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The Last Dawn  /  A Million Bid

The Last Dawn
January 12, 2018 - 7:30 pm
Alan K. Rode will sign copies of Michael Curtiz: A Life in Film beginning at 6:30 p.m.

U.S. Restoration Premiere!

The Last Dawn  (Hungary, 1917)

Az utolsó hajnal

Lord Harding (Eugen Balasso) rescues a suicidal heir (Leopold Kramer) and installs him in his household.  A dizzying set of circumstances involving an inheritance, an eccentric daughter (Klary Lotto), a spurned suitor (Kálmán Ujj) and a mysterious Sikh doctor culminates with a startling denouement.  Based on a play by Alfred Deutsch-German, this newly restored print is the sole surviving Hungarian silent film from Curtiz’s tenure as the executive producer of Phoenix Film.  The U.S. debut of this rare title is provided courtesy of the Hungarian National Film Archive.

35mm, b/w tinted, silent, 81 min.  Production Company: Phőnix Film.  Director: Michael Curtiz.  Screenwriter: Vajda László.  Cinematographer: Bécsi József.  Cast: Leopold Kramer, Balassa Jenő, B. Marton Erzsi, Claire Lotto, Kardos Andor.

Restored by the EYE Film Institute Netherlands.  Print courtesy of the Hungarian National Film Archive.

A Million Bid  (1927)

Based on a 1908 play by Lucille McVey, writing under the pseudonym of George Cameron, Michael Curtiz’s second American feature is a melodramatic mélange of forced marriage, a spectacular at-sea cataclysm and amnesia.  Warner Bros.’ “Belle of the Screen” Dolores Costello heads a cast featuring a pre-Charlie Chan Warner Oland, Malcolm MacGregor, Betty Blythe and a youthful William Demarest.  The film’s storm sequences amounted to Curtiz’s dress rehearsal for his Noah’s Ark spectacle that was released the following year.

35mm, b/w, silent, 70 min.  Production/Distribution: Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.  Director: Michael Curtiz.  Screenwriter: Robert Dillon.  Based on the play by George Cameron.  Cinematographer: Hal Mohr.  Cast: Dolores Costello, Warner Oland, Malcolm McGregor, Betty Blythe, William Demarest.

Print courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Live musical accompaniment provided by Cliff Retallick.