Friday, July 02, 2010

Mother Machree

11.30 Cinema Lumière - Sala Officinema/Mastroianni, Bologna 2 July 2010
MOTHER MACHREE (Sydämeni äiti / La canzone della mamma, USA/1928. PC: William Fox. R.: John Ford. With Belle Bennett, Neil Hamilton, Victor McLaglen, Robert Parrish. D.: 29' (frammento)
sonorized version
Theme song with a special credit: "Mother Machree", music by Chauncey Olcott and Ernest Ball (1910), lyrics by Rida Johnson Young.

Four fragments screened out of order:
1. The beginning: first music without image, then a long song introduction, Ireland 1899, boy reading the book with the illustration of "Lincoln working by firelight", naive silent film storm music, Ellen McHugh (Belle Bennett) and her son receive the sorrow message.
3. America: over-the top music, "never a kind word here", the friendly Terence O'Down (Victor McLaglen), "the blessed shamrock", Ellen gets a job as a half-lady at the circus where Terence appears as a sheik, body covered with tattoos, "I can never go back to Ireland now".
2. The funeral, the road to America, meeting The Giant of Kilkenny (McLaglen), the midget lifting his weights.
4. At the household of the rich family, mothering baby Edith to womanhood, tears of happiness.

In these surviving fragments Ford indulges in his passions for Ireland and motherhood. The sonorized music is over-the-top melodramatic.

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