SILENT NIGHT

CLARENCE CHEATS AT CROQUET (Thanhouser Film Corp., US, 1915) 12 min.

35mm (18 fps), silent, b&w, tinted

A Falstaff brand comedy

Scenario: Lloyd Lonergan

Cast: Alfred Hickey (Clarence), Barbara Gilroy (Alicia), Charles Emerson (Peter, the pitcher), Riley Chamberlin (“the wicked wicket keeper”), Frances Keyes (his grandmother)

Note: New 35mm print from Colorlab for National Film Preservation Foundation and the Library of Congress

 

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For further information see the Thanhouser Company site and a small Newspaper Ad

 

DARKTOWN TROUBLES / LIME KILN CLUB FIELD DAY, unreleased Bert Williams film (US, ca 1913)

Excerpt 55 min. at 19fps

Produced by Biograph Co. for Klaw and Erlanger in Bronx, New York with Bert Williams, Sam Lucas, J. Leubrie Hill, Emma Reed, Billy Harper and theater performers, including members of J. Leubrie Hill’s Darktown Follies stage company.

Source: The Museum of Modern Art, Department of Film Biograph Collection.

 

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Scanned frame from “Darktown Troubles/Lime Kiln Field Day” footage, 1913. Bert Williams on right.

 

Note:

The unassembled rushes for Darktown Troubles/Lime Kiln Club Field Day survive without inter-titles which would have served to help decipher the project’s storyline.  Lacking that guide, we offer this tentative summary:

Man about town and resident schemer Bert Williams is on the lookout for the next opportunity to advance his interests.  As a member of the fraternal Lime Kiln Club headed by Brother Gardner, he becomes involved in a contest with rival suitors to win the hand of the local beauty.  Serenading with his banjo under her window one night, Bert is doused with a bucket of water dumped on him by the Girl’s unsympathetic mother.

Backed by white speculators, the club organizes its annual field day for black townsfolk who assemble outside the club bar and parade to the fairground led by a marching band. The day’s activities include dining on fried chicken and ice cream, wrestling for loose shoes and a greased pig, a watermelon eating contest and a 100 yard dash which Bert wins against a pint-sized competitor.

Eyeing a man with a jug of gin, Bert sees the drink being hidden in a well and retrieves it for a taste before accidentally knocking the jug into the well. Undaunted, he writes “Gin Spring” on the wooden well enclosure and calls fairgoers over to sample the tasty polluted waters.   Suddenly finding himself an entrepreneur, he sells his “discovery” to his rivals for a handful of cash and goes off with the girl for a day of food and fun. On an open air merry-go-round, they share candy and grab for the brass ring as the jealous suitors stalk them.

 

For further information on Bert Williams see his biography on the PBS site and a collection of his musical works.

 

A FRONTIER POST (Fox Films, US, 1925, unreleased) 12 min

Alternate Identifier: Fox News story C0896 – C0906

35mm, silent, tinted, 827 ft (with modern credits)

Directed by William Tummel

Cinematography (probable) by Barney McGill and Elmer Dyer

Source: Fox Movietone News Collection, Moving Image Research Collections, University of South Carolina. 35mm restoration funded by the National Film Preservation Foundation (U.S.) and the University Libraries at the University of South Carolina. Laboratory work performed by Film Technology, Inc.

Filmed on November 11, 1925 at Fort Huachuca, Arizona

Note:

This Fox Varieties short essentially complete and ready for release (edited, fully titled with a tinted answer print) before the project was rejected. The negative and scratch print were then logged into the newsreel library of Fox News for use as stock footage and assigned their official story numbers C0896-C0906.  Those films remained unseen until 2005.  Where possible Film Technology drew upon the surviving 2,712 ft. of original camera negative to reconstruct the film.  Only a few scenes as well as the original titles were sourced to the tinted answer print. Director Tummell appears to have been at Fort Huachuca to film exteriors for Victor Schertzinger’s Golden Strain (Fox Films, 1925).

 

For further information on A Frontier Post (Buffalo Soldiers) see the University Libraries Moving Image Collections