• Upcoming Silent Film Screenings

Here's a running list of upcoming screenings of silent film with live music by Jeff Rapsis.

• Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021, 2 p.m.: "Peter Pan" (1924) starring Mary Brian, Ernest Torrence; Wilton Town Hall Theatre, Main Street, Wilton, N.H.; (603) 654-3456; www.wiltontownhalltheatre.com. The original silent film adaptation of J.M. Barrie's immortal tale of the boy who wouldn't grow up. Join the Darling children as they follow Peter to Never Never Land to do battle with the evil Captain Hook. A film that has lost none of its power over children of all ages. Plus Chapter 2 of "Officer 444" (1926), a weekly serial in which Officer 444 pursues "The Frog," a criminal mastermind with plans to take over the world! Silent film with live music at a theater where movies have been shown since 1912. Admission free, donations of $10 per person encouraged. 

• Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021, 6:30 p.m.: "Way Down East" (1920) starring Lillian Gish, Richard Barthelmess, directed by D.W. Griffith; The Flying Monkey Movie House and Performance Center, 39 South Main St., Plymouth, N.H.; (603) 536-2551; http://www.flyingmonkeynh.com/. Griffith's enduring box-office smash sees Lillian Gish pitted against small town New England and one very large waterfall. Features Gish as a wronged woman who can't escape her past. Still-thrilling climax on ice floes heading towards the falls was filmed on the Connecticut River! Engrossing melodrama, and the silent era's fifth-highest grossing motion picture; an audience favorite for more than a century.Timeless silent film on the big screen and with live music, and completely safe with social distancing and all Covid-19 protocols in place. General admission $10. Monthly silent film series at a restored moviehouse in Plymouth, N.H.

• Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021, 2 p.m.: "The Freshman" (1925) starring Harold Lloyd, Jobyna Ralston; Wilton Town Hall Theatre, Main Street, Wilton, N.H.; (603) 654-3456; www.wiltontownhalltheatre.com. We mark Super Bowl Sunday with Harold Lloyd's blockbuster hit about a college boy who dreams of success on the gridiron. One of Lloyd's all-time best! Plus Chapter 3 of "Officer 444" (1926), a weekly serial in which Officer 444 pursues "The Frog," a criminal mastermind with plans to take over the world! Silent film with live music at a theater where movies have been shown since 1912. Admission free, donations of $10 per person encouraged.

• Sunday, Feb. 14, 2021, 2 p.m.: "Seventh Heaven" (1927) starring Janet Gaynor, Charles Farrell; Wilton Town Hall Theatre, Main Street, Wilton, N.H.; (603) 654-3456; www.wiltontownhalltheatre.com. Celebrate Valentine's Day with Frank Borzage's legendary tale of romance on the eve of World War I. Leading lady Janet Gaynor won the very first Academy Award for Best Actress for his work in this moving, emotional tribute to love that stands the test of time. Also first-ever Oscars for Best Director to Borzage and for Best Adapted Screenplay to writer Benjamin Glazer. Warning: Bring tissues! Plus Chapter 4 of "Officer 444" (1926), a weekly serial in which Officer 444 pursues "The Frog," a criminal mastermind with plans to take over the world! Silent film with live music at a theater where movies have been shown since 1912. Admission free, donations of $10 per person encouraged.

• Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021, 4 p.m.: "The Passion of Joan of Arc" (1928) starring Maria Falconetti; The Center for Arts in Natick, 14 Summer St., Natick, Mass.; (508) 647-0097; http://www.natickarts.org/. Landmark drama that chronicles the trial of Jeanne d'Arc on charges of heresy, and the efforts of her ecclesiastical jurists to force Jeanne to recant her claims of holy visions. Silent film with live music in a renovated firehouse that's now a terrific arts center. Tickets $18, Center for the Arts members $15.

POSTPONED TO NEXT YEAR • Thursday, Feb. 25 through Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021, 25th Annual Kansas Silent Film Festival at Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas. Annual pilgrimage to wonderful two-day celebration of silent film with live music. Check it out at www.kssilentfilmfest.org. Film titles and program details TBA. (My 22nd consecutive year of attending this festival!)

 • Friday, Feb. 26, 2021, 7:30 p.m.: "Kansas Silent Film Festival in New Hampshire: Day 1"; Wilton Town Hall Theatre, Main Street, Wilton, N.H.; (603) 654-3456; www.wiltontownhalltheatre.com. This year's Kansas Silent Film Festival is cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. In honor of this terrific annual event, we're staging our own tribute over three days at the Town Hall Theatre, with an emphasis on performers with Kansas ties. Stay tuned for details. Silent film with live music at a theater where movies have been shown since 1912. Admission free, donations of $10 per person encouraged.

 • Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021, 7:30 p.m.: "Kansas Silent Film Festival in New Hampshire: Day 2"; Wilton Town Hall Theatre, Main Street, Wilton, N.H.; (603) 654-3456; www.wiltontownhalltheatre.com. This year's Kansas Silent Film Festival is cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. In honor of this terrific annual event, we're staging our own tribute over three days at the Town Hall Theatre, with an emphasis on performers with Kansas ties. Stay tuned for details. Silent film with live music at a theater where movies have been shown since 1912. Admission free, donations of $10 per person encouraged.

• Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021, 2 p.m.: "Kansas Silent Film Festival in New Hampshire: Day 3"; Wilton Town Hall Theatre, Main Street, Wilton, N.H.; (603) 654-3456; www.wiltontownhalltheatre.com. This year's Kansas Silent Film Festival is cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. In honor of this terrific annual event, we're staging our own tribute over three days at the Town Hall Theatre, with an emphasis on performers with Kansas ties. Stay tuned for details. Silent film with live music at a theater where movies have been shown since 1912. Admission free, donations of $10 per person encouraged.

• Thursday, March 4, 2021, 6:30 p.m.: "Planes and Trains and Monty Banks," transportation-related comedies starring forgotten star Monty Banks; The Flying Monkey Movie House and Performance Center, 39 South Main St., Plymouth, N.H.; (603) 536-2551; http://www.flyingmonkeynh.com/. Rediscover forgotten silent comedian Monty Banks, born "Mario Bianchi" in Italy and who emigrated to America to become a popular 1920s Hollywood star. In featured attraction 'Flying Luck,' (1927), hapless aviator Monty is so inspired by Lindbergh's solo Atlantic flight that he joins the U.S. Army Air Corps, where it's one comical disaster after another. Preceded by an excerpt from 'Play Safe' (1927), a hair-raising chase sequence set aboard an out-of-control freight train barreling through the California countryside. Timeless silent film on the big screen and with live music, and completely safe with social distancing and all Covid-19 protocols in place. General admission $10. Monthly silent film series at a restored moviehouse in Plymouth, N.H.

• Sunday, March 14, 2021, 2 p.m.: "The Bride's Play" (1922) starring Marion Davies; Wilton Town Hall Theatre, Main Street, Wilton, N.H.; (603) 654-3456; www.wiltontownhalltheatre.com. Celebrate St. Patrick's Day with a romance set in Ireland. The story: a woman is torn between the poet who seduced her and a noble man who truly loves her. Plus Chapter 5 of "Officer 444" (1926), a weekly serial in which Officer 444 pursues "The Frog," a criminal mastermind with plans to take over the world! Silent film with live music at a theater where movies have been shown since 1912. Admission free, donations of $10 per person encouraged.

• Sunday, March 28, 2021, 2 p.m.: "Noah's Ark" (1928) starring Delores Costello, George O'Brien, Noah Beery; Wilton Town Hall Theatre, Main Street, Wilton, N.H.; (603) 654-3456; www.wiltontownhalltheatre.com. Mark Easter with a dose of niblical-themed romantic melodrama in this big budget extravaganza that brought the 40-day flood to the big screen on a gigantic scale. (Tragically, three extras drowned during filming, leading to new studio rules about stunt safety.) Released as a "part-talkie" during Hollywood's chaotic switch to sound; screened here with original dialogue sequences intact. Plus Chapter 6 of "Officer 444" (1926), a weekly serial in which Officer 444 pursues "The Frog," a criminal mastermind with plans to take over the world! Silent film with live music at a theater where movies have been shown since 1912. Admission free, donations of $10 per person encouraged. 

• Thursday, April 1, 2021, 6:30 p.m.: "Ben Hur" (1925) starring Ramon Novarro, Francis X. Bushman; The Flying Monkey Movie House and Performance Center, 39 South Main St., Plymouth, N.H.; (603) 536-2551; http://www.flyingmonkeynh.com/. Just in time for Easter! In the Holy Land, a Jewish prince is enslaved by the occupying Romans; inspired by encounters with Jesus, he lives to seek justice. Based on the classic 19th century historical novel by Col. Lew Wallace. One of the great religious epics of Hollywood's silent film era, including a legendary chariot race that's lost none of its power to thrill. Timeless silent film on the big screen and with live music, and completely safe with social distancing and all Covid-19 protocols in place. General admission $10. Monthly silent film series at a restored moviehouse in Plymouth, N.H.

• Sunday, April 11, 2021, 2 p.m.: Doug MacLean Double Feature: "One A Minute" (1921) and "Bell Boy 13" (1923); Wilton Town Hall Theatre, Main Street, Wilton, N.H.; (603) 654-3456; www.wiltontownhalltheatre.com. Two light-as-a-feather silent comedies from forgotten performer Douglas MacLean, a popular 1920s star all but unknown to audiences today. Plus Chapter 7 of "Officer 444" (1926), a weekly serial in which Officer 444 pursues "The Frog," a criminal mastermind with plans to take over the world! Silent film with live music at a theater where movies have been shown since 1912. Admission free, donations of $10 per person encouraged.

• Sunday, April 25, 2021, 2 p.m.: "The Last Warning" (1929) starring Laura LaPlante, directed by Paul Leni; Wilton Town Hall Theatre, Main Street, Wilton, N.H.; (603) 654-3456; www.wiltontownhalltheatre.com. Mystery film about a New York producer's attempt to re-stage a play five years after one of the original cast members was murdered in the theater. Plus Chapter 8 of "Officer 444" (1926), a weekly serial in which Officer 444 pursues "The Frog," a criminal mastermind with plans to take over the world! Silent film with live music at a theater where movies have been shown since 1912. Admission free, donations of $10 per person encouraged. 

• Sunday, May 2, 2021, 4 p.m.: "Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans" (1927) starring Janet Gaynor, George O'Brien, directed by F.W. Murnau; The Center for Arts in Natick, 14 Summer St., Natick, Mass.; (508) 647-0097; http://www.natickarts.org/. Academy Award-winning romantic drama. Critics rank this visually stunning fairy tale about joy, sadness, hope, and love as among the best silent pictures ever made. Silent film with live music in a renovated firehouse that's now a terrific arts center. Tickets $18, Center for the Arts members $15. 

• Sunday, May 9, 2021, 2 p.m.: "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" (1916) starring Allen Halobur; Wilton Town Hall Theatre, Main Street, Wilton, N.H.; (603) 654-3456; www.wiltontownhalltheatre.com. Early version of the classic Jules Verne tale, feature that pioneered underwater photography techniques. Plus Chapter 9 of "Officer 444" (1926), a weekly serial in which Officer 444 pursues "The Frog," a criminal mastermind with plans to take over the world! Silent film with live music at a theater where movies have been shown since 1912. Admission free, donations of $10 per person encouraged. 

• Thursday, May 13, 2021, 6:30 p.m.: "L'Argent" (1928) directed by Marcel L'Herbier; The Flying Monkey Movie House and Performance Center, 39 South Main St., Plymouth, N.H.; (603) 536-2551; http://www.flyingmonkeynh.com/. Sprawling epic from France, loosely based on Emile Zola's novel of the same name, follows the story of a bank speculator who loses everything but tries to recover by backing a scheme for an daredevil aviator to fly across the Atlantic. Rediscovered work of ground-breaking cinema. Timeless silent film on the big screen and with live music, and completely safe with social distancing and all Covid-19 protocols in place. General admission $10. Monthly silent film series at a restored moviehouse in Plymouth, N.H.

• Saturday, May 15, 2021, 7 p.m.: "The Mark of Zorro" (1920) starring Douglas Fairbanks Sr.; Brandon Town Hall and Community Center, Main Street/Route 7, Brandon, Vt.; http://www.brandontownhall.org. Douglas Fairbanks Sr. stars in the still-thrilling original adaptation. Great crowd-pleaser that had an enormous impact on popular culture, including inspiration for the "Batman" comic book series. Join us for a series of silent films and live music in a wonderfully restored town hall in Brandon Vt. that features great acoustics. Admission free, donations accepted, with proceeds to help continuing preservation work.

• Sunday, May 23, 2021, 2 p.m.: "Old Ironsides" (1926) starring Charles Farrell, Esther Ralston, Wallace Beery; Wilton Town Hall Theatre, Main Street, Wilton, N.H.; (603) 654-3456; www.wiltontownhalltheatre.com. A grand adventure on the high seas set in 1798, when the USS Constitution is launched to battle pirates of the Barbary Coast. Plus Chapter 10, the exciting conclusion of "Officer 444" (1926), a weekly serial in which Officer 444 pursues "The Frog," a criminal mastermind with plans to take over the world! Silent film with live music at a theater where movies have been shown since 1912. Admission free, donations of $10 per person encouraged. 

• Thursday, June 3, 2021, 6:30 p.m.: "Clash of the Wolves" (1925) starring Rin Tin Tin, and also some human actors; The Flying Monkey Movie House and Performance Center, 39 South Main St., Plymouth, N.H.; (603) 536-2551; http://www.flyingmonkeynh.com/. Canine star Rin Tin Tin saves the day in this crackerjack action picture set in the Old West, one of his best surviving feature films. See Rinty leap from cliffs and rooftops (and even climb trees!) as he aids the good guys, chases down the bad guys, and saves his own on-screen dog family from a raging forest fire. See what made Rin Tin Tin one of the most popular stars of early cinema!Timeless silent film on the big screen and with live music, and completely safe with social distancing and all Covid-19 protocols in place. General admission $10. Monthly silent film series at a restored moviehouse in Plymouth, N.H.

• Saturday, June 5, 2021, 7 p.m.: "Girl Shy" (1924) starring Harold Lloyd, Jobyna Ralston; Brandon Town Hall and Community Center, Main Street/Route 7, Brandon, Vt.; http://www.brandontownhall.org. Celebrate spring with the original rom-com, a Harold Lloyd gem starring one of the masters of silent comedy and featuring an unforgettable race-to-the-church finish. See Harold's best work as he intended it: on the big screen, with live music, and with an audience. Join us for a series of silent films and live music in a wonderfully restored town hall in Brandon Vt. that features great acoustics. Admission free, donations accepted, with proceeds to help continuing preservation work.

• Saturday, July 17, 2021, 7 p.m.: "Planes and Trains and Monty Banks"; Brandon Town Hall and Community Center, Main Street/Route 7, Brandon, Vt.; http://www.brandontownhall.org. Rediscover forgotten silent comedian Monty Banks, born "Mario Bianchi" in Italy and who emigrated to America to become a popular 1920s Hollywood star. In featured attraction 'Flying Luck,' (1927), hapless aviator Monty is so inspired by Lindbergh's solo Atlantic flight that he joins the U.S. Army Air Corps, where it's one comical disaster after another. Preceded by an excerpt from 'Play Safe' (1927), a hair-raising chase sequence set aboard an out-of-control freight train barreling through the California countryside.

• Saturday, Aug. 7, 2021, 7 p.m.: "Wild Orchids" (1929) starring Greta Garbo, Nils Asthur; Brandon Town Hall and Community Center, Main Street/Route 7, Brandon, Vt.; http://www.brandontownhall.org. Steamy romantic thriller just in time for the humid doldrums of summer. An older man takes his young wife to Java where he plans to invest in tea plantations. Aboard ship, a young man (and member of the island's royal family) is immediately taken by the beauty of this mysterious woman and resolves to make her acquaintance. Join us for a series of silent films and live music in a wonderfully restored town hall in Brandon Vt. that features great acoustics. Admission free, donations accepted, with proceeds to help continuing preservation work.

• Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021, 7 p.m.: "The Freshman" (1925) starring Harold Lloyd, Jobyna Ralston; Ludlow Auditorium, 37 Depot St., Ludlow, Vt. We welcome football season with Harold Lloyd's blockbuster hit about a college boy who dreams of success on the gridiron. One of Lloyd's all-time best! Free admission, with donations accepted to support program. Silent film with live music in the lovingly restored Ludlow Auditorium in Ludlow Town Hall in Ludlow, Vt.

• Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021, 4 p.m.: "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" (1916) starring Allen Halobur; The Center for Arts in Natick, 14 Summer St., Natick, Mass.; (508) 647-0097; http://www.natickarts.org/. Early version of the classic Jules Verne tale, feature that pioneered underwater photography techniques. Silent film with live music in a renovated firehouse that's now a terrific arts center. Tickets $18, Center for the Arts members $15.

• Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, 7 p.m.: "Tramp Tramp Tramp" (1926) starring Harry Langdon, Joan Crawford; Brandon Town Hall and Community Center, Main Street/Route 7, Brandon, Vt.; http://www.brandontownhall.org. Rediscover forgotten comedian Harry Langdon in his first-ever feature film. Riotous comedy about a cross-country foot race. Co-stars Joan Crawford (unbelievably) as Harry's love interest. Join us for a series of silent films and live music in a wonderfully restored town hall in Brandon Vt. that features great acoustics. Admission free, donations accepted, with proceeds to help continuing preservation work.

• Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021, 4 p.m.: "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" (1920) starring John Barrymore; The Center for Arts in Natick, 14 Summer St., Natick, Mass.; (508) 647-0097; http://www.natickarts.org/. John Barrymore plays both title roles in the original silent film adaptation of the classic novella by Robert Louis Stevenson. A spook-tacular performance that helped establish Barrymore as one of the silent era's top stars, highlighted by Barrymore's on-camera transformations done without special effects. Silent film with live music in a renovated firehouse that's now a terrific arts center. Tickets $18, Center for the Arts members $15.

• Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021, 7 p.m.: "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" (1923) starring Lon Chaney; Brandon Town Hall and Community Center, Main Street/Route 7, Brandon, Vt.; http://www.brandontownhall.org. Our annual "Chiller Theatre" Halloween silent film presentation. Lon Chaney stars in the original screen adaptation of Victor Hugo's classic novel about a deformed bellringer in medieval Paris. A moving and timeless drama filled with classic scenes and capped with a thrilling climax! Join us for a series of silent films and live music in a wonderfully restored town hall in Brandon Vt. that features great acoustics. Admission free, donations accepted, with proceeds to help continuing preservation work.

• Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021, 7 p.m.: "College" (1927) starring Buster Keaton; Brandon Town Hall and Community Center, Main Street/Route 7, Brandon, Vt.; http://www.brandontownhall.org. Head back to school with freshman Buster, who arrives at a college campus to find sports is the only sure-fire route to popularity. One of Keaton's most gag-filled comedies offers timeless visual humor and a look at the silent star's athletic prowess. Join us for a series of silent films and live music in a wonderfully restored town hall in Brandon Vt. that features great acoustics. Admission free, donations accepted, with proceeds to help continuing preservation work.

• Sunday, Dec. 12, 2021, 4 p.m.: "Metropolis" (1927) directed by Fritz Lang; The Center for Arts in Natick, 14 Summer St., Natick, Mass.; (508) 647-0097; http://www.natickarts.org/. The eye-popping silent film sci-fi masterpiece of German filmmaker Fritz Lang is a vintage look at things to come. Restored version includes nearly a half-hour of lost footage that was rediscovered in Argentina in 2008. Seen in its entirety and with live music, 'Metropolis' stands as an stunning example of the power of silent film to tell a compelling story without words, and reach across the generations to touch movie-goers from the real future that came to pass: us! Silent film with live music in a renovated firehouse that's now a terrific arts center. Tickets $18, Center for the Arts members $15.