THE DONOVAN AFFAIR (1929)

Dir. Frank Capra

The Festival is proud to present a unique way of "restoring" an early talkie whose soundtrack has been lost, with this special screening of Frank Capra and Columbia Pictures' first all-talkie. Although the Library of Congress holds a print of this rarely seen film, the original sound discs have been lost. Now Bruce Goldstein, director of repertory programming at New York's Film Forum, will present the west coast premiere of the picture with live actors and sound effects to re-create the lost soundtrack. Like many early talkies, THE DONOVAN AFFAIR is mostly stage-bound, set primarily in a single room where the host of a society dinner party is murdered while the lights are out. Nonetheless, Capra and cameraman Ted Tetzlaff livened it up with some creative camera angles. Goldstein searched the nation for a script to the film, finally finding about 60 percent of the lines in the records of the New York State Board of Film Censors. Working with actors capable of capturing the rhythms of 1920s stage stars, he reconstructed the rest of the dialogue through careful study of the film stars' lip movements.

In attendance: Bruce Goldstein and company.

This screening is presented with a print courtesy of the Library of Congress Film Archive.

THE DONOVAN AFFAIR
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