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Cinecon 45 Wrap-up

Posted by Allan Ellenberger on Sep 9th, 2009
2009
Sep 9

FESTIVALS

Cinecon 45

 

 Cinecon 45 poster

 

Another Cinecon has passed into the California sunset

 

By Allan R. Ellenberger

 

Cinecon 45 was presented by the Society of Cinephiles this past Labor Day weekend screening nearly 50 rare silent films and early sound feature films as well as many short subjects at the historic Egyptian Theater in Hollywood. The organization is dedicated to showcasing unusual films that are rarely given public screenings.

 

The celebrity honorees who attended along with the showing of one of their films included: Denise Darcel, Flame of Calcutta (1953); Adrian Booth (aka Lorna Gray), The Last Bandit (1949) and Stella Stevens, The Silencers (1966) who were honored at Sundays banquet with the Cinecon Career Achievement Award along with composer, Richard M. Sherman, who created the music for the films Mary Poppins (1964), The Jungle Book (1967), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968) and many more.

 

Some of the films screened included: The Miracle Man (1932), Hatter’s Castle (1948), Broadway Love (1918), Nightmare (1942), Bardelys the Magnificent (1926) and The Bride Comes Home (1935).

 

Highlights of the weekend included the North American premiere of The Dawn of Tomorrow (1915), a Mary Pickford film thought to be lost when a tinted nitrate print with Swedish titles turned up in the Archival Film Collections of the Swedish Film Institute. Pickford’s costars were David Powell, Forrest Robinson and Robert Cain. The film was dedicated to Robert Cushman, photo archivist of the Margaret Herrick Library of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences who recently passed away.

 

Turn to the Right (1922), a Rex Ingram film, was recently restored by the George Eastman House. Made following two of the director’s epics, Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921) and The Conquering Power (1921), it starred Ingram’s wife, Alice Terry and Jack Mulhall. It was during the making of Turn to the Right that Ingram made one of his greatest discoveries when he cast Ramon Samaniego, later to be known as Ramon Novarro, in his next film, The Prisoner of Zenda (1922)

 

Cinecon 45 - Robert Dix

Author Robert Dix, son of actor Richard Dix, signed his autobiography, Out of Hollywood. With Dix are Sue Guldin and his wife Mary Ellen 

 

 

Author book signings included: Miriam Nelson (My Life Dancing with the Stars); Scott O’Brien (Kay Fancis – I Can’t Wait to be Forgotten and Virginia Bruce – Under My Skin); Robert S. Birchard (Early Universal City); John Gloske (Tough Kid: The Life and Films fo Frankie Darro); Paul Picerni (Steps to Stardon: My Story); Robert Dix (Out of Hollywood) and Michael Hoey (Elvis, Sherlock & Me).

 

 

Cinecon 45- Jane Withers

Former child star, Jane Withers 

 

Celebrity guests at Sunday’s banquet included: Sybil Jason, Lisa Mitchell, Jane Withers, Miriam Nelson, Carla Laemmle, June Foray, Ann Rutherford, Johnny Whitaker, France Nuyen, William Welman, Jr., Robert Dix, and many, many more.

 

The officers of Cinecon 45, who made this weekend such a success are: Robert S. Birchard, president; Marvin Paige, vice-president; Michael Schlesinger, secretary and Stan Taffel, treasuer.

 

Cinecon 45- Stella Grace, Jonathan Chin-Davis and Sue Gulden

Cinecon volunteer coordinator, Stella Grace (left) with volunteers Jonathan Chin-Davis and Sue Guldin.

 

And the volunteer coordinator for Cinecon and my boss for the weekend is the fantastic, one-of-a-kind Rhode Islander, Stella Grace.

 

For more information on Cinecon, please visit: http://www.cinecon.org/

 

Some Cinecon moments

 

 Carla Laemmle and Marvin Paige

Carla Laemmle (left), niece of Universal founder Carl Laemmle and Cinecon officer, Marvin Paige. Miss Laemmle will celebrate her 100th birthday on October 20.

 

 

Cinecon 45- William Wellman Jr.

 William Wellman Jr., son of the famed director

 

 

 Cinecon 45- Sybil Jason

 Actress Sybil Jason and archivist Miles Krueger

 

 

Cinecon 45- Katherine Orrison and Lisa Mitchell

Author Katherine Orrison (Lionheart in Hollywood: The Autobiography of Henry Wilcoxon) and actress Lisa Mitchell (The Ten Commandments)

 

 

 Cinecon 45 - Ann Rutherford

 Gone with the Wind’s Ann Rutherford

 

 

 Cinecon 45- Frederick Hodges

 Accompanist Frederick Hodges

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Cinecon 44…

Posted by Allan Ellenberger on Sep 4th, 2008
2008
Sep 4

Cinecon 44

 

 

By Allan R. Ellenberger

 

Cinecon 44 is now history. From August 28 through September 1, film fans gathered at the Egyptian Theater in downtown Hollywood to enjoy more than 35 classic films. Some of the highlights included Damon and Pythias (1914); Ruth Roland in The Devil’s Bait (1917), and The Menace (1934) with Bette Davis.

 

I had the opportunity to volunteer at this year’s event, something I haven’t done in more than ten years, so I didn’t get to watch all the films but did enjoy some of the more rare ones. Some of my favorites included I Can’t Give You Anything But Love, Baby, a 1940 Universal comedy starring Broderick Crawford as Public Enemy #3 and Jessie Ralph as his Ma Barker-like mother — only more fun.

 

The Mollycoddle (1920) stars Douglas Fairbanks who plays — against his usual swashbuckler roles — Richard Marshall V, who is descended from a long line of Arizona heroes. According to the program notes, the term ‘mollycoddle’ was popularized by Theodore Roosevelt to denote “an overly indulged and spoiled young man.” Fairbanks is the ‘mollycoddle’ of the film, being Arizona-born but raised in England, he is your stereotypical British fop. By the end of the film he quickly reverts to his ancestral heritage. Wallace Beery plays the heavy and Ruth Renick is the love interest.

 

The Poor Nut was a collegiate-comedy starring Jack Mulhall and an adorable Jean Arthur has a supporting role. The bookish-looking Mulhull with his unkempt curly hair, glasses and nerdy, ill-fitting apparel was a big hit with some of the ladies in my group who thought he was “adorable.” I didn’t see it, but his performance  was excellent and the film enjoyable.

 

And probably my favorite film was The Ninth Guest (1934), a Columbia who-dunit starring Donald Cook, Genevieve Tobin and a cast of recognizable character actors. The plot is similar to Agatha Christie’s Ten Little Indians, but was adapted from a novel by Gwen Bristow and Bruce Manning. Eight people are invited to a penthouse party by an anonymous host only to discover that they are locked in with fellow guests whom they loathe. The host introduces himself through a radio hook-up as “the ninth guest” and announces that each guest will die before the night is over. However, as the program notes stated, the real star of the film is the Arte Moderne set. Catch this one if you get the chance.

 

The special guests this year included Walter Mirisch, Warren Stevens (The Case Against Brooklyn), Elena Verdugo (House of Frankenstein) and Celeste Holm (Champagne For Caesar).

 

The officers of Cinecon are Robert S. Birchard, president; Marvin Paige, vice-president; Michael Schlesinger, secretary and Stan Taffel, treasurer. The officers and their staff accomplished another great year considering the passings of Cinecon veterans, Harold “Rusty” Casselton, preservationist; Alex Theater projectionist George Crittenden and Robert Nudelman of Hollywood Heritage. The recent Universal Studios fire also wiped out many of the scheduled films for this years event.

 

 

A special thanks to volunteer coordinator, Stella Grace and her right hand, Sue Guldin. Stella cracked the whip when needed and at the same time showed her tender side. Thanks Stella — can’t wait until next year!

 

Attendees at the banquet this year included Celeste Holm, Warren Stevens, Elena Verdugo, Pat Hitchcock, Ann Robinison, Sybil Jason, Kathleen Hughes, Stanley Rubin, Jane Withers, Ann Rutherford, Mary Carlisle, Jayne Meadows, and many more.

 

 SOME HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE BANQUET

 

 

 

JANE WITHERS, ANN ROBINSON and SYBIL JASON

 

 

 

MARSHA HUNT

 

 

DORIS ROBERTS and JONATHAN CHIN-DAVIS

 

 

 

GARRETT BRYANT and DORIS ROBERTS

 

 

CELESTE HOLM

 

 

 

ELENA VERDUGO

 

 

 

 

JAYNE MEADOWS

 

 

 

BETTY GARRETT

 

   

EMAIL: Hollywoodland23@aol.com

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