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UCLA Film & Television Archive and the Hugh M. Hefner Classic American Film Program present

Stage Struck

Stage Struck
March 23, 2019 - 7:30 pm
musician-composer Andrew Earle Simpson.

Archive Talks pairs leading historians and scholars with screenings of the moving image media that is the focus of their writing and research. Each program will begin with a special talk by the invited scholar that will introduce audiences to new insights, interpretations and contexts for the films and media being screened.

Andrew Earle Simpson is an acclaimed composer, pianist, organist and conductor who seeks organic connections between music and other disciplines. One of America’s foremost silent film musicians, Simpson is Resident Film Accompanist for the National Gallery of Art and a regularly featured accompanist for the Library of Congress’ Mt. Pony Theater. He has performed original film scores at the Giornate del Cinema Muto in Pordenone, Italy, the Cineteca Nazionale’s Cinema Trevi in Rome, Sala Cecelia Meireles in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., the Lincoln Center in New York and other venues. Simpson is Professor of Music at the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music, Drama, and Art of The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. He will give a musical presentation on his creative process for composing scores for silent films before performing his original score for Allan Dwan’s Stage Struck.

Stage Struck  (1925)

New Restoration!

A comic romance about a small-town waitress (Gloria Swanson) pining for a hunky flapjack cook (Lawrence Gray) who only has eyes for the actresses in his pin-up photos, Stage Struck opens with an epic, Technicolor spoof of Swanson’s own extravagant screen image. A daydream only for the plucky but endearingly awkward Jenny, the sequence throws into revelatory relief Swanson’s gift for comedy (she started out with Mack Sennett) as the waitress tries everything to catch her beau’s eye, culminating in a dizzy boxing match on a riverboat theater stage. Stage Struck was the sixth outing together for director Allan Dwan (Robin Hood, A Perfect Crime) and Swanson and proved one of their most successful.

Print courtesy of George Eastman Museum. 35mm, color and b/w, silent, 84 min. Director: Allan Dwan. Screenwriter: Forrest Halsey, Sylvia La Varre, Frank R. Adams. Cast: Gloria Swanson, Lawrence Gray, Gertrude Astor.

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