The Salvation Hunters

Featuring live accompaniment by Cliff Retallick

Josef von Sternberg’s first film – shot for less than $4,800 on location in San Pedro, Chinatown and the San Fernando Valley – was possibly Hollywood’s first “independent” production. The gritty realism of its locations, the lack of artifice in its story and the lower depths of its characters shocked audiences and the industry alike. The film remains thoroughly modern. Sternberg’s images thrive on composition and stasis. His ending resolves nothing and yet everything is different. The Salvation Hunters made a star not only of Sternberg, but also of Georgia Hale, who would play opposite Chaplin in The Gold Rush (1925). Jan-Christopher Horak, Courtesy of the UCLA Film and Television Archive

Dir. Josef von Sternberg, 1925, 35mm, 70min

35mm restored print courtesy of the UCLA Film & Television Archive