2017 Silent Film Festival
Presented by the Estes Park Film Festival:
Action, romance, drama, laughter. You can catch it all at the Silent Movie Festival is each Friday in July and August at 5pm at the Historic Park Theatre in Estes Park, Colorado. This is entertainment for the whole family, from eight to eighty. See stars like Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Fatty Arbuckle, Charlie Chase and many more.
Every Friday at 5 pm in July and August, the Park Theatre will present silent films. Each week will feature a different giant of the past: people like Charlie Chaplin, Charlie Chase, Laurel and Hardy, Buster Keaton and Fatty Arbuckle.
Each Friday there are three films accompanied by the live piano playing of Scott Flyin’ Fingers Wilseck. Twenty minutes before the films start, you can listen to old time piano music in a historic theatre that was built over 100 years ago. Attendees who arrive early get to listen to old time piano music before the films begin as well as Scott’s melodies that provide an excellent background for the action on the screen.
Scott says, “When I was a kid, they showed silent films in Chicago at the Museum of Science and Industry. While the films were entertaining, I was fascinated by the live piano playing in the theatre. The music was mostly ragtime and really took you back to that era. I’ve always loved playing ragtime and the silent films provide an excellent venue for that type of music.”
So walk back into time and spend a late afternoon or evening at the movies of the silent era.
Adult admission is $10. One child is admitted free with each paying adult.
Returning for his fourth appearance will be piano accompanist Scott“Flying Fingers” Wilseck.
The Estes Park Film Festival is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the past and present accomplishments of the motion picture industry. The Historic Park Theatre is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. For more information, call 970-586-8904.
Week 1: Friday, July 7, 2017 5:00pm Featuring Buster Keaton
- 1. "Out West" (1918) A satire on contemporary westerns, starring Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle, Buster Keaton, and Al St. John. The story set in the western town of Mad Dog Gulch. Arbuckle has been thrown off a train and chased by Indians. He teams up with gambler/saloon owner Bill Bullhorn (Buster Keaton), in trying to keep the evil Wild Bill Hickup (Al St. John) away from Salvation Army girl, Salvation Sue. Fatty and Buster have a series of adventures trying to beat St. John, until they discover his one weakness: he is ticklish.
- 2. " The Boat" is a 1921 film. Buster and his family go on a voyage on his homemade boat that proves to be one disaster after another. Buster is married with two children. Will Buster and his family ever get home?
- 3. "One Week" is a 1920, the first film to be released that was made by Keaton on his own; Keaton had worked with and for Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle for a number of years. Sybil Seely co-stars with Keaton. Two newlyweds, Keaton and Seely, who receive a build-it-yourself house as a wedding gift. The house can be built, supposedly, in "one week". Keaton finds he has built his house on the wrong site and has to move it. Keaton and Seely try to move. What could possibly happen as they move their house to the correct site? Will this newlywed couple ever get the house right?
Week 2: FRIDAY, July 14,2017 5:00pm
Featuring Laurel & Hardy
Laurel & Hardy
1. "Big Business" (1929 film)
Stan and Ollie are door-to-door Christmas tree salesmen in California. They get into a feud with grumpy customer. Laurel & Hardy damaging the grumpy customers door frame. He then goes to work on their clothes and this escalates with his home and their car being destroyed in the feud. A police officer steps in to stop the fight. Stan and Ollie give a cigar as a peace offering but what happens after Stan and Ollie leave the scene?
2. "Bacon Grabbers" 1929 Bacon grabbers is slang for Repossession men. These two- Laurel and Hardy serve a summons to Mr. Kennedy, who has failed to pay the installments for his radio since 1921. They wind up destroying both their car and the radio, as Mrs. Kennedy returns home to announce she's just paid for the radio.
3. "Laughtoons" which features four vignettes, each one unique and each showing them dealing with a different problem. The final one features a pie fight many say is the best in the history of film making.
Week 3: FRIDAY, July 21, 2017 5:00pm
FEATURING CHARLIE CHAPLIN
This week’s silent films features the biggest star of the silent film era, Charlie Chaplin: Sir Charles Spencer “Charlie” Chaplin was born in 1889 in England. He became a worldwide icon through his screen persona ”the Tramp” and is considered on of the most important figures in the history of the film industry. In 1916, Chaplin signed a contract with the Mutual Film Corporation that paid him $670 000 a year, making him at the age of 26 one of the highest paid people in the world. He’s been a favorite of silent movie fans the past years in Estes Park.
1. The Adventurer” (1917), Chaplin plays an escaped convict on the run from prison guards. He falls into favor with a wealthy family after he saves a young lady (Edna Purviance) from drowning, but her suitor (Eric Campbell) does everything he can to have Chaplin apprehended by the officials. How long will it be till the law catches up with him? There's an great scene with him dodging the cops using sliding doors that will leave you laughing out loud.
The film also stars Henry Bergman and Albert Austin, and marked the final film with his long-standing co-star Eric Campbell who died on December 20, 1917 in a driving accident.
2. “The Count” Chaplin is a tailor’s assistant who crashes a party posing as a nobleman.
3. “The Rink” (1916) takes Chaplin from a waiter to a roller skating rink with many humorous moments. The skating scenes are both gifted and funny. A gifted skater, Chaplin did his own roller skating scenes. This film is best known for showcasing Chaplin's roller skating skills. If you are a Charlie Chaplin fan, this is a must see film
Week 4: FRIDAY, July 28, 2017 5:00pm
FEATURING CHARLIE Chase
Chase felt his films featured “thinking man’s comedy” as opposed to the slapstick that was prevalent during the silent film era. Crazy and ironic situations replaced banana peels and flying pies as the vehicles for humor. While slapstick reigned supreme in many films, Chase’s films were more like a situational comedy. He often found himself in situations which reminds some of the Lucy episodes of 1950’s television.
- 1. Mighty Like a Moose" (1926) In the first film, “Mighty Like a Moose”, Chase appears on screen with huge buck teeth and his wife has a very large nose. Without telling their spouses, they seek professional help to improve their appearance. Chase’s teeth get fixed, and his wife’s nose becomes one of normal proportions. At a chance meeting, they become interested in each other, not realizing the real identity of the other. The intended infidelity produces some humorous situation.
- The second film is “Bromo and Juliet”. Chase tries to impress a woman he admires by acting in the play “Romeo and Juliet”. Some bootleg liquor, an overindulgent father and some bad luck contribute to a very entertaining and humorous situation.
- “Fluttering Hearts” is a favorite of piano accompanist Scott “Flying Fingers” Wilseck. In this one Chase comes to the rescue of a sweet young lady and her father who are blackmailed by the villain played by Oliver Hardy. The result of his actions produce some wild escapades on the screen.
Week 5: FRIDAY, August 4, 2017 5:00pm
FEATURING Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle
Try to imagine a 350 pound man skipping and dancing across the stage with the agility of a 120 pound dancer. That was Fatty Arbuckle. He was a massive person, but extremely agile and acrobatic. He weighed in at over 13 pounds at birth in 1887. His given name was Roscoe Conkling Arbuckle. He disliked the nickname “Fatty” that was placed on him. When people addressed him as Fatty, his usual response was, “I’ve got a name, you know”. Director Max Sennett said Arbuckle could “skipped up the stairs as lightly as Fred Astaire” and “did a backward somersault as graceful as a girl tumbler”.
Enjoy 3 of his best films today:
- 1. “Fatty & Mabel Adrift” (1916) where "Fatty" the farm boy marries the girl next door and the house they occupy winds up in the ocean. They have their honeymoon with Fatty's dog Luke, at a cottage on the seashore. At high tide that night, Fatty's rival and his confederates set the cottage adrift. Fatty and Mabel awaken the next morning to find themselves surrounded by water in their bedroom, and the house afloat. What will they do?
- 2. “Butcher Boy” (1917)where the girl of his dreams goes away to boarding school and Arbuckle disguised as a girl, visits the school. Working as the butcher boy in a general store Arbuckle is in love with Almondine (Lake), the daughter of the store manager Mr. Grouch. His attempts to get close to her are thwarted when the store's sales manager named Alum (St. John), a rival for the girl's affections, starts a fight in the store with Fatty. Fights breaks out between two suitors. Who will win the girl in the end?
- 3. “The Bell Boy” (1918) which is filled with the adventures of a rather large bellboy who concocts a scheme to win the girl of his dreams. At the Elk's Head Hotel bellhops torment the lobby, each other and guests. The elevator is powered by a stubborn horse. A sham robbery turns into a real one. And there is a chase on a runaway trolley. Where will it all end?
Week 6: Friday August 11th, 2017 5:00pm
Featuring Buster Keaton: Same as week 1 see that descripton
WEEK 7: August 18, 2017 5:00pm
Featuring more of CHARLIE CHAPLIN
More Chaplin fun with
- 1. “The Immigrant”, (1917)Charlie is an Immigrant and a newcomer to the United States who is smitten by a lady. He experiences hard times associated with one who enters the country with virtually nothing but manages to deal with several obstacles. Charlie is an immigrant who endures a challenging voyage and gets into trouble as soon as he arrives in America.
- 2. “The Vagabond” (1916) Charlie is an impoverished violinist falls for a beautiful gypsy girl. Together they meet an artist who paints the girl's portrait. Charlie, the violinist, believes the girl loves the painter. Later, when a wealthy woman recognizes her long-ago- kidnapped daughter in the painting, she tracks down the girl with the artist's help. The gypsy girl is taken back to her rightful heritage, leaving Charlie thinking she has gone off with the artist he thinks she loves. But has she? Does she?
- 3. “The Rink” (1916) takes Chaplin from a waiter to a roller skating rink with many humorous moments. The skating scenes are both gifted and funny. A gifted skater, Chaplin did his own roller skating scenes. This film is best known for showcasing Chaplin's roller skating skills. If you are a Charlie Chaplin fan, this is a must see film!
Week 8: August 25, 2017 5:00pm (Final Week)
Featuring Charley Chase: Same as Week 4 please see that Description