The Mont Alto Orchestra's schedule of silent films and dances

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March 9, 2017

Fatty and Mabel Adrift
Gertie the Dinosaur
One Week

Kiggins Theater

3 pm

Vancouver, Washington

A set of three silent film comedies! In the first, Roscoe Arbuckle and Mabel Normand get set adrift in the ocean in their honeymoon cottage. Can Luke the Dog and the Keystone Kops save the day? In the second, pianist Rodney Sauer will introduce his trained dinosaur (Winsor Mackay's Gertie), who was the first cartoon star of the movies. We'll see if she'll perform her tricks for us: she can be a bit willfull. Then we'll end up with one of Buster Keaton's finest comedies, in which he and his new wife attempt to build a kit house in seven days. Rodney Sauer will be joined by members of the Vancouver Symphony.

April 8, 2017

The General

Broomfield Auditorium

3 Community Park Road
Broomfield, Colorado

Rodney Sauer will play piano with the Broomfield Symphony Orchestra, in his expanded version of his score for The General. Railroad engineer Buster Keaton is rejected by the Confederate Army and by his sweetheart, Annabelle (Marion Mack). But when Northern spies kidnap both Annabelle and The General (his beloved train engine), it sets in motion cinema’s most perfectly structured comic epic.

April 28-30, 2017

Steamboat Bill, Jr.

Denver Silent Film Festival

Mark this weekend on your calendars: three days of silent films in Denver, accompanied by The Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra, Donald Sosin, Hank Troy, and Rodney Sauer as a solo pianist. This will be a selection of excellent classic films, plus rarities that are almost never screened. Details will be posted as they are settled!

June 1-4, 2017


San Francisco Silent Film Festival

Castro Theater

San Francisco California

One of the highlights of our year is the S.F. Silent Film Festival. Unusual and beautiful films, a fine movie palace, an excellent and appreciative audience, and the finest musicians from around the world (not to mention a world-class city with excellent food) make this a favorite. Schedule to be announced.

July 12, 2017

Peter Pan

Chautauqua Auditorium

9th and Baseline,
Boulder Colorado

7:30 p.m.
$12 ($6 members and children under 12)

The silent film version of Peter Pan, over which author J.M. Barrie maintained considerable control, is one of the most beautiful and enchanting silent films. J.M. Barrie selected unknown actress Betty Bronson to play the enigmatic boy who never grows up, and she is supported by excellent work by character actors Ernest Torrance as Captain Hook and Anna May Wong as Tiger Lily. Children will be highly entertained by the antics of Tinker Bell and the pirates, while parents will appreciate Barrie's unorthodox insights into the nature of childhood.

August 2, 2017

Spite Marriage

Chautauqua Auditorium

9th and Baseline,
Boulder Colorado

7:30 p.m.
$12 ($6 members and children under 12)

Buster Keaton's last silent comedy is also one of his lesser-shown features. Made for MGM, it suffered from studio interference and a very clunky synchronized musical score that attempted to be funnier than the film. But, matched with Mont Alto's more sensitive and supportive score, it has several brilliant comedy sequences, and Dorothy Sebastian proves to be one of Keaton's most fun leading ladies. Buster is an avid fan of a glamorous but alcoholic stage actress, who marries him in a fit of pique when her boyfriend cheats on her. But when they both end up on a yacht stolen by gangsters, he has a chance to win her heart for real.


October 9, 2017

The Silent Enemy

University of Arkansas

In pre-Columbian times, a tribe of Ojibway search for game in a difficult winter. This film features astounding nature photography and views of a lost culture."The Silent Enemy (1930) turned out to be my personal discovery of the weekend." --Leonard Maltin