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Cineconline Program Information

Revised August 31, 2021

Cinecon is highly regarded among film fans for screening the rare and unusual films of the silent and early sound era—films that seldom get seen on a big screen. Cinecon combs the major film archives and Hollywood studio vaults to select often forgotten gems that deserve a fresh look and reappraisal. At Cinecon there is something for everyone—comedy, drama, musicals, Westerns. We show the latest restorations—and some one-of-a-kind rarities.

Unfortunately this year due to the ongoing Covid-19 situation we are again unable to bring you these great films in person. So we have decided to produce another online version of Cinecon as we did in 2020. But fear not we won't let this smaller venue stop us from bringing you the quality of entertainment you've come to expect from Cinecon.

All films will be streamed live via the internet on our main page Friday September 3rd through Monday September 6th. The show will start at 3:00 PM PT / 6:00 PM ET on Friday and run about 4 1/2 hours. Visit the Cineconline Schedule page for show times.

   

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A CLOSE SHAVE (1929, Mack Sennett Comedies)
Courtesy of Mark Heller

We are pleased to re-premiere the last silent short made by Mack Sennett, A Close Shave which was originally released on June 23, 1929. The eight minutes that we'll be showing is all that's known to exist of the formerly lost two-reeler. This clip was discovered by film archivist Mark Heller who is graciously allowing us to unveil the footage at our festival this year.

In the short, directed by Harry Edwards, star Johnny Burke plays an inept window washer who becomes an equally inept barber. Co-starring with Burke is comedy stalwart Andy Clyde. Also listed in the cast are Sennett regulars Vernon Dent and Carmelita Gerghaty.

Click here to see an extended article on this film written by film historian Steve Massa (author of "Slapstick Divas: The Women Of Silent Comedy" and "Lamebrains And Lunatics: The Good, The Bad and The Forgotten Of Silent Comedy".)

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ELLA CINDERS (1926, First National Pictures)

We will be having a special screening of ELLA CINDERS staring the great Colleen Moore. This showing will feature a brand new score by Scott Lasky (maestro of the Famous Players Orchestra) and there will be a special introduction to the film by Colleen Moore's niece Melinda Morrison-Cox.

The film was based on the comic strip of the same name, created by William Conselman and Charles Plumb, which was running in newspapers across the country at the time the film was made. In the story poor hard working Ella wins a contest to travel to Hollywood and make a movie. Unfortunately when she gets there she finds out the contest was a scam and she needs to find a job. Colleen is Ella and Lloyd Hughes plays her love interest. Others in the cast include Vera Lewis, Doris Baker, Emily Gerdes and Mike Donlin.

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HELEN'S BABIES (1924, Sol Lesser Prod.)
Courtesy of Library of Congress

We decided to encore this film at Cineconline for two reasons, one, it's a nice little film that deserves to be screened again, and two, we wanted to give our online audience a feel for our in person show. This was our opening night film for Cinecon 54 in 2018. We had selected this film to pay tribute to our long time Cinecon friend, "Baby Peggy" herself, Diana Serra Cary in honor of her 100th birthday. It was also the premier of a new restoration of the film by the Library of Congress. It featured newly discovered footage unseen since the film was originally released. In addition it was accompanied live by the Famous Players Orchestra with a new original score compiled and lead by maestro Scott Lasky.

In this silent comedy Edward Everett Horton is a young bachelor, Uncle Harry, who suddenly finds himself saddled with raising two precocious little girls: Jeanne Carpenter and our star, Baby Peggy, who at the time this film was released was the second most popular child star (after Jackie Coogan of Chaplin’s THE KID) in all of moviedom. The girls' antics drive him crazy at first, but then he begins to warm to them. 19-year-old Clara Bow is the local girl who enters into Uncle Harry’s life.

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HOOFBEATS OF VENGEANCE (1928, Universal Pictures)
Courtesy of Jon Mirsalis

Thanks to our resident musician/film archivist Jon Mirsalis, we are privileged to show this rarely seen film from the only extant print known to survive. Jon has also provided an original score which he says is one of his best. This adventure film stars Rex the wonder horse, who gets top billing over the human actors, Jack Perrin, Helen Foster and Al Ferguson.

Rex's owner is murdered by Joe Regan (Ferguson) the leader of a band of smugglers who Sgt. Jack Gordon (Perrin) has been sent to capture. Rex vows vengeance on Regan and helps Gordon capture him. He even brings a troop of Mounties to aid Gordon when he gets into trouble.

Click here to see the Cineconline introduction to HOOFBEATS OF VENGEANCE by film historian Jon Mirsalis ahead of our Labor Day weekend show

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KINECON AT CINECON
Courtesy of Stu Shostak and Stan Taffel

A star studded celebration of live television awaits you during our fifth edition of KINECON AT CINECON. Jack Benny, Frank Sinatra, Edward G Robinson, Ginger Rogers, Edmund O'Brien and many more. As a special added treat we are thrilled to premiere a restored piece of television mayhem with The Ritz Brothers. The other standout piece in this great slate of classic television is a rare 1955 Kinescope that took nearly twenty years to restore. Badly warped, shrunken and fragile, we are delighted to bring back from near extinction, a beautifully restored live television appearance featuring Milton Berle and Sammy Davis Jr. performing one year after Sammy's near fatal car accident.

Visit our Kinecon At Cinecon page for a list of the clips that we'll be showing on Saturday September 4th.

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MAX STEINER: MAESTRO OF MOVIE MUSIC
Courtesy of Diana Friedberg

A World Premiere. Diana Friedberg spent years working on this documentary and has offered it to us to present during this year's show. The film covers the development of movie music during the Golden Age of Hollywood and is also a celebration of composer Max Steiner, who helped create the very language of film scoring. Actor Ray Faiola who is the voice of Max Steiner in the documentary will be on hand to intro the film.

Click here to see a brief promo for the MAX STEINER: MAESTRO OF MOVIE MUSIC documentary

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THIS IS FRANCIS X. BUSHMAN
Courtesy of Lon Davis

From the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum and Flicker Alley this documentary film by Lon and Debra Davis is a natural follow up to their extensive and well researched book on Bushman, King of the Movies: Francis X. Bushman (published 2014 by BearManor Media).

This documentary covers Bushman's life from his early film success in silent films as a romantic idol at Essanay and Metro studios through his later life. Though he made the transition to talkies his career never regained the prominence of those early days. He eventually spent some time working outside of the film industry, only to return later to play smaller parts both in films and on television until his death in 1966 at the age of 83.

You can watch this great documentary right here on our main page on Monday September 6 then visit the Flicker Alley website to pre-order a copy of it for your own DVD library.

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THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN (1921, Paramount Pictures)
Courtesy of Frank Thompson

Another rarity preserved by The Library of Congress Staring Thomas Meighan. The cast also includes Doris Kenyon, Diana Allen and Louis Hendricks. From the novel by Booth Tarkington with a scenario by Frank Tuttle and directed by R. William Neill.

The town of Canaan, Indiana is the backdrop for of this tale of political corruption. Meighan plays Joe Louden who is the hero of the misfortunate, but spurned by the “respectable” members of the town led by the corrupt Judge Pike (Hendricks). Joe leaves town to go to law school and comes back to town to defend the less fortunate against the judge and gain the respect of everyone.

Click here to see the Cineconline introduction to THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN by film historian Frank Thompson ahead of our Labor Day weekend show

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BUSTER'S MIX-UP (1926, Century Film)
Courtesy of Stan Taffel

Buster has a misunderstanding with his girlfriend Mary Jane and it's left up to Buster's talented dog Tige to reunite them and save the day. This charming film is the 9th episode in the Buster Brown 2-reel comedy series of more than 40 shorts made over a 5 year period. The character of Buster Brown is from the early comic strip by Richard Oulcauit and was very popular for years. Arthur Trimble played Buster in the entire series with Doreen Turner as Mary Jane and Pete the Pup (best known from the Our Gang comedies) as Tige.

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ICE COLD COCOS (1926, Mack Sennett Comedies)
Courtesy of Jon Mirsalis

The film stars Billy Bevan and Andy Clyde as ice delivery men with wacky results including a comedy bit with Billy carrying an ice box up the famous MUSIC BOX steps. Next, the action moves to an ice rink where the boys become waiters on ice. Billy flirts with a woman much to her husband's disapproval and soon the 2 men square off in a hockey game. This is supposedly one of the oldest Hollywood movies with an ice hockey scene in it.

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LOVE AT FIRST FLIGHT (1928, Mack Sennett Comedies)
Courtesy of Jon Mirsalis

We continue our Cineconline tribute to talented animals, first with Rex then Pete and now with Pussums the Cat, who flies an airplane! (really? well that's what the notes on the film say). In the film, the Sennett Girls are visited by a pilot and his nutty sidekick, whom the women woo, fuss over, and entertain on the beach. The film is notable for having a short 2-color technicolor sequence both at the beginning and at the end of it.

The cast is filled with Sennett regulars Daphne Pollard, Lige Conley, Madeline Hurlock and Andy Clyde plus the rest of the Sennett Girls.

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BLUE BLAZES RAWDEN (1918, Aircraft Pictures)
Courtesy of Library of Congress

William S. Hart directs and stars in this 1918 western (sort of, it's actually set in the north woods). Hart plays a lumberjack who gets in a fight with a crooked saloon owner over a woman and kills him. There is a reckoning when the man's mother and brother come to town to learn more about his passing. Also in the cast are Maude George, Robert McKim and Gertrude Claire.

The film has been restored by the Library of Congress and features a brand new score by Frederick Hodges.

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THE DELICATESSEN SHOP (1915, World Comedy Star Film)
Courtesy of Karl Theide

Joe Weber and Lew Fields made up the popular vaudeville team known as Weber and Fields. Primarily stage performers they made just over a dozen silent films and a handful of sound pictures. The silent films were mostly shorts in which they played the characters of Mike and Meyer.

The Delicatessen Shop is one of the Mike and Meyer shorts. In the film they are co-owners of a delicatessen shop which is successful and runs smoothly for many years. Eventually they start mistrusting each other and fighting over everything even in front of the customers.

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THE MISFIT (1924, Educational Pictures)
Courtesy of Stan Taffel

Clyde Cook plays a timid husband who is so henpecked by his wife that he will do just about anything to get away from her including joining the Marines. Also in the cast: Blanche Payson plays his wife and Joe Roberts plays the Marine drill master.

Clyde Cook was an Australian comic actor who was on stage from an early age. He worked in his native Australia for some years before he made his way to America and ended up appearing in the Ziegfeld Follies around 1919. Other stage work followed and eventually he was spotted by a talent scout and signed by Fox for their Sunshine Comedies. Later he joined Hal Roach where he appeared in dozens of silent comedy shorts. The sound era brought him to more dramatic parts through the 1930s. Eventually the parts got smaller but he continued to work in films until retiring in 1963. He passed in 1984 at the age of 92.

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DYNAMITE DAN (1924, Sunset Productions)
Courtesy of Eric Grayson

What a nice write-up Sunset Productions did for the star of this film, unfortunately they spelled his name wrong. It's MacDonald not McDonald. Either way Kenneth plays a working class guy who has been framed for theft at the company he works for and has to go on the run so that he can prove his innocence. Somewhere along the way he becomes a boxer (Hence the nickname "Dynamite Dan"). The film is also of interest because it features a brief appearance by Boris Karloff at the beginning and end of the film.

Although Kenneth MacDonald would never achieve film stardom he managed to work steadily in the business until his death at the age of 70 in 1972. He did film and a lot of television in all genres but especially in Westerns. In the 40s and 50s he also made many comedy shorts appearing most often with the 3 Stooges.

Boris' daughter Sara Karloff will be on hand to introduce the film.

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MAKE MINE MONICA (1949, Paramount Pictures)
Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Beautiful singer Monica Lewis is given the star treatment in this short that introduces her to the movie-going public. She already had a nightclub career and only a year before this film, in 1948, she made her TV debut on the very first episode of THE ED SULLIVAN SHOW. Ed also appears in this short with Monica. Ms. Lewis' son Rocky Lang introduces the film.

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SLEEPYTIME GAL (1942, Republic Pictures)
Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Judy Canova is a cake decorator in a swanky Miami hotel. Her co-workers, including the bell captain and three wacky chefs want her to enter a singing contest held by a large record company looking for new talent. When she wins they plan to split the prize money. The plan soon goes awry with switched audition tapes, mistaken identities and gangsters from rival gangs fighting each other.

Tom Brown is the bell captain, Mildred Coles, his girlfriend with Billy Gilbert, Fritz Feld and Jay Novello as the three chefs. Also in the cast are Ruth Terry, Harold Huber, Elisha Cook Jr. and Skinnay Ennis and his orchestra.

Ms. Canova's daughter Julieta will introduce the film which will screen on Sunday September 5th.

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KING OF THE KONGO (1929, Mascot Pictures)
Courtesy of Eric Grayson

This is the very first sound cliffhanger serial. As with many early sound films this is a partial talkie meaning that it ends up being a silent film with sound effects and a few scenes with dialog. Film historian Eric Grayson is working on restoring this historic serial. His challenge here (as with many early sound films) is that some of the sound discs are missing (for more information on restoring early sound film visit the Vitaphone Project website)

The serial stars Jacqueline Logan and Walter Miller with Boris Karloff in a supporting role. In the story a British secret service agent (Miller) is investigating ivory poachers in Africa while searching for his missing brother. He meets up with a girl (Logan) who is searching for her missing father. Along the way they become involved in the search for a treasure hidden in a lost city that the gang of poachers are also after.

Click here to hear more about the serial and its restoration in the introduction to KING OF THE KONGO by film historian Eric Grayson (with guest apperance by Sara Karloff) from our upcoming screening at Cineconline on Monday September 6.

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SWING FEVER (1937, RKO Radio Pictures)
Courtesy of Bryan Cooper

If you've got Swing Fever the only place to go for a cure is Dr. Van Loon's sanitarium. Cinecon favorite Billy Gilbert is the doctor, Jack Norton is one of his patients and Christine McIntyre (well-known to 3 Stooges fans for her many appearances with the boys) makes her film debut as a nurse.

Click here to see the Cineconline introduction to SWING FEVER by Billy Gilbert's grandnephew, Bryan Cooper ahead of our Labor Day weekend show.

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PENROD AND SAM (1923, First National Pictures)
Courtesy of Library of Congress

This film is based on the Booth Tarkington novel of the same name. The film follows the funny and sometimes bittersweet life of Penrod, an 11-year-old, upper middle class boy growing up in the Midwest and the misadventures that he gets into with his pal Sam and their gang of friends.

Penrod is played by child actor Ben Alexander. And if Ben's name sounds familiar to you it's because nearly 30 years after playing Penrod Ben co-starred with Jack Webb as Sgt. Joe Friday's partner in the first version of the TV show Dragnet (1951-1959). Other actors in the film include Joe Butterworth, Rockcliffe Fellowes, Gladys Brockwell and Gertrude Messinger.

Click here to see a special introduction to PENROD AND SAM by film historian John Bengtson ahead of our Labor Day weekend show. Here is a link to the Hollywood Heritage Go Fund Me page mentioned in the introduction https://gofund.me/e712eed1

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COLLEGE QUEEN (1946, Paramount Pictures)
Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

If this pretty young lady looks familiar it's because you remember her as Lois Lane in the 1950s TV show THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN. But before she became that intrepid reporter Noel Neill appeared in 1940s college musicals where she sang and danced. College Queen is one of those films. Appearing in the film with Neill is Pat Phelan and Audrey Young.

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THUNDERBEAN ANIMATION PROGRAM
Courtesy of Steve Stanchfield

Our good friend Steve Stanchfield of Thunderbean Animation is back with a great new program of great old rare and unusual cartoons. Here's a list of them:

Ford Service Commercials
Aesops Fables Goode Knight - Cubby Bear Van Beuran
Merry Mannequins - Columbia Rhapsody Charles Mintz
Movie Mad - Ub Iwerks Flip The Frog from Original Negative
Beach Peach - Popeye
The Sunshinemakers - Rainbow Parade - in Cinecolor
The Jugglar Of Our Lady - narrated by Boris Karloff
Marx Brothers Stop Motion Animated Cartoon from 1960
The Lady Said No - A Daffy Ditty
Japanese Lanterns - Rainbow Parade

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RENDEZVOUS WITH ANNIE (1946, Republic Pictures)
Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Film and TV favorite Eddie Albert stars as an Air Force clerk in London during the war who desperately wants to see his wife on their anniversary. When he gets a 3-day pass his pilot buddies talk him into going AWOL on their overnight flight to America. He sees his wife and the pair spend a romantic evening. Fearing a court martial he makes Annie promise not to tell anyone that he was home. He manages to sneak back to London with no one knowing he was gone. Nine months later with the war over he returns home to find that his wife has just given birth. Uh oh! Since he did such a good job hiding his visit how does he prove that the baby is his?

Unfortunately any of the people who might have seen him visit America 9 months earlier all have reasons not to admit it. He spends the rest of the film trying to convince someone to help him.

Faye Marlowe is Annie, his wife and Gail Patrick is the night club singer he meets while on leave. Others in the cast include: C. Aubrey Smith, Philip Reed, Raymond Walburn and Wallace Ford among others

As always films are listed here pending final clearance and are subject to change.

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