September 17, 2013, @ 8:00 pm
(William C. de Mille, US 1924, 70 min., 35mm)
Silent Tuesdays. Cecil B. DeMille (with a capital “D”) had an older brother, William (lowercase “d”) who was also very prominent as a director in the silent era. William’s films are more rare than Cecil’s, but are often quirkier, more inventive, and subtler. This is one of the very few wholly successful silent detective films, a proto–Murder, She Wrote with a determined and feisty mystery author (Ethel Wales) inserting herself into a perplexing case that seems to have no logical path—except for one trampled by the police that leads to several young men engaged to the victim’s daughter. Sly and subversive, William brings a light touch and sure control to the proceedings, keeping things surprising to the end. Print courtesy the Library of Congress. Live musical accompaniment by Philip C. Carli.