron and CitySleuth make a powerhouse pair to investigate The Penalty’s legacy in San Francisco. Don Herron, who has roamed the Tenderloin for over 40 years with The Dashiell Hammett Tour, will discuss his theory that the iconic TL author lifted the plot of The Penalty for his short novel The Big Knockover, in which a gang of 100 crooks storm into San Francisco to simultaneously rob two banks across the street from each other at Pine and Montgomery.
Brian Hollins, whose dedicated and insightful reelsf.com blog maps the locations of films shot in the Bay Area, will present a slideshow after the screening that pinpoints where all of the action took place. As the mysterious CitySleuth, Hollins illuminates the connections between the SF on screen and the city as it stands today. His especially detailed work with The Penalty brings this twisted, silent thriller clearly into the present.
A live musical score will be performed by dueling duo ensembles featuring a few of the Bay Area's most-feted improvisors. Mark Clifford (vibraphone) and Crystal Pascucci (cello, voice) will play opposite Sarah Lockhart (percussion, electronics) and Christina Stanley (violin, electronics, voice) to conjure an evocative, haunting soundtrack for Lon Chaney's portrayal of the ruthless crimelord, Blizzard.
In partnership with the Tenderloin Museum.
Announcements of upcoming theatrical silent film exhibitions.