Castro Theatre Thu, May 2, 2019 1:15 PM
Film Info
Director:Victor Fleming
Cast:Gary Cooper
Lupe Velez
Louis Wolheim
Constantine Romanoff
Total Run Time:65 min.


Musical accompaniment by Philip Carli
The California Sierras double for the Rocky Mountains in this adventure tale of a seasoned trapper (Gary Cooper) who is torn between the call of the wild and his newfound love for Lola (Lupe Velez), the beautiful daughter of a Mexican nobleman. Real-life paramours offscreen, Cooper and Velez make the most of their mutual attraction for an on-screen romance that positively zings with electricity. According to film critic Michael Sragow, the up-and-coming young costumer on the production, Edith Head, even complained to the director that Velez’s outfits were too sexy for the story, saying, “women didn’t uncover their bosoms in those day.” Lucky for audiences then and now, Victor Fleming overruled authenticity in favor of passion. As Sam Lash, Cooper is still the taciturn loner he made iconic in his later films, but Wolf Song reveals his younger, risk-taking side—the nude bathing scene in a misty hot springs sealing his reputation as a late-silent-era matinée idol.

Preserved by the Library of Congress


Introduction by Mike Mashon


Copresented by Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum

Additional Information

Musical accompaniment by Philip Carli

Philip Carli brings both prodigious musical talent and a committed scholarly outlook to his lifelong passion for the music and culture of the turn of the last century. He discovered silent film at the age of five and began his accompaniment career at thirteen, with a performance for Lon Chaney’s 1923 version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame. While at college he programmed and accompanied an annual series of silent films, and also organized and conducted a 50-piece student orchestra using 19th-century performance practice. Since then, he has continued his studies of the film, music and culture of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, earning a doctorate from the Eastman School of Music. He has at the same time toured extensively as a film accompanist throughout North America and Europe, performing on keyboard and with orchestra at such venues as Lincoln Center and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the National Gallery in Washington, DC, the Cinémathèque Québécoise in Montreal, the National Film Theatre in London, and the Berlin International Film Festival. He is the staff accompanist for the George Eastman Museum in Rochester, New York, and performs annually at several film festivals in the United States as well as at Le Giornate del Cinema Muto in Italy.