King of Kings (1927) Restoration to Screen in 2018

The San Francisco Silent Film Festival will present a newly restored version of Cecil B. DeMille's epic film King of Kings (1927) chronicling the life and passion of Christ on March 24, 2018 at 7:00 pm. This film features all of DeMille's trademark excesses for his epic films, religious reverence, and lots of sin to be seen before the resurrection.

Serge Bromberg and his Lobster Films has restored the rarely seen complete roadshow version with beautiful two-color Technicolor segments.  The screening will be at at San Francisco's magnificent Grace Cathedral with Dorothy Papadakos accompanying the film on the Cathedral's 7,466-pipe Aeolian-Skinner organ.  Needless to say, I have already purchased my ticket.  Get your ticket here.

A trailer from Lobster Films can be seen here.  The restoration looks positively magnificent!

I grew up watching this film broadcast every Easter weekend (screening both Saturday and Sunday evenings) on KTVU in the San Francisco Bay Area.  The number of times I have seen this film, and yet, this will be my first time seeing it on a big screen.  I expect the experience seeing the film in Grace Cathedral will be wonderful.  I am already very much looking forward to it.

H.B. Warner was cast as Christ
DeMille famously had left Famous Players-Lasky/Paramount and struck out on his own.  The production was not always easy with DeMille scrambling for cash.  Initially he and Jeanie MacPherson had planned the film to contain a two-part story line (like the 1923 The Ten Commandments).  Happily, this idea was scotched. There is enough plot in the tale of Christ to keep you interested, even if you do not consider yourself a person of faith.

Ernest Torrance plays Peter
The film features quite nearly a cast of thousands. Many silent luminaries play small parts.  Joseph Schildkraut plays Judas Iscariot.  Schildkraut's father Rudolph plays Caiaphas the high priest.  Victor Varconi plays Pontius Pilate.  Erenest Torrance is Peter.  Jacqueline Logan plays Mary Magdelene.  Cameos in small parts are filled with DeMile regulars, William Boyd plays Simon, Montagu Love plays the Centurion.  Central to all of this is the underplayed and still moving Christ of H.B. Warner. 

Jacqueline Logan plays Mary Magdelene

Passes are $20 (for SFSFF members) and $24 (for general public).  You can purchase a ticket here.


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