Silents In The Cathedral presents: THE BAT (1926)

silents_in_the_cathedral_2014_intro

On a beautiful Autumn night in Topeka, KS a week prior to Halloween, and for the 17th year, the Grace Cathedral was home of the silent film event, SILENTS IN THE CATHEDRAL. This year’s spooky spectacular included 3 shorts and the main feature, Roland West’s THE BAT (1926). Sponsored by The Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library with the cooperation of the Kansas Silent Film Festival, this was free to the public thanks to funding from the National Endowment of the Humanities.

Inside this beautifully restored and maintained building, we were welcomed by a series of folks thanking the various sponsors. The final speaker was local film historian Denise Morrison. She enlightened the packed house with background stories and trivia on the fun films ahead. These silent delights were accompanied by the musical stylings of Dr. Marvin Faulwell on the Cathedral organ and Bob Keckeisen on Percussion. For a night devoted to silent entertainment, the crowds would ensure that even the amazing music would soon be drowned out further by laughter.

Mickey as Mickey McGuire

Mickey as Mickey McGuire

Our first short, “MICKEY AND THE HAUNTED HOUSE” (1928) was Mickey Rooney’s first on-screen character. Mickey McGuire was his name back then as he literally adopted his popular character. His name soon changed to Mickey Rooney (born Ninian Joseph Yule, Jr. aka Joe Yule, Jr.) following a court dispute over copyrighting conflicts. Mickey’s mom used blackened cork to dye his hair black for this character, and thus a star was born. This short cannot be found in imbd under this title as it’s likely a snippet from a longer feature. But it’s a silly 10 minute romp filled with exaggerated gags, including a plethora of shots of Mickey looking ahead with his hand gobsmacked to the side of his face. Now we know where the HOME ALONE inspiration originated.

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less-than-courageous Charley Chase

Our Gang gangs up on the town Fraidy Cat

Our Gang gangs up on the town Fraidy Cat

Then two Charley Chase shorts followed. In THE FRAIDY CAT (1924), this 12 minute  silly story features Jimmy Jump who is jumpy indeed. Jimmy’s afraid of absolutely everything and everyone, even the neighborhood kids (many immediately recognizable from Our Gang) who bully and tease our resident coward. In the end, he musters up the courage and wins over the sweetheart. The second Chase short INNOCENT HUSBANDS (1925) is a truly funny two-reeler. An overly jealous wife spends an evening micromanaging her husband, which results in hysterical bits, one after the other, even including a séance. The laughs were non-stop.

SilentsintheCathedral_The bat

 

bat

the bat signal?

Next up, our main feature, Roland West’s THE BAT (1926) was based on Mary Rogers Reinhardt’s play and is rumored to be Bob Kane’s inspiration for the comic book character Batman. You can see the influence, even down to the ‘bat signal’ in a funnier twist of a moth caught in a headlight. The premise is a who-dunnit of sorts- with mysterious disappearances, murder, robbery, kooky characters, a big creepy house, and of course a ghoulish (but not all that scary) bat. The cast is terrific… such as Mary Pickford’s brother Jack Pickford as the falsely accused beau, Louise Fazenda as the hilarious maid and Emily Fitzroy as the charmingly laid-back aunt.

It was a spooky night in the most fun way. Good, clean, rib-tickling entertainment. For those in the area, you won’t have to wait until next Autumn for big screen silent screenings, the Kansas Silent Film Festival is coming up February 27-28, 2015. Visit their website: www.kssilentfilmfest.org – another free event for silent film fans!

SilentsintheCathedral

the @getTV Mickey Rooney Blogathon- September Participants

getTV Mickey Rooney Blogathon/ Sept 2014

September is here. This means the @getTV Mickey Rooney Blogathon has begun and proceeds throughout the entire month. Co-hosts Aurora of Once Upon A Screen, Paula  of Paula’s Cinema Club and yours truly will continue to accept and host participating entries. [Full @getTV schedule, banner, and the guidelines can be found on my prior post here. ] With such a LONG career in film and TV in Rooney’s portfolio, there’s plenty of choices and still time to join.

Here’s the participant list below, which will be updated as the contributions pour in all month long – so check back frequently!

PARTICIPANTS:

THE BLACK STALLION (1979) – Outspoken & Freckled

OPERATION MAD BALL (1957) – Once Upon a Screen

THE ATOMIC KID (1954) vs BABY FACE NELSON (1957) – Jack Deth on Paula’s Cinema Club

ALL ASHORE (1953) – Vintage Cameo

BABES ON BROADWAY (1941) – The Hollywood Review of 2014

STRIKE UP THE BAND (1940) – (This) Girl Friday

“The Comedian” on “Playhouse 90″ in 1957 – Caftan Woman

KILLER MCCOY (1947) – Another Old Movie Blog

PULP (1972) – Paula’s Cinema Club

Andy Hardy Grew! – Critica Retro

HOW TO STUFF A WILD BIKINI (1965) –  Blog of the Darned

BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S (1961) – Girls Do Film

IT’S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD (1963) – Maegan on Citizen Screenings

The Unexpected Ascend to Manhood – Classic Movie Hub

BOYS TOWN (1938) – Classic Movie Hub

Mickey Rooney at Disney – Margaret Perry

MY PAL, THE KING – Sister Celluloid

*Participation Guidelines*

  • Leave us a comment or send us a Tweet with your preferred Rooney topic
  • Let us know when you post your entry so we can promote it
  • Please copy @getTV on all tweets related to this event
  • Include the blogathon banner provided by @getTV in your post as well as the following statement:

“This post is part of The getTV Mickey Rooney Blogathon hosted by Once Upon a ScreenOutspoken & Freckled and Paula’s Cinema Club taking place throughout the month of September.  Please visit the getTV schedule for details on Rooney screenings throughout the month and any of the host sites for a complete list of entries.”

getTV Mickey Rooney Blogathon

In April of this year the world lost Mickey Rooney, an entertainer whose career spanned an unbelievable nine decades.  Born in Brooklyn New York on September 23, 1920, Rooney was on the Vaudeville stage almost before he could talk and appeared in his first movie at the age of six.  From there the movies became his life.  With sidesteps into radio and television Mickey Rooney maintained an enviable relationship with audiences for nearly the entire span of his life.

“The audience and I are friends.  They allowed me to grow up with them.  I’ve let them down several times.  They’ve let me down several times.  But we’re all family.”

Mickey Rooney would have celebrated his 94th birthday this September and in tribute getTV is dedicating a substantial portion of the month’s programming to him.  Aurora of Once Upon a Screen (@CitizenScreen), Paula of Paula’s Cinema Club (@Paula_Guthat) and I, Kellee of Outspoken & Freckled (@IrishJayHawk66) are thrilled to join forces with getTV for their first ever blogathon collaboration to celebrate Rooney’s career with The getTV Mickey Rooney Blogathon running the entire month of September.

new_getTV_MickeyRooney_banner

In case you’re not familiar, here’s all About getTV…

getTV is a digital subchannel available over the air and on local cable systems dedicated to showcasing Hollywood’s legendary movies. The network, operated by Sony Pictures Television Networks, launched in February 2014.  It features Academy Award® winning films and other epic classics titles. getTV distribution is close to covering nearly 70 percent of all U.S. television households across 65 markets, including 40 of the top 50 designated market areas (DMAs). The network is broadcast by Sinclair Broadcast Group, Univision Television Group and Cox Media Group owned stations and others. For information, visit getTV and connect with the network on Facebook and Twitter @getTV.

getTV’s programming in September will include a Labor Day Marathon dedicated to Mickey Rooney as well as themed double features every Thursday at 7 PM EST, as follows:

Thursday, September 4 – Nautical Musicals

Richard Quine’s SOUND OFF1952: 7:00 PM ET; 10:40 PM ET

Richard Quine’s ALL ASHORE, 1953: 8:50 PM ET; 12:30 AM ET

Thursday, September 11 – Crime Tales

Peter Godfrey’s HE’S A COCKEYED WONDER, 1950: 7:00 PM ET; 10:40 PM ET

Richard Quine’s DRIVE A CROOKED ROAD, 1954:  8:45 PM ET; 12:25 AM ET

Thursday, September 18 – Military Comedy

Don Taylor’s EVERYTHING’S DUCKY, 1961:  7:00 PM ET; 11:10 PM ET

Richard Quine’s OPERATION MAD BALL, 1957: 8:50 PM ET; 1:00 AM ET

Thursday, September 25 – Young and Older Mickey

Roy William Neill’s BLIND DATE, 1934:  7:00 PM ET; 12:20 AM ET

Carl Reiner’s THE COMIC, 1969: 8:35 PM ET; 12:20 AM ET

You can access the entire getTV schedule here and check to see if getTV is available in your area here.

The getTV Mickey Rooney Blogathon

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If you’d like to submit a blog post (or several) dedicated to Mickey Rooney – on his life, career, television work or a particular film – you can do so by submitting the entry to any one of the event hosts throughout the month of September. 

Kellee of Outspoken & Freckled and Twitter @IrishJayHawk66

Aurora of Once Upon a Screen and Twitter @CitizenScreen

Paula of Paula’s Cinema Club and Twitter @Paula_Guthat

We ask only that you please do the following:

  • Leave us a comment or send us a Tweet with your preferred Rooney topic
  • Let us know when you post your entry so we can promote it
  • Please copy @getTV on all tweets related to this event
  • Include the blogathon banner provided by getTV in your post as well as the following statement:

“This post is part of The getTV Mickey Rooney Blogathon hosted by Once Upon a ScreenOutspoken & Freckled and Paula’s Cinema Club taking place throughout the month of September.  Please visit the getTV schedule for details on Rooney screenings throughout the month and any of the host sites for a complete list of entries.”

  • Have fun!

Thank you!

Participants

OPERATION MAD BALL – Once Upon a Screen

THE BLACK STALLION – Outspoken & Freckled

NATIONAL VELVET – Minoo for Classic Movie Hub

PULP – Paula’s Cinema Club

ALL ASHORE – Vintage Cameo

Rooney at Disney: PETE’S DRAGON (1977) & THE FOX AND THE HOUND (1981) – The Great Katharine Hepburn Blog

HOW TO STUFF A WILD BIKINI –  Blog of the Darned

“Andy Hardy” vs. 1950’s PICTURES – Critica Retro

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