The Silent Clowns Film Series, New York’s only on-going presentation of the finest of silent movies, is returning this spring with a trio of laugh-packed programs. The Silent Clowns Film Series, featuring live piano accompaniment by Ben Model, takes place at the historic 74-year-old Little Theater, located inside the West Side YMCA near Lincoln Center.
The new programs will include the following offerings:
April 4: “AN ARBUCKLE AFTERNOON” — For many years Roscoe “Fatty'” Arbuckle was loved all over the world, and was second only to Charlie Chaplin as the comedy boxoffice king. But in 1921 all that vanished overnight due to an unjust scandal that rocked Hollywood and the entire country. Because of that our feature LEAP YEAR (1921) was never even released in America. Also on the program is THE WAITER’S BALL (1916) which is Fatty’s graduation thesis from the Mack Sennett academy. Today it’s very hard to separate the Arbuckle legend from his work as a comedian, so this is a rare opportunity to take a look at the man who taught filmmaking to Buster Keaton.
April 18: “CHARLIE CHAPLIN AS…” — While Charlie Chaplin became popular and famous as “The Little Tramp,” his screen character of Charlie had an amazing array of jobs and professions that put him into new situations where he could create maximum havoc and sight-gags. The four classics on this program – THE FIREMAN, THE COUNT, THE IMMIGRANT and THE ADVENTURER (1916-17) – were all made during Chaplin’s tenure with the Mutual Film Corp. when Charlie was at a creative peak. Chaplin’s hard work and inspiration produced films that remain fresh and funny for audiences of all ages.
May 2: “FORGOTTEN CLOWNS” — The demand for comedy was so immense during the silent era that the list of performers who were slapstick regulars is mindboggling. This is our salute to some very funny comics who have gotten lost in the shuffle due to the passage of time, and the scarcity of their surviving films. Our headliners are Lloyd Hamilton in PAPA’S BOY (1927) and cross-eyed Ben Turpin in THE DARE-DEVIL (1923). Rounding out the bill is FAST AND FURIOUS (1924) with Lige Conley, Earl Mohan in THE COWBOY SHEIK (1924) and the Monty Collins one-reeler IT’S ME! (1927).
For reservations and information on all shows, call 212-969-0968.