Peter Pan (1924) Directed by Herbert Brenon. Betty Bronson, Mary Brian, Ernest Torrence. 102 min.
Peter Pan opened Christmas week, 1924. Then, like one of the Lost Boys, it vanished into a Never Land of its own. Paramount, like every other studio, looked on its films as disposable product. Films were as ephemeral as the daily newspaper. Why bother to keep a print? The Museum of Modern Art couldn't find it, nor could the Cinematheque Francaise, nor any of the rabid private collectors, who could sometimes materialize copies that more legitimate sources could not. It was one of the most important of missing American films.
For the children who saw it, nothing else ever compared. William K. Everson, one of the great silent film historians, never tired of rhapsodizing Peter Pan or its glowing star, Betty Bronson (and her next film A Kiss for Cinderella). James Card, curator at Eastman House and one of the great heros of film preservation, longed to see this childhood favorite with a desperate nostalgia. It was he who, as a young man working for Kodak in Rochester, discovered a fume-filled vault of decomposing nitrate films. Nitrate films are highly flammable, can spontaneously combust and even burn under water because they supply their own oxygen. Card was terrified that if the Kodak executives found out about the stash in the Eastman Theater, used at the time mostly by the Eastman School of Music, the whole lot would be trashed as a hazard, which it certainly was. But, Card convinced Kodak to call Iris Barry, the visionary film preservationist at the Museum of Modern Art, who stressed the importance of the unique prints, accessioned them against the day there might actually be an archive at Eastman House, and saved them. This beautiful new tinted print was restored from this original nitrate print, and had a gala re-premiere at the Podenone, Italy, Silent Film Festival with an orchestral score by Philip Carli.
Mrs. Darling is played by 23 year old Esther Ralston, appalled at being asked to play a mother of three at her age. But, director Herbert Brenon felt that every child saw their mother as a beautiful young girl.
Mary Brian (she played Wendy in the film).
Цитаты из Барри:
I do loathe explanations.
Beware, or you may get what you want.
May God blast anyone who writes a biography about me. (И проклятие сбывается - здесь статья одного из биографов, Эндрю Биркина).
А вы знаете, что изначально у Питера Пэна не было никакого капитана Крюка?! А потом предполагалось, что Крюка будет играть женщина, та же, кто играет миссис Дарлинг?
Barrie wrote his first draft of the play without any mention of Captain Hook at all. He didn't need a villain because he already had one: "P[eter] a demon boy (villain of story)." It was only due to the prosaic necessity of a "front-cloth scene" to give the stagehands time to change the scenery from the Never Never Land back to the Darling Nursery that Hook was conceived at all:
The Homeward Journey. The Flight by flying, the Homeward Journey by water (P[eter] with oar defending W[endy] from great birds — also attack by pirates?) P takes command of Pirate Ship.
The front-cloth soon became a new Act V – The Pirate Ship – and the stagehands found their work had increased exponentially. Even with Hook firmly entrenched, Barrie's first instinct was to have him played by a woman: "Pirate Captain — Miss Dorothea Baird". Dorothea Baird had been cast to play Mrs Darling, and the idea of the mother-figure doubling as the ostensible villain would have been a gratifying touch, echoing one of Barrie's original titles: 'The Boy Who Hated Mothers'. In the event, Gerald du Maurier – already cast as Mr Darling – persuaded Barrie to let him play Hook as well, thus initiating a tradition that has no real thematic justification. Had Barrie conceived the play with Hook as the villain all along, I doubt that Peter Pan would have become the "terrible masterpiece"
(из той же статьи)