Anything But Silent: Silent Classics with Live Music Live Musical Accompaniment by Ben Model on the Cinema's Miditzer Theater Organ!
Comedienne Marion Davies sparkles in this hilarious Jazz Age updating of Cinderella as her family's forgotten "good girl" who delightfully turns the tables on her flirtatious sister
A natural-born comedienne, Marion Davies was largely cast in creaky costume dramas until director King Vidor (The Crowd, Our Daily Bread) convinced her to cut loose in The Patsy. A Cinderella fable for the Jazz Age, The Patsy is a perfectly-tooled vehicle for Davies' sparking comic talents. Pat Harrington (Davies) is the patsy in her family, the forgotten good girl who watches her flirtatious sister collect all thefellas. But when sis two-times her current beau, the dreamboat Pat secretly loves, Pat seizes her chance. She knows that to get a man, a girl needs to get some personality. So she gets three, mimicking silent-era superstars Mae Murray, Lillian Gish and Pola Negri in a daffy plot to make the dreamboat jealous. Davies radiates comic charm, highlighted by her dead-on impersonations of the three cinema divas, in this audience pleaser costarring Marie Dressler (Min and Bill) as Pat's battle-ax of a mother. Gloriously fun and frothy, The Patsy was the biggest hit of Davies' career. Davies's movies have always been overshadowed by mentor, sponsor and lover, William Randolph Hearst, who exerted his substantial power to insure her success at every endeavor -- resulting in an anti-Davies backlash that persists to this day. Today, film lovers are rediscovering Davies' delightful comedies, none better than The Patsy. (USA, 1928, 78 min., b/w, 35mm courtesy of the Library of Congress)
"Of all the varied Cinderellas who have from time to time graced the screen, Marion Davies, in an adaptation of Barry Conners's stage comedy, "The Patsy," not only holds her own in the matter of vivacity and appearance, but she also elicits more fun than one would suppose could be generated from even a modern conception of the undying rôle." -Mordaunt Hall, NEW YORK TIMES (1928)
Ben Model is one of the USA's leading silent film accompanists, and has been playing piano and organ for silents at the Museum of Modern Art in New York for the past 27 years. Ben co-curated MoMA's "Cruel and Unusual Comedy"series and Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle retrospective, and also curated Shout!Factory's new "Ernie Kovacs Collection" DVD box set. A five-time recipient of the Meet The Composer grant, Ben is a regular accompanist at classic film festivals around the U.S.A. and in Norway, and performs at universities, museums, and historic theaters. Ben is the producer and co-founder of The Silent Clowns Film Series, now in its 14th season in NYC. Ben's recorded scores can be heard on numerous DVD releases from Kino Video and others. Ben's composed ensemble scores for films by Chaplin, Keaton and Lloyd are performed around the U.S. every year by orchestras and by concert bands.
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