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Ten Nights in a Barroom

Tuesday, July 27, 2021, 7:30 p.m., Dryden Theatre

(Roy Calnek, US 1926, 68 min., 35mm)

This key work of the Black silent period tells the provocative tale of the downward spiral of Joe Morgan (Charles Gilpin), a man who turns to alcohol for escape, and soon, completely out of control, devastates his friends and family in a series of violent explosions. One section of the film has been lost, but the remainder is exquisite evidence of the period's triumphs. A preeminent stage actor at the time, Gilpin appears here in his only film credit. He had previously originated the titular role in Eugene O’Neill’s Emperor Jones on Broadway and became the first Black American honored with a Drama League award. Ironically, he succumbed to alcoholism himself only four years after this film was released.

Live piano accompaniment by Philip Carli.

 

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