On May 31, 2023

Brandon silent film series screens ‘The Temptress’

Brandon silent film series screens ‘The Temptress’

Saturday, June 3, at 7 p.m. —BRANDON—Greta Garbo stars in “The Temptress” (1926), which has two endings. The film will be screened with live music on Saturday, June 3, at 7 p.m. at the Brandon Town Hall and Community Center. All are welcome to this family-friendly event. Admission is free, with free will donations accepted in support of ongoing Town Hall renovations. For more info, visit brandontownhall.com.

It’s a film with two completely different endings: one sad and tragic, and the other uplifting and positive. It’s “The Temptress” (1926), an MGM romantic drama starring Greta Garbo, then just starting a legendary Hollywood career.

Studio boss Louis B. Mayer found the original ending to “The Temptress” so depressing, he ordered a second — and much happier — conclusion. See both endings when this steamy silent romantic drama is screened with live music at Brandon Town Hall and Community Center on Saturday at 7 p.m.

All are welcome to this family-friendly event. Admission is free, with free will donations accepted in support of ongoing Town Hall renovations.

The screening, the latest in the venue’s silent film series, will feature live accompaniment by Jeff Rapsis, a New Hampshire-based composer who specializes in creating music for silent films.

In “The Temptress,” Garbo plays Elena, the wife of Monsieur Canterac (Lionel Barrymore) and the mistress of rich Parisian banker Monsieur Fontenoy (Marc MacDermott). When the banker’s friend Robledo (Antonio Moreno), a dynamic young engineer building a massive dam in Argentina, visits Paris, the fickle Elena immediately falls in love with him.

Elena follows Robledo to Argentina, where her presence leads to a whip duel between Robledo and his rival, Manos Duros (Roy D’Arcy). She then indirectly causes the collapse of Robledo’s dam, which is where the two versions of the film diverge.

In the original version, Elena returns to Paris and the movie concludes tragically.

The revised version sees the film end in Argentina on a much happier note.

Both endings will be screened in Brandon: first the original “tragic” conclusion, then the more optimistic ending.

Garbo, who first won notice in her native Sweden, came to Hollywood at age 19. “The Temptress,” her second film for MGM, helped establish her as a major star. Initially, the director of “The Temptress” was Garbo’s mentor-lover, the brilliant Mauritz Stiller. But he was replaced halfway through by Fred Niblo, giving “The Temptress” two different styles.

This is the 13th year of Brandon’s popular silent film series, which gives residents and visitors a chance to see great movies from the pioneering days of cinema as they were meant to be shown — on the big screen, with an audience, and accompanied by live music.

Screenings are held once a month, generally on Saturday nights and running through November. 

Other films in this silent film series include:

Saturday, July 15, 7 p.m.: “The General” (1926) starring Buster Keaton. Buster’s Civil War-era masterpiece tells the story of a Confederate railroad engineer whose train is hijacked by Northern spies. One of the great movies of any era! 

Friday, Aug. 18, 7 p.m.: “The Ten Commandments” (1923) directed by Cecil B. DeMille.  Long before Charlton Heston played Moses in Technicolor, director Cecil B. DeMille filmed this silent blockbuster on a grand scale. Many say it surpasses the remake — see for yourself as we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the film’s original release.

Saturday, Sept. 9, 7 p.m.: “The Freshman” (1925) starring Harold Lloyd, Jobyna Ralston.  We welcome football season with Harold Lloyd’s blockbuster hit about a college boy who dreams of gridiron greatness. One of Lloyd’s all-time best.

Saturday, Oct. 7, 7 p.m.: “My Best Girl” (1926) starring Mary Pickford, Charles “Buddy” Rogers.  In a big city department store, romance blossoms between a humble stockroom clerk and the store owner’s son — who is already engaged! A sparkling “rich man, poor girl” romantic comedy from 1927 starring screen icon Mary Pickford and Charles “Buddy Rogers,” her future real-life husband. 

Friday, Oct. 27, 7 p.m.: “The Cat and the Canary” (1927) Can a group of distant relatives survive the night in a haunted house to learn the secret of a madman’s will? Find out in the original Gothic thriller from silent film director Paul Leni. Just in time for Halloween, a movie filled with deep shadows, dark secrets, and a surprisingly timeless mix of humor and horror that will keep you guessing. 

Saturday, Nov. 11, 7 p.m.: “The Big Parade” (1925) starring John Gilbert.  We salute Veterans Day with this sweeping saga about U.S. doughboys signing up and shipping off to France in 1917, where they face experiences that will change their lives forever — if they return. MGM blockbuster directed by King Vidor; one of the biggest box office triumphs of the Silent Era. 

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