Film Program Unearths Rare Footage of Classic Vaudeville Acts | Playbill

News Film Program Unearths Rare Footage of Classic Vaudeville Acts NY's Film Forum plans to screen them later this month.
Joe Weber and Lew Fields

Film Forum on Houston Street in New York's Greenwich Village is showcasing a program of rare film clips of classic vaudeville routines with the original performers on September 26-29 and October 25.

From Bowery to Hollywood: Vaudeville's Legacy, which is hosted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, is designed to show vaudeville's impact on the development of movies. But the variety acts of vaudeville also had a powerful influence on Broadway and the American stage in general. Vaudeville acts like The Marx Brothers, Fred Astaire, Eddie Cantor, Mae West, W.C. Fields, Bert Lahr, Ethel Waters, Marilyn Miller and countless others graduated to Broadway before making their contributions to Hollywood. Many lesser-known acts nevertheless influenced the Broadway stage from the 1900s until well into the 1960s.

The “compilation of trailers, newsreels, feature excerpts, and public service announcements” culled from the Packard Humanities Collection at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences will be shown at 4:20 and 8 PM September 29.

Companion compilations hosted by Film Forum will also be shown: A Night at the Palace: Vitaphone's Greatest Hits will be screened at 2 and 6 PM September 27. Unseen Vitaphone Varieties—Part I From Bowery to Hollywood: Vaudeville's Legacy will be shown at 2:30 and 6:10 PM September 29; Unseen Vitaphone Varieties—Part II will be shown a month later, at 2:50 and 6 PM on October 25.

Tickets can be ordered at the Film Forum website.

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