Last night's screening of 'Nosferatu' (1922) drew about 150 people to the Rex Theater in downtown Manchester. Thanks for everyone (including volunteers and staff at the Rex) for all collaborating on what turned out to be a spooky good time!
But if there's no rest for the wicked, then I must have done something really bad.
Tonight marks the start of a three-day mini-marathon of rarely shown silent thrillers starring Lon Chaney, even while I'm doing 'Nosferatu' again on Saturday night in Maine and then 'Dracula' at the Somerville Theatre on Sunday.
The mini-marathon is the culmination of a two-month series of films directed by Tod Browning, most famous for Bela Lugosi's 'Dracula' (1931) and the cult classic 'Freaks' (1932).
But before that, Browning made a number of very strange silent-era movies, many of them starring Chaney. And that's what we'll be seeing this weekend at the Town Hall Theater in glamorous downtown Wilton, N.H.
Tonight (Friday, Oct. 29) it's 'The Blackbird' (1926), in which Chaney plays two roles: a criminal mastermind of London's underworld, and also "The Bishop," his pious but deformed brother.
The show starts at 7:30 p.m.; more details are in the press release below.
And if you think that sounds strange—well, we're just warming up.
Yes, ventriloquism in silent film. It's kind of like Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy on the radio.
But I'm really looking forward to it. When you're celebrating Halloween by accompanying nine silent film shows in seven days, reality begins to blur and anything seems possible.
'The Unholy Three' is paired with 'Outside the Law' (1920), an early Browning crime drama that pairs Chaney with actress Priscilla Dean.
We'll round things out on Sunday at 2 p.m. with 'Where East is East' (1929), a late Browning/Chaney collaboration and one of the last films Chaney appeared in before his untimely death in 1930.
Hope you can make some or all of the screenings in this spooky smorgasbord. As promised, more info in the press release below.
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Contact Jeff Rapsis • (603) 236-9237 • firstname.lastname@example.org
Halloween mini-marathon of Lon Chaney thrillers to run Oct. 29-31 at Town Hall Theatre
Three days of rarely screened silent film classics with live music, all starring the 'Man of a Thousand Faces'
WILTON, N.H.—He's best known for his iconic leading roles in such classics as 'The Phantom of the Opera' (1925) and 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame' (1923).
All screenings will feature live music by silent film accompanist Jeff Rapsis.
• On Saturday, Oct. 30 at 2 p.m., it's a twisted Halloween Weekend Double Feature. 'Outside the Law' (1920) features Chaney as a gangster who frames a former rival and turns his young daughter to a life of crime. In 'The Unholy Three' (1925) Chaney is a criminal ventriloquist who runs a pet store that fronts a daring scheme for fleecing wealthy customers.
• The series concludes on Sunday, Oct. 31 at 2 p.m.with 'Where East is East' (1929) featuring Chaney as "Tiger Haynes," a jaded animal trapper in the jungles of Laos, who cares only for his young daughter, Toyo. The daughter plans to marry a circus owner's son, but the couple's happiness is threatened by the appearance of a mysterious woman.