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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Herbert Brenon's Peter Pan

Cable Access TV's "Classic Arts Showcase" aired a sizable clip of the 1924 silent film directed by Herbert Brenon titled Peter Pan.

It was delightful. The plot appeared to be faithful to the original J. M. Barrie book, and also quite similar to subsequent movies and musical versions as well.
(Barrie was very involved in the 1924 film, and selected the actors).

The excerpt I viewed starred Betty Bronson (as Peter Pan - shown on the right in the photo below) and Mary Brian (as Wendy - on the left in the same photo). This film also featured the Chinese-American actress Tiger Lily as the Indian Princes, but I'll have to rent the movie to see her acting.

Actress Brian (Wendy) went on to have a long career in movies and died in 2002 at the age of 96. Bronson (Peter Pan) was a big star Hollywood too, and died in 1971 at the age of 65.

The "special effects" were rather impressive for 1924. You couldn't see the wires that held the kids as they flew around the room - and eventually out the window of the flat. There is also an actor in a rather convincing furry dog costume who displays amazing human facial expressions and expressive body language. As you would expect, Tinker Bell is often shown as a flashing light.

The Peter Pan story is timeless, universal, and great entertainment for all ages.