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1923 to 2023, 100 Years
The KSFF is underwritten by donations.
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This program is subject to change. More details will be added as they are confirmed.

Friday, Feb. 24, 2023
@ White Concert Hall, 1700 Jewell, Washburn University, Topeka, KS

Afternoon: 1:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Overture/Credits by Ben Model
Welcome & Introductions by Denise Morrison

Talk about Film: Bruce Calvert talks about "The Movie-Going Experience in the Silent Era" (30 minutes)

Introduction by Denise Morrison
Feature: The Covered Wagon (1923-100th Anniversary) with Lois Wilson, Alan Hale Sr. and Ernest Torrance
The Covered Wagon   Dare we call this the First Western Epic!? This tale of the wagon train—something we’ve seen countless times since—is set forth almost like a documentary by director James Cruze. There’s hardship and love found on the trail as well as a lot of interesting characters. This was the Number 2 box office winner of 1923.
— 98 min.
Accompanied by Ben Model


Introduction by Denise Morrison
Short: The Uncovered Wagon (1923-100th Anniversary) with James Parrott, Katherine Grant and Noah Young
   The Covered Wagon The Uncovered Wagonset the stage for some fine parodies including this one from the Hal Roach Studios. James Parrott and company trek across the western plains only this time in Model T Fords, get chased by Indians on bicycles, and ride the trolly across the prairies.
— 20 min.
Accompanied by Bill Beningfield

Introduction by Denise Morrison
Two Wagons, Uncovered WagonShort: Two Wagons, Both Covered (1924) with Will Rogers, Marie Mosquini and Elmo Billings
   Humorist Will Rogers was given free rein to parody the popular film of a year ago. He and writer Rob Wagner skewer the original film, sometimes shooting the exact same scene as the original and then twisting it into something different. Honestly only worth seeing if the original is seen first!
— 20 min.
Accompanied by Marvin Faulwell and Bob Keckeisen

Evening: 7:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
An All Harold Lloyd Evening

Overture/Credits by Rodney Sauer
Welcome & Introductions by Denise Morrison

Introduction by Denise MorrisonMiss Fatty's Seaside Lovers
Short: Miss Fatty's Seaside Lovers (1915) with Roscoe Arbuckle, Harold Lloyd, Edgar Kennedy and the Keystone Kops
   Moving Picture World in 1915 called this film "a good low comedy number." Roscoe is funny but Roscoe in drag? Funnier. Harold worked first as an extra at Keystone in 1913, then in secondary roles in 1914-1915. This short is a good example of his work during this period.
— 11 min.
Accompanied by Bill Beningfield

Introduction by Denise Morrison
Luke's Movie MuddleShort: Luke's Movie Muddle (1916) with Harold Lloyd, Bebe Daniels and Snub Pollard
  Harold first really came to the public's attention in a series of one-reel adventures featuring a character named Lonesome Luke. In this adventure Luke owns a movie theater with the usual chaos that only Hal Roach and company could do.
— 7 min.
Accompanied by Bill Beningfield

Introduction by Denise Morrison
Short: Get Out And Get Under (1920) with Harold Lloyd, Mildred Davis, Fred McPherson, Roy Brooks and William Gillespie
Get Out And Get Under   The title of our film comes from a popular 1913 song, “He’d Have to Get Out and Get Under (To Fix Up His Automobile), which gives you a little idea of some of the trials the boy goes through to get back the girl he loves. Harold has finally found the character that audiences connect with—Harold called him the glasses character.
— 20 min.
Accompanied by Jeff Rapsis


Introduction by Denise Morrison
Feature: Safety Last (1923-100th Anniversary) with Harold Lloyd, Mildred Davis, Bill Strother and Noah Young
   Harold and his team of writers caught the public’s crazy obsession with the “human fly “and turned this little feature into a huge hit. A boy goes to the big city to make good so he can marry the girl; one of his schemes is to attract attention to his store by having his roommate climb the store’s building. But it doesn’t exactly work out that way. The movie was #3 box office winner of 1923.
— 73 min.
Accompanied by Rodney Sauerand Bob Keckeisen

Saturday - Feb. 25, 2023

Morning - 9 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
@ White Concert Hall, 1700 Jewell, Washburn University, Topeka, KS

Overture/Credits by Jeff Rapsis
Welcome & Introduction of Documentary by Bill Shaffer and Denise Morrison

Introduction by Bill Shaffer
Special Documentary The Lost City of Cecil B. DeMille (2016)
This documentary is about the discovery and excavation of the sets and props left out in the sand dunes of Southern California after DeMille finished shooting the 1923 version of The Ten Comandments (which will be shown at the KSFF on Saturday evening). Produced by Peter Brosnan, the documentary features scenes from both of De Mille's versions of the story. The documenatary was produced after an exhaustive thirty-year process. .
— 88 min., Shown with recorded dialogue

Introduction by Denise Morrison
Short: Miles Of Smiles (1923-100th Anniversary) with Baby Peggy
Miles of Smiles   We're thrilled to highlight, for the first time at our festival, Baby Peggy—one of the most popular child stars of her generation. Here Baby Peggy plays twins, so it's two for the price of one! Restored by the Museum of Modern Art. Print courtesy of MoMA and Undercrank Productions.
— 18 min
Accompanied by Ben Model

Introduction by Denise Morrison
Bellboy 13Feature: Bellboy 13, (1923-100th Anniversary) with Douglas MacLean, John Steppling, Margaret Loomis and Edgar Kennedy
   Another first at our festival, the wonderful Douglas MacLean stars as a young man disinherited by a rich uncle for proposing to his actress girlfriend. His girlfriend will only marry a man with money. What's a guy to do? Restored by Undercrank Productions. Print courtesy of Library of Congress and Undercrank Productions
— 44 min.
Accompanied by Jeff Rapsis and Bob Keckeisen

--Lunch Break, Noon to 1:00 p.m.

Afternoon - 1:00 - 5:30 p.m.
@ White Concert Hall, 1700 Jewell, Washburn University, Topeka, KS

Overture/Credits by Bill Beningfield
Welcome & Introductions by Denise Morrison
Movie Introduction by guest Lara Gabrielle

Little Old New YorkFeature: Little Old New York (1923-100th Anniversary) with Marion Davies, Harrison Ford and Courtney Foote
   A great example of the kind of films Marion Davies specialized in during the first part of the 20's—period piece, romance, and high drama. Marion is an Irish lass who must disguise herself to claim a fortune. Print courtesy of Undercrank Productions and the Library of Congress. Special thanks to Ed Lorusso.
— 110 min.
Accompanied by Ben Model

Break, includes book signing by guest Lara Gabrielle, author of Captain of Her Soul: The Life of Marion Davies (Lobby))

The PilgrimIntroduction by Denise Morrison
Short: The Pilgram (1923-100th Anniversary) with Charlie Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Syd Chaplin and Max Swain
Charlie escapes prison wearing the robes of a priest then gets mistaken for one in a small town. And yes, Charlie makes the most of it. An unusual four-reeler for Chaplin.
— 47 min.
Accompanied by Ben Model

Introduction by Denise Morrison
A Woman of ParisFeature: A Woman Of Paris (1923-100th Anniversary) A film by Charles Chaplin with Edna Purviance, Carl Miller and Adolphe Menjou
   Fate plays a role in the life of a young woman in this psychological drama written and directed by Chaplin for his longtime co-star Edna Purviance. Hoping to launch Edna on a career of her own it, instead, launched the career of Adolphe Menjou.
— 82 min.
Accompanied by Rodney Sauer on solo piano

5:30 p.m.: Dinner Break — Program resuming at 7:30 p.m.
--Dinner Break: Event is by Reservation only.
Contact us & reserve. Special guest is Lara Gabrielle. She will speak about silent film actress Marion Davies.

Our Fourteenth Annual
, 5:30-7:15 p.m.

Price is $40/per ticket. Menu TBA

Those interested in attending can make reservations by mail:
KSFF Cinema-Dinner
P.O. Box 2032
Topeka, Kansas 66601-2032

Please specify if you would prefer a Vegetarian Dinner

Special Dinner Event, Our Fourteenth Annual
Seating begins @ 5:15 p.m.
Dinner: 5:30-7:00 p.m.

Lara Gabrielle will speak on "The Life of Marion Davies"

— This event is by reservation only. Dinner is $40.

Tickets to this not-to-be-missed event are available for purchase by mail. The non-refundable price for the Cinema-Dinner is $40 per ticket, payable to Kansas Silent Film Festival. Mail your ticket request to: KSFF Cinema-Dinner P.O. Box 2032 Topeka, Kansas 66604-2032.

If you sent in a check and didn't receive tickets by the time the KSFF event begins, please check at 'Will Call.'

Evening - 7:30 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.
@ White Concert Hall, 1700 Jewell, Washburn University, Topeka, KS

Overture/Credits by Marvin Faulwell
Welcome & Introductions by Denise Morrison

Introduction by Denise Morrison
Short: The Medicine Bottle (1909) A restored D.W. Griffith film with Florence Lawrence, Adele DeGarde, and Linda Arvidson
The Medicine Bottle   Griffith continues to play with audience's emotions as he adds the element of suspense in this short tale of a mother who leaves the wrong medicine bottle for her young daughter to administer to her grandmother. Can the mother reach the child in time to prevent a tragedy?
— 10 min.

Music  by Jeff Rapsis

The Ten CommandmentsIntroduction by Denise Morrison
Feature: The Ten Comandments (1923-100th Anniversary) Cecil B. DeMille's epic with Leatrice Joy, Richard Dix, Nita Naldi, Theodore Roberts, Rod La Rocque and Julia Faye
   DeMille's first version of Moses and the Ten Commandments story, but with the addition of a modern story of two brothers, rivals in love as well as business. This was the Number 1 box office winner of 1923.
— 136 min.*
*An intermission will be taken during this film-showing.
Accompanied by
Marvin Faulwell and Bob Keckeisen

Our Cast:

About Lara Gabrielle

Lara GabrielleLara Gabrielle is a film writer and researcher whose work on Marion Davies has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The San Francisco Chronicle, Air Mail, and on PBS’s American Experience. Her biography, Captain of Her Soul: The Life of Marion Davies, was named one of Alta Journal's top books to read this past fall, and it was included in Leonard Maltin’s list of 5 new and notable books. She has spoken about Davies at film festivals and retrospectives worldwide and has served as a consultant on her life and legacy for books, dissertations, and film projects. Gabrielle lives in Oakland, CA.

About Bruce Calvert

Bruce CalvertBruce Calvert has a B.S. in Film from the University of Texas. He has been collecting silent film memorabilia for more than thirty years. He has written for Classic Images magazine and contributes vintage movie photos to books and documentaries about classic films. He has volunteered at the Kansas Silent Film Festival for 20 years. Bruce works as a software developer and lives in Plano, Texas with his wife, Melanie.

About Denise Morrison:

Denise MorrisonDenise Morrison is a film historian from Kansas City, Missouri, with a special focus on silent film. She is Director of Collections & Curatorial Services with the Kansas City Museum in Kansas City, Missouri, and has been involved with the Kansas Silent Film Festival since the beginning. She was quite active with the Granada Theatre in Kansas City, Kansas, when they were showing a full schedule of silent movies. Denise will give an overview of the silent film era and also provide introductions to each film.

About Bill Shaffer:

Denise MorrisonBill Shaffer is the director of the Kansas Silent Film Festival and has been doing this job for over twenty years. His interest/obsession with movies (especially silent films) started during his youth when his father was a movie theater manager in the 1950's and 60's. Bill's silent movie exposure came in the form of films created by Robert Youngson, whose feature films used great clips from a huge number of silent film classics. These movies (When Comedy was King, Days Of Thrills & Laughter, Four Clowns, etc.) were even more fun than the sound films with color and CinemaScope.
   Shaffer explored this further by buying Super 8mm editions of Keaton and Chaplin films among many others. When the KSFF began in 1996, Shaffer was recruited as a projectionist and then moved up from year to year, doing promotion, fundraising and recruiting volunteers for the KSFF Board.
   In his working life, Bill was a producer/director and studio manager at KTWU/PBS on the Washburn University campus for almost 40 years. He was also a part-time projectionist in downtown Topeka theaters and drive-ins up until the late 1980's. Now retired, Bill lives with his wife, Becky and receives visits from a small army of grandchildren.

About Rodney Sauer:

Rodney SauerRodney Sauer, pianist, lives in Louisville, Colorado and has appeared at this festival many times since the third event, held in 1999. Rodney manages the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra. They have also performed for us many times, but this year Rodney is going solo in Topeka.


About Marvin Faulwell:

Dr. Marvin FaulwellMarvin Faulwell is a very accomplished theatre organist. He has played for all previous Kansas Silent Film Festivals and our "sister project," Silents in the Cathedral, held at Grace Cathedral in Topeka. He has appeared in concert and accompanied silent film programs in Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri and Minnesota. He also accompanied many silent films shown at the Granada Theatre in Kansas City, Kansas.

About Jeff Rapsis:

Jeff RapsisJeff Rapsis is a New Hampshire-based composer andmusician who accompanies silent film programs. He appears regularly at venues including the Harvard Film Archive, the Library of Congress, and the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum. Jeff is associate publisher and co-owner of HippoPress, New Hampshire's largest newspaper, and teaches communications at the University of New Hampshire. He has attended every Kansas Silent Film Festival since 2000! Visit www.jeffrapsis.com

About Ben Model:

Ben ModelBen Model is one of the nation's leading silent film accompanists, performing on both piano and theatre organ. Over the past 35 years, he has created and performed hundreds of live scores for silent films, working at his craftt full-time—a rare happened since 1930.
   Ben is a resident film accompanist at the Museum of Modern Art (NY) and at the Library of Congress' Packard Campus Theatre. His recorded scores can be heard on numerous DVD/Blu-Ray releases from Kino/Lorber, Milestone Films, and his own label www.undercrankproductions.com, as well as on TCM and his YouTube channel.
   Ben has composed orchestral scores for films by Chaplin, Keaton, Laurel & Hardy and has performed around the U.S. every year. He has co-curated several silent film series for MoMA and is also the archivist for the Ernie Kovacs collection. He has programmed three DVD box sets of Ernie Kovacs television shows for Shout Factory and is also a Visiting Professor of Film at Wesleyan University.
   Ben Model's appearance at the KSFF is underwritten by Paul Post.

About Bob Keckeisen:

Bob KeckeisenBob Keckeisen has been principal percussionist for the Topeka Symphony Orchestra since 1989. He delights audiences at the Kansas Silent Film Festival and Silents at the Cathedral by adding remarkable percussive music and sound effects to films. Bob grew up in Wichita and studied percussion under J.C. Combs at Wichita State University. He obtained both his undergraduate and graduate degrees in history from WSU and moved to Topeka in 1982. Bob recently retired as director of the Kansas Museum of History in Topeka, but remains assistant director of the Topeka Symphony Orchestra, and frequently volunteers for KTWU Channel 11.

About Dr. Bill Beningfield:

Bob KeckeisenDr. Bill Beningfield is a retired engineering director who spent his working career designing and supporting radio and radar products for commercial aircraft. After engineering during the daytime, he moonlighted as a flight instructor, aviation ground instructor, and professor of economics. He started playing the piano over 70 years ago and has been playing the organ for nearly 50 years. In 2006, he won first place in the American Theater Organ Society's competition for non-professional organists.

Kansas Silent Film Festival, Inc. is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization. This event is funded by generous donations, and welcomes your support. Your tax deductible gift will be gratefully acknowledged.
        Kansas Silent Film Festival, Inc.
        P.O. Box 2032
        Topeka, Kansas 66601-2032
E-mail contact - bill.shaffer@washburn.edu

All donations are appreciated.