Thursday, March 10, 2022

Coming Sunday, March 13 for St. Paddy's Day: silent drama 'Smilin' Through' set in Ireland

An original release poster for 'Smilin' Through' (1922), the year's No. 3 box office attraction.

If you can't make it to Ireland for St. Patrick's Day, consider visiting Wilton, N.H.

That's where we'll present 'Smilin' Through' (1922), a silent drama starring Norma Talmadge, at the Town Hall Theatre on Sunday, March 13 at 2 p.m.

Set in the Emerald Isle, 'Smilin' Through' is a sentimental tale of love lost and then found across the generations. I'll provide live music.

Please join us to celebrate St. Patrick's Day just a little early by taking in one of the most popular movies of 1922 on the occasion of its 100th birthday. 

Sure'n we'll see you at the movies then!

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Norma Talmadge in 'Smilin' Through' (1922).

Contact Jeff Rapsis • (603) 236-9237 •

Rarely screened silent drama set in Ireland returns to big screen for St. Paddy's Day

'Smilin' Through,' 1922 box office hit, to be shown with live music on Sunday, March 13 at Town Hall Theatre to celebrate film's 100th anniversary

WILTON, N.H.—Just in time for St. Patrick's Day, a classic film set in Ireland full of romance, drama, and the haunting atmosphere of the Emerald Isle.

It's 'Smilin' Through' (1922), starring legendary actress Norma Talmadge, whose legions of fans made the movie the No. 3 box office attraction of 1922. 

See what made 'Smilin' Through' so popular when the picture returns to the big screen to celebrate the 100th anniversary of its release.

'Smilin' Through' will be shown on Sunday, March 13 at 2 p.m. at the Town Hall Theatre, 40 Main St., Wilton, N.H.

Admission is free, with a suggested donation of $10 per person to help support the theater's silent film series.

The classic drama, set in the years before and after World War I, will be shown with live music by silent film accompanist Jeff Rapsis.
Norma Talmadge, then at the peak of her career, plays the dual role of Kathleen, a young Irish woman, and Moonyean, Kathleen's aunt who died many years ago under tragic circumstances.

Kathleen is in love with Kenneth Wayne, but is prevented from marrying him by her guardian John Carteret, who remains haunted by memories of his thwarted love for Mooneyan.

In a drama that combines romance with the world of spirits, can the tragic fate of Moonyean point the way for Kathleen to find true love at last?

The story, based on a 1919 stage play, was filmed twice more by MGM: in 1932 with Norma Shearer and 1941 with Jeanette MacDonald.

The film was strongly associated with the song 'Smilin' Through,' a sentimental 1919 ballad with lyrics and music by Arthur A. Penn.

The song, inspired by the stage play, remained popular for several decades, recorded by performers ranging from Judy Garland to Bing Crosby.

The screening of 'Smilin' Through' is part of the Town Hall Theatre's ongoing series honoring the 100th anniversary of significant motion pictures that debuted in 1922.

Programs will include all of 1922's five highest-grossing titles, each shown on the big screen with live music, as well as century-old oddities, short films, cartoons, and more.

"Putting these films back on the big screen is a great way to celebrate the 100th anniversaries of some terrific motion pictures," said Rapsis, the silent film accompanist who will create live music for all screenings.

"These are films that set the standard for Hollywood, and still retain their power to entertain, especially when shown in a theater with live music and an audience," Rapsis said.

Upcoming programs in the Town Hall's 100th anniversary series include:

• Sunday, March 27, 2022 at 2 p.m.: Douglas Fairbanks in 'Robin Hood' Celebrate the 100th anniversary of this blockbuster adaptation. Massive sets, great action, and Doug Fairbanks in the lead made this the top grossing film of 1922!

• Sunday, April 3, 2022 at 2 p.m.: Chaney/Houdini Double Feature. In 'Flesh and Blood' (1922), escaped convict Lon Chaney hides out in Chinatown and plots revenge. In 'The Man From Beyond' (1922) illusionist Harry Houdini plays an Arctic adventurer frozen for 100 years!

• Sunday, April 17, 2022 at 2 p.m.: Emil Jannings in 'Othello' The Bard's immortal tragedy brought to the screen in this early German version. Silent Shakespeare in honor of the author's 458th birthday.

‘Smilin' Through' (1922) will be shown live music on Sunday, March 13 at 2 p.m. at the Town Hall Theatre, 40 Main St., Wilton, N.H.

Admission is free, with a suggested donation of $10 per person to help defray expenses. For more info, call (603) 654-3456 or visit

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