THE THEODORE HUFF MEMORIAL FILM SOCIETY                       Tuesday December 18, 7.30. 
 
in the Marine Room at the Capitol Hotel Eighth Avenue and 51st Street, New York City.
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"THE PRIMROSE PATH"  (Arrow, 1925) Director: Harey Hoyt; story by Lanning E. Masters.

The Cast: Marilyn Merrill (CLARA BOW); Bruce Armstrong (Wallace MacDonald); Tom Canfield (Stuart Holmes); Joe Snead (Tan Santschi); Dude Talbot (Templer Saxe); Mrs Armstrong
(Lydia Knott); Jimmie Armstrong (Pat Moore )

We are rather sad at having to present this film in the form in which you will see it. A 35mm
print was discovered, beginning to decompose in the heat of the past Summer. It was
rushed to a laboratory for duping, but unfortunately only about half of the film could be
saved - and this is the version that we are showing. Despite the missing footage, there is a beginning, middle and end, so it isn't too dfficult to follow. Unfortunately even some of
the scenes that were saved are badly affected by the decay, but most of Clara Bow's key
scenes are in excellent shape. The plot concerns a young playboy who, under the influence
of drink, has permanently crippled his young brother. Gambling losses force him to become involved with diamond smugglers, and, ultimately, a killing for which he nearly goes to the
chair. The film is an interesting mixture of mid-twenties gangster drama and flaming youth frolics; Clara is in fine, though rather restrained fettle, and those two arch-villains,
Stuart Holmes and Tom Santschi deliver the goods as usual. The hero is Wallace MacDonald, now a producer at Columbia. In its present version, the film runs about 3 1/2 reels.

"THE STILL ALARM" (Universal,1925, released 1926) Director, Edward Laermale; scenario by
                            Charles Kepyon from a play by Joseph Arthur and A.C. Wheeler; 7 reels.
The Cast: Lucy Fay (Helene Chandler); Richard Fay (William Russell); Perry Dunn (Richard
C. Travers); Drina Fay (Edna Marian); Andy Todd (John T. Murray); Tom Bryan (Edward Hearne); Masie Mush (Erica La Bissoniere); Mrs Maloney (Dot Farley); Manager of modiste shop (Jacques D'Auray).

Fire-fighting thrillers were always tremendously popular additions to programs in the
twenties - many of them really big productions, with top budgets and important stars. The
"new fire picture" was just as much something to look forward to as the "new air picture"
or the latest western epic a la "The Iron Horse", Somehow, fire-fighting epics came to
be regarded as outmoded and unsophisticated with the coming of sound - they were relegated
to serials and quickies in the 1929-1934 period, and soon disappeared altogether - save
for the occasional "special" like Paramount's "The Forest Rangers".

"The Still Alarm" was considered one of the very best of its type, and still generates
terrific excitement - despite a few slow dramatic patches which can be blamed on its stage
origin. But it's the fire-fighting scenes that matter here, and what scenes they are - and
how well they are done! The cutting and editing in the first few feet of film already
has the excitement at a fever-pitch - and it rarely lets up, The print by the way uses a
multitude of tints with, of course, flaming reds for all the big fire scenes. Incidentally,
many of these scenes were later used by Universal for stock footage - in "Shield of
Honor"
, "Heroes of the Flames", and many other pictures.

"The Still Alarm" has no repupation and is little known - but, within its own bracket,
what wonderful movie-making it is. There's far more vigor and genuine cinema in this than
in so many of the perennially-revived so-called classics - especially films like Fairbanks'
"The Three Musketeers", Valentino's "Monsieur Beaucaire" and "Blood and Sand", and Barrymore's "Beau Brummel". There's room for all old film certainly, but what a pity
that there's so little recognition of the craftemanship of the medium budget pictures of
the twenties!

The trade paper "Motion Picture Herald" (then the Moving Picture World) considered the film exceptionally good fare, and remarked: ".... the climax develops terrific suspense and exceptional thrills". "Film Daily" and other trade publications agreed- and so did the
public. We think you will too.
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"Officer 444" - ep .7 - "The Deadly Shadow" - Ben Wilson still hot on the trail of the Frog!
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -Program notes and enquiries: Bill Everson, Manhattan Towers Hotel, 2166 Broadway, NYC 24
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This will be our LAST show at the Capitol Hotel. We cannot yet announce our programs for January as a new location has not yet been settled. However, our notes will go out on
schedule early in January with full details of our new and improved quarters, together
with a listing of our forthcoming programs.
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 © William K. Everson Estate