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Paramount screens 'Silents from the South Seas'
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Paramount screens 'Silents from the South Seas'

by James Whitely - SGN Staff Writer

Silent Movie Mondays:
Silents From the South Seas
March 22 and 29
Paramount Theatre


All this month, Trader Joe's and Seattle Theatre Group are presenting Silent Movie Mondays at the Paramount Theatre. If you saw South Pacific during its run at the 5th Avenue Theatre, you'll love March's theme, "Silents from the South Seas."

Enjoy free Trader Joe's food as you take in the splendor of the historic Paramount Theatre and watch these wonderful pieces of forgotten cinema. Each silent film is accompanied by the "Wizard of the Wurlitzer," critically acclaimed organist Jim Riggs on the Mighty Wurlitzer Organ, one of the last three organs of its kind to reside in its original environment.

The 35mm film of the evening for March 15, Sadie Thompson, directed by Raoul Walsh and released in 1928, was a two-hour dramatic journey of tropical splendor. A young and gorgeous Gloria Swanson (Sunset Boulevard) stars as Sadie Thompson in this early silent and sultry predecessor to Joan Crawford's 1932 Rain.

While staying at the only island hotel on a small Marine outpost in the South Seas, the young, boozing, smoking, jazz-listening, and oh-so over-the-top sinning prostitute Sadie meets Sergeant O'Hara (Walsh) and begins to fall for him.

Unfortunately for her, though, she also meets Mr. Davidson, a "moralist" preacher who tries to get Sadie to change her ways. Davidson has pull with the island's governor and threatens to have her deported if she doesn't repent.

The Wurlitzer, however mighty it may be, doesn't seem to overpower the film, or Swanson's over-the-top character. It only compliments the wild young woman and the rest of the cast.

Only two Silent Movie Mondays remain this month with the "Silents from the South Seas" theme. Next week's screening on March 22 is Tabu: A Story of the South Seas. Tabu is commonly held as one of the greatest masterpieces of silent film - don't miss it.

Silent Movie Mondays begin at 7 p.m. at the Paramount Theatre (911 Pine Street). Coffee and a few food items are available, and prices are more reasonable than most theaters. A small bar is available for those with ID.

For more information visit www.stgpresents.org.

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