Sundays & Mondays through January 14
Douglas Fairbanks Sr. (1883-1939) was a tonic. Just as the U.S. was taking its place on the world stage, Doug’s cheerfulness, enthusiasm, optimism, athleticism, and get-up-and-gosim epitomized the post-WWI American. Following a fifteen-year stint as one of Broadway’s sprightliest (and most perpetual) juveniles, Fairbanks’ bouncy persona adapted brilliantly to the movies, first in a series of jovial comedies satirizing fads like quack psychiatry, paranormalism, “Couéism” – you name it. Doug’s marriage to America’s Sweetheart, Mary Pickford, and his co-founding of United Artists (“the lunatics taking over the asylum”) secured his position as “The King of Hollywood.”
With the dawn of the 1920s, Fairbanks switched gears to costume super-productions, setting new standards for lavish spectacle and the merriest of swashbuckling. In the process he created the movie superhero, the prototype for everyone from Errol Flynn to Jackie Chan — all with tongue firmly placed in cheek, all carried off with an ease and grace few have matched.
Special thanks to Tim Lanza (Cohen Film Collection), May Haduong, Patrick Harrison (Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences), Jeffrey Vance (author of Douglas Fairbanks, published by University of California Press), and Fairbanks aficionado extraordinaire Tracey Goessel.
THE FILMS OF DOUGLAS FAIRBANKS ARE RELEASED BY THE COHEN FILM COLLECTION.
♪ LIVE PIANO ACCOMPANIMENT BY STEVE STERNER FOR ALL SILENT FEATURES
(except THIEF OF BAGDAD)
For more information on the Fairbanks festival, download our press release