Jazzmania (West Coast restoration premiere!)

The turbulent career of stunning silent starlet Mae Murray is something to behold! Hoofing her way from stage to screen in the 1910s, Murray quickly went from being a Ziegfeld Follies girl (billed by Ziegfeld himself as “The Girl With The Bee-Stung Lips”) to one of the greatest stars in one of the most unusual of all film genres, to blacklisted film industry outcast — all within fifteen years. Made shortly after Murray’s ascendancy to the position of Queen of the Silent Musical (it’s true, silent musicals did exist, as platforms for epic amounts of dancing), Jazzmania only has a few musical sequences, but is bursting with charm and effervescence. Murray plays the eccentric, happy-go-lucky monarch of a far-off fictional European kingdom (one noted for its high-flying reverie), who flees to America after a nasty coup d’état, and who falls for a dashing foreign correspondent (Rod La Rocque). As she enjoys the high life while in American exile, her loyal countrymen plead with her to return, to restore order — will she succeed? Directed by Murray’s husband/creative partner Robert Z. Leonard, this rare slice of frothy fun will have you steppin’ out in style!
Dir. Robert Z. Leonard, 1923, 35mm, 80 min. (Restored 35mm print courtesy of the George Eastman House, with financial support from The Film Foundation)

Watch our trailer for “Jazzmania”!