“7th Heaven” and "Four Sons" close out the Academy's Summer of Silents


The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ summer screening series, “Summer of Silents: Photoplay Award Winners of the Silent Era” is drawing to a close.

“The series kicked off on Monday, June 13, with a big-screen presentation of “Humoresque” (1920) with live musical accompaniment. On June 20th the Academy presented Henry King’s “Tol’able David” (1921) with the Harold Lloyd short “Never Weaken” (1921).

Frank Borzage’s 1927 “7th Heaven”, starring Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell.  The film won three Oscars: “Best Actress in a Leading Role” -Janet Gaynor, “Best Director, Dramatic Picture”-Frank Borzage
and “Best Writing, Adaptation”-Benjamin Glazer. Harry Oliver was nominated for Best Art Direction. Often cited in lists of best silent films,”7th Heaven” tells a dramatic love story between a Parisian sewer worker and the prostitute he spontaneously rescues from the police.

The rarely screened “Mighty Like a Moose” (1926), starring Charley Chase, and a surviving fragment from the 1928 lost film “The Patriot,” will be presented during the pre-show.  The feature will be introduced by Janet Bergstrom, with live musical accompaniment composed and performed by Mortilla on piano with Nicole Garcia on violin and Frank Macchia on winds.

The final film in the series, John Ford’s “Four Sons” screens on August 8. The pre-show will feature “Two Tars” (1928), starring Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, and a fragment from the 1928 lost film “The Case of Lena Smith”.

Other highlights of the series included
“Douglas Fairbanks in Robin Hood” in a newly restored 35mm tinted print from the Museum of Modern; “The Covered Wagon” (dir: James Cruz-1923) with live musical accompaniment by Will Ryan and the Cactus County Cowboys. “The Big Parade” (dir: King Vidor-1925) and Buster Keaton’s “The General” (1927) which were introduced by historian and Academy Honorary Award recipient Kevin Brownlow; “Beau Geste” (1926- starring Ronald Coleman) -with live musical accompaniment by the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra.)

Tickets to individual evenings also are on sale now.  Tickets are $5 for the general public and $3 for Academy members and students with valid ID.  They may be purchased online at www.oscars.org, by mail, in person at the Academy during regular business hours or, depending on availability, on the night of the screening when the doors open at 6:30 p.m.  The Samuel Goldwyn Theater is located at 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills.  For more information, call (310) 247-3600 or visit


About Author

Robin Menken

Robin Menken Robin Menken lives in Los Angeles. She was the Artistic Director of the Second City Workshops, taught at UC Berkeley, USC, Barcelona\'s Ateneu and the Esalin Institute. She was Roberto Rossellini\'s assistant, and worked with Yevgeny Vevteshenku, Glauber Rocha and Eugene Ionesco. She sold numerous screenplays and wrote the OBIE winning The FTA SHow (touring with Jane Fonda, Donald Sutherland and Ben Vereen.) She was a programming consultant and Special Events co-ordinator for numerous film festivals, including the SF, Rio, Havana and N.Y Film Festivals. Her first news outlet was the historic East Village Other.

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