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Show People

Introduced by acclaimed silent film historian and preservationist Kevin Brownlow


Featured a print restored under the supervision of Kevin Brownlow with a stereo musical score composed by Carl Davis.

Though the filmmakers of "The Artist" readily acknowledged their debt of gratitude to Douglas Fairbanks, for silent film enthusiasts it is "Show People" that served as a template for this year’s Best Picture winner.

Equally enthralled with the behind-the-scenes stories of Hollywood filmmaking of the 1920s, "Show People" features not only wonderfully comedic performances by Marion Davies and William Haines, but a unique string of cameo appearances by the biggest stars of the day. Davies stars as Peggy Pepper, who arrives in Hollywood from Georgia to claim the film stardom that her father believes is rightfully hers. Haines is a comic performer who helps her find work even though she sees herself as a "dramatic" actress.

Filled with true affection for what was then already a disappearing art form due to the coming of sound, King Vidor was able to capture the small-town flavor of silent era Hollywood and the seemingly accidental nature of how movies got made in that outwardly carefree time. "Show People" is an excellent introduction for a silent film novice, but also serves as a wonderful reminder of what a unique treat a great silent film can be.

With cameo appearances by Charlie Chaplin, John Gilbert, Douglas Fairbanks, Elinor Glyn, William S. Hart, Aileen Pringle, Rod La Rocque, Norma Talmadge and more.  

Produced and directed by King Vidor. Written by Agnes Christine Johnston, Laurence Stallings, Wanda Tuchock. Released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. 35mm, silent, black-and-white, 79 minutes.

Kevin Brownlow received an Honorary Award from the Academy in 2010 and is widely regarded as the preeminent historian of the silent film era. His books include The Parade’s Gone By…; The War, the West, and the Wilderness; Hollywood: The Pioneers; Behind the Mask of Innocence; David Lean; and Mary Pickford Rediscovered. His documentaries have included "Hollywood"; "Unknown Chaplin"; "Buster Keaton: A Hard Act to Follow"; "Harold Lloyd: The Third Genius"; "D.W. Griffith: Father of Film"; "Cecil B. DeMille: American Epic"; and "Garbo." Most famous among his many silent film restoration projects is Abel Gance’s 1927 epic "Napoleon." 

Event Information

November 1, 2012
Samuel Goldwyn Theater
Don't Show Again