Original big-screen adaptation of magical fantasy classic, a major 1924 hit, to be shown in 35mm with live musical score
It was the film that introduced movie-goers to visions of flying children, magical fairies, human-like animals and menacing pirates. It was the original silent film adaptation of ‘Peter Pan,’ a picture personally supervised by author J.M. Barrie. The film was a major hit when released in 1924, with audiences eager to get their first big-screen look at the wonders of Neverland.
Movie fans can see for themselves when the first ‘Peter Pan’ (1924) is screened in 35mm at the Somerville Theatre. The program will feature live music for the movie by silent film accompanist Jeff Rapsis.
Thought lost for many years, and overshadowed by more recent adaptations, the original silent ‘Peter Pan’ maintains its freshness and charm nearly a century after its original release.
In England, author Barrie gave his blessing to the first-ever screen adaptation, though he retained control over casting and insisted that any written titles in the film be taken directly from his own text.
After a major talent search, Barrie settled on unknown 18-year-old actress Betty Bronson for the title role, and filming began in 1924. The role of Captain Hook was played by noted character actor Ernest Torrence, who invented the now-iconic villainous pirate persona that would become a Hollywood legend.
After the film’s release, no copies of the original ‘Peter Pan’ were known to exist, and for many years the film was regarded as lost. However, in the 1950s a single surviving print turned up in the George Eastman Archives in Rochester, N.Y., from which all copies today have descended.