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Lucky Star  /  The River

Lucky Star (1929)
July 20, 2015 - 7:30 pm

Lucky Star  (1929)

A pastoral melodrama that director Frank Borzage whips into soaring romantic rapture, Lucky Star reteams Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell as a simple farm girl and wounded WWI vet whose love for each other overcomes all odds.  Borzage’s bathes the film’s deeply evocative stage sets with his trademark chiaroscuro lighting and soft-focus to surpass even 7th Heaven’s sense of otherworldly grace.

Production: Fox Film Corp.  Distribution: Fox Film Corp.  Producer: Frank Borzage.  Director: Frank Borzage.  Based on a story by Tristram Tupper.  Scenario: Sonya Levien.  Dialogue: John Hunter Booth.  Cinematographer: William Cooper Smith.  Art Director: Harry Oliver.  Editor: Katherine Hilliker, H. H. Caldwell.  With: Janet Gaynor, Charles Farrell, Guinn Big Boy Williams, Paul Fix, Hedwig Reicher.  35mm, b/w, silent, 85 min.

Live musical accompaniment will be provided by Cliff Retallick.

The River  (1929)

The River survives only in incomplete 16mm prints but this reconstruction, overseen by Borzage scholar Hervé Dumont at the Cinematheque Suisse, reveals it to be one of director Frank Borzage’s most heady and primal works.  Borzage perennial Charles Farrell plays an adventurous young man whose solo river voyage is interrupted by a passionate layover with Mary Duncan’s vamp—a kept woman, guarded by a malevolent raven.

Production: Fox Film Corp.  Distribution: Fox Film Corp.  Producer: Frank Borzage. Director: Frank Borzage.  Based on the novel The River by Tristram Tupper.  Scenario: Philip Klein, Dwight Cummins.  Dialogue: John Hunter Booth.  Cinematographer: Ernest Palmer.  Editor: Barney Wolf.  With: Charles Farrell, Mary Duncan, Ivan Linow, Margaret Mann, Alfred Sabato.  Digibeta, b/w, silent with sync score and effects, 55 min.