The Silent Clowns (1919-1927)

1h 19, / Not Rated / Silent Comedy

Tampa Theatre’s Mighty Wurlitzer Theatre Organ roars to life once more for an afternoon of silent comedy classics from the genre’s all-time masters, with all-new original musical accompaniment scored and performed live by Steven Ball!

THE SCARECROW (1920): Buster Keaton plays a farmhand vying for the love of the farmer’s daughter. Running from a rabid dog, he falls into a thresher which mauls off most of his clothes, forcing him to borrow a suit from a nearby scarecrow – five minutes later he’s getting married on a motorcycle. Remember that the next time you go to the movies and a family drama with three speaking parts has a 160-minute run time.

PAY DAY (1922): Charlie Chaplin’s last two-reel comedy before he moved entirely into feature-length films, Pay Day is the story of a laborer on a house construction site. When he gets paid, his wife demands all of the money, but he holds back enough to go on a rollicking night of drinking. Alcoholism, labor relations and domestic trouble: it’s funnier than it sounds!

CAPTAIN KIDD’S KIDS (1919): Harold Lloyd stars as a wealthy young man who awakens on his wedding day viciously hungover following his bachelor party. But upon calling his fiancée, he learns that her mother heard tales of his raucous party the night before and is attempting to scuttle the wedding by taking her on a cruise to the Canary Islands. Lloyd and his valet race to catch up with them, but his night of “overexertion” catches up with him.

THE BATTLE OF THE CENTURY (1927): A broke boxing manager (Oliver Hardy) arranges for his puny, timid fighter (Stan Laurel) to face a champion in a bout with a prize of $100. Laurel accidentally knocks out his foe, but the ref can’t get to ten in time and the pair only take home the loser’s purse of $5. Hardy decides to invest the half-sawbuck in an insurance policy on Laurel, then frame up an accident in which he’ll get injured. But a pastry chef steps on Hardy’s banana peel instead, kicking off the biggest pie fight in cinematic history. This special screening includes the lost “second-reel” footage that was only rediscovered in 2015!

The Summer Classics Movie Series has been presented by Bank of America since 2015. Promotional support for the series is provided by WEDU-PBS.