Flicker Alley was born out of a passion for cinematic history and a desire to bring filmmakers and films from out of the past to new audiences and renewed recognition. The company was founded in 2002 by Jeffery Masino who drew on a lifelong enthusiasm and fascination with silent film as well as classic, experimental and independent cinema. A goal of Flicker Alley is to contribute to the on-going interest in our film heritage through the creation of new, high-quality digital editions for broadcast, steaming and home video distribution.
The Flicker Alley brand has grown to enjoy national and international critical acclaim and is regularly featured in annual “Best Of” lists. The company is a three-time National Society of Film Critics Film Heritage Award recipient for publishing “rare early U.S. and foreign silent film” (2009, 2010, and 2011). The name “Flicker Alley” was the nickname of Cecil Court, London W.C.2., the business center of the British film industry during the silent film era.
Like the musical CHICAGO that won the Best Picture Academy Award and five other Oscars in 2002, this original 1927 version descends from a 1926 hit Broadway play by Maurine Watkins. It’s a terrifically entertaining mix of humor and melodrama as well as a pungent critique of trash journalism. Frank Urson signed onto CHICAGO as director, although it is substantially the work of Cecil B. DeMille and his A-list technical staff. (DeMille apparently judged it unseemly to take full credit for this cynical and secular story while his religious spectacle The King of Kings was still in theatres!) CHICAGO is silent filmmaking at its peak, with an outstanding score for this edition by the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra. The 1927 CHICAGO was long believed a lost film, but a perfect print survived in Cecil B. DeMille’s private collection. Restored by the UCLA Film and Television Archive in 2006, it has since been widely performed to rapturous audiences.
Sexy, jazz-loving and dressed to kill, Roxie Hart (Phyllis Haver) has a doting, handsome husband in Victor Varconi; not to mention a gold-digging affair on the side with Eugene Pallette, who pays and pays, eventually with his life. Put on trial for murder, Roxie secures lawyer Billy Flynn (Robert Edeson), equal part mob “mouthpiece” and publicity agent. When Roxie hits the headlines, the courtroom theatrics begin.
Like the musical CHICAGO that won the Best Picture Academy Award and five other Oscars in 2002, this original 1927 version descends from a 1926 hit Broadway play by Maurine Watkins. It’s a terrifically entertaining mix of humor and melodrama as well as a pungent critique of trash journalism. Fran...