Alden's 'Classics of the Silent Screen' Series Returns for 2nd Season in VA, 11/14

Alden's 'Classics of the Silent Screen' Series Returns for 2nd Season in VA, 11/14

The Alden's Classics of the Silent Screen series returns for its second year by popular demand from the growing fan base for "silents." Featuring live accompaniment and introductions by a film historian and preservationist, the series has been giving audiences more of what they've been craving since tasting "The Artist." Tickets for each film are $10/$6McLean district residents.

Ben Model will play his original silent film music for each of the films. A five-time recipient of the Meet the Composer grant, Model has been playing piano and organ for "silents" at the Museum of Modern Art in New York for the last 28 years. His style both evokes the music of the silent film era while taking into account a modern audience's expectations of film scoring. Model's scores for the series are composed on the spot.

Model and film historian and preservationist Bruce Lawton, an archival and preservation advisor for AFI, HBO and the Chaplin estate, curated Classics of the Silent Screen especially for The Alden. Their aim was to share with audiences a sampling of popular silent films, film directors and actors. All movies are special 16mm editions restored by Lawton himself.

Silent Stocking Stuffers

Wednesday, November 14 at 7:30 p.m.

Model and Lawton look into their bag of silent cinema and pull out some suitable short films as a prelude to the seasonal onslaught. Rarities such as "The Courtship of Miles Sandwich" presenting a travesty on how Thanksgiving began and the "Our Gang" kids getting into the spirit during a snowstorm in "Good Cheer" are just a couple of the delights that will be on tap during this festive and (mostly) funny program.

Tickets: $10

Vaudeville Veterans: W.C. Fields & Will Rogers

Wednesday, January 9 at 7:30 p.m.

Two of America's greatest stage performers, W.C. Fields and Will Rogers – both 'Ziegfeld royalty,' alternated between performing for live audiences and appearing on screen. While both became immortal on film for the distinctive voices that went with their public personas, they also shine in their nearly forgotten silent appearances. Fields stars as a seemingly hapless drugstore proprietor (with an alluring Louise Brooks as his clerk) in "It's the Old ArmyGame," while Rogers has trouble even getting to the drugstore in the hilarious short "Don't Park There."

Tickets: $10

Buster Keaton: Rare - Reconstructed - Rediscovered

Wednesday, March 13 at 7:30 p.m.

Alongside those of Charlie Chaplin, the silent films of Buster Keaton are roundly acknowledged as the work of one of cinema's greatest and most unique comic minds, making it all the more painful that a number of his two-reel silent shorts of the early 1920s survive only in battered and fragmentary form. Lawton and Model tackled three of the films from this unfortunate group – "Convict 13," "Hard Luck" and "The Electric House". The two studied all available existing material and historical data and set about restoring the flow and continuity of Keaton's own vision and style to these timeworn gems. Also on the program is an authentic-titled and sequence-corrected edition of Keaton's early masterwork, "The Play House."

Tickets: $10

John Barrymore is François Villon: "The Beloved Rogue"

Wednesday, May 15th at 7:30 p.m.

The charismatic and larger than life John Barrymore (of the illustrious acting family and grandfather of Drew) is in his prime as the legendary 15th century poet and thief, François Villon. This lavish Hollywood production sports beautifully detailed sets and artfully atmospheric photography. A snowy, wintery Paris is the setting with ever the vagabond Villion gallivanting about with his cronies while encountering intrigue and treachery in the form of King Louis XI (Conrad Veidt) and sparring romance with the King's lovely ward (Marceline Day).

Tickets: $10

Series subscription (four films) are $35. Tickets to each film are $10. Tickets will go on sale October 10 and can be purchased online at For more information, call 703-790-0123, TTY: 711, or visit:

Built in 1975, the 383-seat Robert Ames Alden Theatre, The Alden, is a cultural resource for the citizens of McLean that presents a full professional season of interdisciplinary and high-quality performances, lectures and educational programs for audiences of all ages. The Alden is ADA-compliant and will make arrangements for accommodations.