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March 17, 2019 @ 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm


Come Back to Erin

USA 1914 13 min Silent Film Ages 6 and up
with live piano accompaniment by Dr. Larry Schanker
Screens just before the finale film OLIVER TWIST
Free/$1 suggested donation

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with this sweet little Irish gem.

In this transatlantic tale feisty young Peggy O’Malley (Gene Gauntier) refuses her fathers’ orders to marry Jerry, the village blacksmith and runs away to New York City via steam-liner which she boards in Queenstown (now Cobh). Upon landing in New York she gets a job working as a parlour maid in the home of Wealthy Mrs Mortimer. The film includes striking documentary-like elements in the scenes set in Ireland – at the cattle market in Killarney and scenes of the emigrant ship leaving Queenstown (now Cobh) for America. This is all that survives of the film. Contemporaneous reviews fill in the remaining story : It’s not long before Peggy falls into a bad crowd and soon finds herself arrested for a crime she didn’t commit. With the news of Peggy’s arrest having made its way back home, will her blacksmith in shining armour come to save her from her wrongful imprisonment and take her back to Ireland? A single reel of this 3 reel film was discovered in the Museum of Modern Art in 2011.

Restored and preserved by the IFI Irish Film Archive. Made by Kalem Studios, a name known only to silent film buffs today was a powerhouse in their prime. They specialized in sending crews around the world to shoot motion pictures in locales that would be exotic for audiences back home. Florida, Spain, the Holy Land… and Ireland. Sidney Olcott was Kalem’s top director and Gene Gauntier was their popular screenwriter and leading lady. Together, they formed the core of the team that would become known as the O’Kalems.

Silent Film
1922 USA 74 min Ages 6 and up
with live-piano accompaniment by Dr. Larry Schanker
Screens after Irish Silent Short COME BACK TO ERIN (13 min)
Free/$1 suggested donation

The busiest year for Oliver Twist movies was 1922, when versions from both Germany and Hollywood reached the screen. The star of the American edition was Jackie Coogan, eight years old and already a seasoned performer with eight pictures under his belt (including The Kid [1921], the Charles Chaplin classic that made him a star) plus his own company, Jackie Coogan Productions, to produce some of his films.

Oliver Twist was the company’s third venture – released by First National Pictures, directed by the hugely prolific Frank Lloyd, and featuring Lon Chaney, the master of makeup and menace, as Fagin, one of Dickens’s most memorable villains. The silent classic also benefits from imaginative visual touches, as when Oliver has visions of a dancing bowl and spoon when he’s hungry in the workhouse, and when he relives a moment of sweet revenge against a nasty older boy in a dream that sets him punching and flailing all over again. Lloyd may deserve chief credit for these scenes, but they also reflect the personality of producer Sol Lesser, a longtime specialist in unpretentious entertainment for family audiences, then in the early stage of his career. Lloyd and Lesser turned out a stylish and energetic adaptation of a novel that fully deserves its lofty reputation.

The Krasl Art Center is thrilled to be a venue for the 2019 Coastline Children’s Film Festival!  Join us for screenings throughout this two week festival, including the premiere screenings and the grand finale with live music by Dr. Larry Schanker!  Donations are appreciated. See www.coastlinechildrensfilmfestival.com for film descriptions, age recommendations and the full schedule.

*All titles are subject to change.


4 PM Come Back to Erin (13 min), Oliver Twist (74 min) Grand Finale Silent Film Screening with accompaniment by Dr. Larry Schanker


March 17, 2019
5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
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Benton Harbor Public Library
211 E. Wall Street
Benton Harbor, MI 49022 United States
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(269) 926-6139
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