Saturday, April 16, 2011

How many times have I told you, "Don't play in the street!"

The Crowd (1928)

Monday April 18, 7pm, The Paramount, Seattle

"The Crowd laughs with you always …. but it will cry with you for only a day."

King Vidor's masterpiece, The Crowd, is a landmark of Hollywood's silent era. The delirious joy and horrific sorrow of Johnny Sims (James Murray) and his beautiful Mary (Eleanor Boardman) remains intimate and touching even today. Theatergoers in 1928 were shocked by the visceral impact of this film. It is a simple story of boy meets girl, boy marries girl, love and tragedy amid the humdrum routine of daily life in the big city, told with poetic beauty and startling realism.

Director Vidor and cinematographer Henry Sharp treat the viewer to breathtaking moments: The magical lights of Coney Island at night, the roaring grandeur of Niagara Falls and the terrifying enormity of New York City, where people thrive or are swallowed up. Featuring Bert Roach and Estelle Clark in supporting roles, The Crowd is among the finest films produced by MGM's "Wonder Boy" Irving Thalberg during the silent era's golden age.

"So Real It Makes You Part of The Story."

Barely one month after opening, King Vidor's The Crowd, came to Publix-Loew's Seattle Theatre (re-named Paramount in 1932) at 9th and Pine on Thursday, March 29, 1928. The stage show featured Jules Buffano and the Seattle Stage Band offering an updated version of Gilbert and Sullivan's Mikado in "Paul Ash's New York Revue starring Bob LaSalle and the Kimawa Troupe." Also on the bill, The Darling Twins, eight Geisha Girls, the Seattle Grand Orchestra conducted by Arthur Clausen performing the overture "Rigoletto", with Ron and Don at the Grand Organ. Admission was 25c from 11:30 to 1, 35c from 1 to 6 and 50c after 6.

James Murray and King Vidor on the set

STG Presents!

Seattle Theatre group and Trader Joes present Silent Movie Mondays and King Vidor's The Crowd with live musical accompaniment performed by organist Jim Riggs at the Paramount's original 1928 4/20 Publix I Wurlitzer.

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