The Hitchcock 9

Friday 9 - Thursday 15 August 2013

The Music Box Theatre is delighted to announce a week of Hitchcock’s silent films: “The Hitchcock 9” – jointly presented by the BFI, Park Circus/ITV, and Rialto Pictures.

The restoration of Alfred Hitchcock’s nine surviving silent films has been the biggest and most complex restoration project undertaken by the BFI National Archive to date. Decades of damage and wear have been removed; the sharpness of the image improved; new shots discovered and intertitles and tinting restored.

The BFI has used elements borrowed from seven international archives in the restoration process but film materials from the BFI National Archive – including a number of original negatives – have been central to the project. Hitchcock’s silent films are essential to an understanding of his later work and these restorations now enable them to be seen afresh and discovered by new audiences across the world.

The Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra and organist Dennis Scott present newly-composed scores for select titles.

The Mont Alto Orchestra is a five piece chamber ensemble that revives the repertoire and scoring techniques of the orchestras in movie theaters during the silent film era. The New York Times says “the results are often breathtakingly beautiful and always in the strict service of the film on the screen.” Mont Alto was formed in Colorado in 1989, and has scored over 100 silent films using historic orchestrations, recording over 20 film scores for releases on DVD, Blu-Ray, and Turner Classic Movies. The Mont Alto Orchestra are regulars at the Telluride Film Festival, the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, the Silent Film Society of Chicago, and the Kansas Silent Film Festival, and have toured around the United States from Films at Lincoln Center in New York to Grauman’s Egyptian Theater on Hollywood Boulevard.

Mont Alto will be accompanying:

Friday, August 9, 8:30pm – Blackmail
Saturday, August 10, 8:30pm – The Lodger
Sunday, August 11, 6:30pm – The Ring

Dennis Scott, Music Box Theatre’s house organist, is an internationally known silent film organist dubbed the “Master of Magic Notes” by Suzanne Lloyd, granddaughter of the comic genius Harold Lloyd. Scott began accompanying silent films in the 1970s, when he started playing theater pipe organs installed in pizza parlors in the Midwest and the West Coast. He is a co-founder of the Silent Film Society of Chicago. Ongoing at the Music Box, he plays weekend intermissions, the annual Sing-A-Long Sound of Music, Sing-A-Long Grease, Valentine’s Day Sing-Along and the acclaimed Music Box Christmas Sing-Along, a Chicago holiday tradition for nearly 30 years. For Music Box’s Second Saturday Silent Cinema Series, Scott accompanies a classic silent film, live, at noon on the second Saturday of each month on the Music Box Theatre organ. The series was named the “Best New Film Series of 2011” by Chicago magazine and “Best Matinee Film Series of 2012” by the Chicago Reader.

Dennis Scott will be accompanying:

Saturday, August 10, 3:30pm – Easy Virtue
Saturday, August 10, 6:00pm – Champagne
Sunday, August 11, 3:30pm – The Pleasure Garden
Monday, August 12, 8:30pm – The Farmer’s Wife
Tuesday, August 13, 8:30pm – The Manxman

Schedule

Friday, August 9th, 2013

  • 8:30pm: Blackmail

Saturday, August 10th, 2013

  • 3:30pm: Easy Virtue
  • 6:00pm: Champagne
  • 8:30pm: The Lodger

Sunday, August 11th, 2013

  • 3:30pm: The Pleasure Garden
  • 6:30pm: The Ring
  • 9:00pm: Downhill

Monday, August 12th, 2013

  • 6:00pm: The Lodger
  • 8:30pm: The Farmer’s Wife

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

  • 6:00pm: The Lodger
  • 8:30pm: The Manxman

Pricing

Tickets for most screenings are $10 adults/$8 students.

Tickets for screenings with Mont Alto Orchestra accompaniment are $12 adults/$10 students.

Films


  • Fri 9 Aug 2013, 8:30pm

Blackmail with Live Accompaniment by Mont Alto!

Blackmail

directed by Alfred Hitchcock starring Anny Ondra, Sara Allgood, Charles Paton in English

Join us for the opening night of our Hitchcock 9 Series!

This is the opening night event for The Hitchcock 9 and we couldn’t be more excited to screen Blackmail for you with live musical accompaniment by The Mont Alto Orchestra! The Mont Alto Orchestra is a five piece chamber ensemble that revives the repertoire and scoring techniques of the orchestras in movie theaters during the silent film era. The New York Times says “the results are often breathtakingly beautiful and always in the strict service of the film on the screen.” Mont Alto was formed in Colorado in 1989, and has scored over 100 silent films using historic orchestrations, recording over 20 film scores for releases on DVD, Blu-Ray, and Turner Classic Movies. The Mont Alto Orchestra are regulars at the Telluride Film Festival, the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, the Silent Film Society of Chicago, and the Kansas Silent Film Festival, and have toured around the United States from Films at Lincoln Center in New York to Grauman’s Egyptian Theater on Hollywood Boulevard.

Hitchcock’s silent Blackmail is one of the best British films, if not the best, of the late 1920s. Made in 1929, during the transition to the sound era, it was commissioned as both as silent and as a part-talkie with music and some dialogue scenes. Czech film actress Anny Ondra stars as Alice White, a young woman whose brief flirtation with an artist turns suddenly and terribly sour … Hitchcock’s masterly thriller boasts great London locations including the British Museum, Whitehall and the Lyons Tea House at Piccadilly Circus.

  • Sat 10 Aug 2013, 3:30pm

Easy Virtue (1927)

directed by Alfred Hitchcock starring Isabel Jeans, Franklin Dyall, Eric Bransby Williams in English

‘As adapted by Eliot Stannard, who scripted most of Hitchcock’s silent films, Noel Coward’s play becomes a study of the corrosive effects of being judged guilty by society, even if – as in the case of Laurita Filton, charged with infidelity by her drunkard husband – one is really innocent. Hitchcock’s handling of flashbacks shows impressive narrative flair, as does his frequently imaginative play with point-of-view.’ – Geoff Andrew

  • Sat 10 Aug 2013, 6:00pm

Champagne (1928)

directed by Alfred Hitchcock starring Betty Balfour, Jean Bradin, Ferdinand von Alten in English

This romantic comedy-melodrama revolves around a millionaire’s decision to teach his frivolous ‘flapper’ daughter (played by the great Betty Balfour) a lesson by feigning bankruptcy. Built around Balfour’s effervescent energy, this early example of Hitchcock’s long-term fascination with the foibles of the filthy rich features some great experimental touches, including an opening shot filmed through a raised champagne glass.

  • Sat 10 Aug 2013, 8:30pm
  • Mon 12 Aug 2013, 6:00pm
  • Tue 13 Aug 2013, 6:00pm

The Lodger with live musical accompaniment by the Mont Alto Orchestra!

The Lodger

directed by Alfred Hitchcock starring Marie Ault, Arthur Chesney, June in English

Described by Hitchcock himself as ‘the first true Hitchcock movie’, this masterly silent thriller is set in a fog-bound London terrorised by a Jack the Ripper-style murderer known only as The Avenger. His victims, all blonde young women, are discovered each Tuesday night. This is one of the great British silent crime films, starring matinée idol Ivor Novello as the mysterious new lodger in a London house who appears to be acting rather strangely.

  • Sun 11 Aug 2013, 3:30pm

The Pleasure Garden (1926)

directed by Alfred Hitchcock starring Virginia Valli, Carmelita Geraghty, Miles Mander Silent

Hitchcock’s first film as director demonstrates many of his obsessions from the first frame onwards – a cascade of chorus girls’ legs tripping down a spiral staircase. A melodrama complete with apparitions, exotic locations and a sojourn in Italy, this is also the first of Hitchcock’s many films about a woman marrying – to perilous effect – a man she doesn’t really know.

  • Sun 11 Aug 2013, 6:30pm

The Ring with live musical accompaniment by the Mont Alto Orchestra!

The Ring

directed by Alfred Hitchcock starring Carl Brisson, Lillian Hall-Davis, Ian Hunter

A love triangle melodrama set in the world of boxing, this was Hitchcock’s one and only original screenplay and one his finest silent films. When boxer Bob Corby hires Jack Sander to be his sparring partner, he has no idea that he will become smitten with Mabel, Jack’s beautiful wife. The conflict between the two men gives rise to an inventive series of expressionist flourishes evoking the characters’ states of mind. Exhilaratingly bold filmmaking.

  • Sun 11 Aug 2013, 9:00pm

Downhill (1927)

directed by Alfred Hitchcock starring Ivor Novello, Ben Webster, Norman McKinnel

The darkest of Hitchcock’s early films, Downhill follows the fall from grace of a public schoolboy who is expelled for getting a girl pregnant and subsequently disowned by his father. An early example not only of Hitchcock’s interest in guilt and its transference, but of his highly ambivalent attitude to family life, this is a deceptively rich and often elegant work. A star turn from Ivor Novello, too.

  • Mon 12 Aug 2013, 8:30pm

The Farmer’s Wife (1928)

directed by Alfred Hitchcock starring Jameson Thomas, Lillian Hall-Davis, Gordon Harker in English

A charming, deftly-handled comedy about a middle-aged widowed landowner who decides to marry again. With the aid of his faithful housekeeper he draws up a list of all the eligible women in the neighborhood and sets off to woo each in turn – with disastrous results.

  • Tue 13 Aug 2013, 8:30pm

The Manxman (1929)

directed by Alfred Hitchcock starring Carl Brisson, Malcolm Keen, Anny Ondra in English

‘Set in a remote Isle of Man fishing community (but shot in Cornwall), Hitchcock’s penultimate silent feature is one of the best and most mature works of his early career. The story follows two boyhood friends who take markedly different paths in adulthood: one becomes a fisherman, the other a lawyer, but both fall in love with the same woman – a complex, sensual performance from Anny Ondra, part vulnerable waif, part flirtatious femme fatale – and clearly the reason Hitch cast her in his suspense masterpiece Blackmail later that year.’ – Bryony Dixon

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