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Silent Movie Night Presents ‘The Eagle’

See Valentino Smolder On Screen With Live Music At Spreckels Organ Pavilion

Rudolph Valentino stars in

Credit: United Artists

Above: Rudolph Valentino stars in "The Eagle," screening August 19 at the Silent Movie Night at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion.

KPBS film critic Beth Accomando previews the Silent Movie Night's "The Eagle."


The 26th Annual Summer International Organ Festival continues tonight with a screening of “The Eagle” (1925), starring Rudolph Valentino. It's Silent Movie Night outdoors at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion.

He was known as the Latin Lover or simply as Valentino. His death at age 31 in 1926 caused mass hysteria among his female fans. Tonight, you can see for yourself how Valentino smoldered on screen with the Silent Movie Night’s presentation of “The Eagle.” Dennis James calls it a Russian Robin Hood tale but with a contemporary hook for San Diego.

"The movie is really based on sexual harassment in the workplace, except in the movie it’s reversed. It’s the Czarina, a female, who is harassing her lieutenant. So I’m going to make a great analogy to your mayor. It’s sort of Second City under the stars," said James.

Photo caption:

Photo credit: Spreckels Organ Society

The Spreckels Organ Pavilion

James is Professor of Glass Music Studies at Rutgers University. For 30 years he’s played a pivotal role in presenting silent films with live music. He says movies were originally designed as the visual component of a live presentation that included music.

"And it was the live music that gave them the breath of life and gave them the veracity and the vitality that movies have. This is really what movies are it’s not historical revival, it’s historical continuity. This is preserving something the way it was and movies are meant to be a communal experience and that's what you'll get with thousands of other people." said James.

James will be providing musical accompaniment for “The Eagle. “ The pre-concert show starts at 7:30pm, film will begin around 8:30pm or as soon as it is dark enough, at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park. Admission is free for Silent Movie Night.

Companion viewing: "The Sheik," "Silent Movie," "Phantom of the Opera"

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