The Friends of the Coleman presents Rudolph Valentino in the silent movie classic, “The Eagle,” at 7:30 p.m. Friday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the Coleman Theatre in downtown Miami.
“We’ve been doing silent movies at the Coleman Theatre for at least 10 years now,” said the theatre’s director Barbara Smith. “We started out doing one a year now we do two or three.
“They’re always very well attended. People really enjoy them.”
This is the first Valentino movie being shown by the Friends of the Coleman, as far as Smith knows.
“We’ve shown a variety of silent movies including comedies, adventures and Westerns,” she said. “Rudolph Valentino was the first ‘he-man.’ This will give us a chance to see what all the fuss was about.”
The silent film “The Eagle” was originally released in 1925. In addition to Valentino, it starred Vilma B‡nky, Louise Dresser and James A. Marcus. It was directed by Clarence Brown.
It the movie, Valentino portrays a Russian army soldier. He rescues a beautiful young lady (B‡nky) and her aunt from a runaway stagecoach.
The Czarina (Dresser) offers to reward the soldier by making him a general, but he runs off when she tries to seduce him. She puts a price on his head.
The soldier soon finds his father dead and an evil nobleman (Marcus) is terrorizing the countryside. To avenge his father and help the victimized peasantry, he adopts a black mask and becomes the Black Eagle, a Robin Hood figure.
He discovers that the nobleman is the young lady’s father and sneaks into their home as her French tutor.
As his love grows and his hate wanes the two run off only for the soldier to be captured by the Czarina.
She sets him up to be executed, but all turns out right in the end.
The movie will feature accompaniment by world-renowned organist, Dennis James, on the Mighty Wurlitzer.
“James is the world’s foremost accompanist to silent movies,” Smith said. “He’s currently researching the original performances so he can play as close to what the first audiences heard.”
The Mighty Wurlitzer organ at the Coleman Theatre is one of the few organs of its type still in its original theatre.
“James has accompanied silent movies at the Coleman before,” Smith said. “He enjoys the novelty of playing it on its home ground so to speak.”
Tickets to the performance are $15 for adults and $12 for seniors and students. All seats are general admission.
Tickets available at the Coleman Theatre box office at 103 N. Main St. in Miami or by calling 540-2425.
For additional information, visit colemantheatre.org.