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A Time Before Talkies


by Stephen Becker 24 Oct 2008

The Texas Theatre in Oak Cliff is hosting one of the coolest film events on Saturday that I have heard about in a long time. Following music by the retro orchestra the Singapore Slingers, the theater will run three classic short comedies by the titans of the art form: Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd and Charlie […]

CTA TBD

The Texas Theatre in Oak Cliff is hosting one of the coolest film events on Saturday that I have heard about in a long time. Following music by the retro orchestra the Singapore Slingers, the theater will run three classic short comedies by the titans of the art form: Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd and Charlie Chaplin. And here’s the kicker — pianist Robert Edwards will provide live accompaniment so that we can experience these films as they were originally shown. For anyone who fancies themselves a film buff or historian, this seems like a red-letter day.

The event is an effort to help raise funds for the Texas Theatre, a historical Dallas landmark if ever there was one. This is after all the site that Lee Harvey Oswald was captured while taking in a matinee showing of War is Hell 45 years ago next month. You can read more about the restoration efforts here.

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  • These three silent comedians – often listed with Harry Langdon – represent the top of a golden age of film comedy. I’m not sure why this Golden Age of art has never received it’s rightful due.
    Silent comedies, unlike many classic silent dramas, hold up very well today.

    And, add to that the first talking comedians like WC Fields, Marx Brothers, and Laurel and Hardy, and you have an unrivaled run of classic comedian films that has never been equaled.