Castro Theatre Thu, May 2, 2019 7:00 PM
Film Info
Director:Clarence Brown
Cast:Virginia Valli
Rockliffe Fellowes
Frankie Darro
Wallace Beery
Total Run Time:84 min.


Musical accompaniment by Stephen Horne and Frank Bockius
The stakes are high in this thrilling Universal Super-Jewel set deep in the redwood forest of Mendocino on the Fort Bragg railroad line. An above-the-title star in her day, Virginia Valli plays Sally, the beautiful wife of a signal towerman (Rockcliffe Fellowes) and devoted mother to their precocious darling boy (Frankie Darro). These are decent, hardworking people just trying to make ends meet when their simple, idyllic life is disrupted by the appearance of an oily outsider (Wallace Beery) with his ne'er-do-well mustache and slick city ways. His eye for the ladies respects no vow and he quickly turns his predatory attentions to Sally. Add a runaway train on a dark stormy night and the story picks up some serious steam. Directed by Clarence Brown before he helped jumpstart the career of a young Swedish actress named Garbo at MGM. Brown's gifts for creating fleshed-out characters and evocative atmosphere are on full display - not to mention fast-paced action that'll make your heart race in locomotive time!

Restoration by SFSFF and Photoplay Productions


Introduction by Kevin Brownlow


Copresented by California Historical Society and The Skunk Train, Mendocino Railways

Additional Information

 Image Credits: Pamela Gentile

Musical accompaniment by Stephen Horne and Frank Bockius

Based at London’s BFI Southbank, Stephen Horne is considered one of the leading silent film accompanists working today and his music has met with acclaim worldwide. Principally a pianist, he often incorporates other instruments into his performances, sometimes playing them simultaneously. He has recorded music for DVD releases and television broadcasts of silent films and regularly performs internationally. This year marks Horne’s twelfth year playing at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival.

Versatile percussionist Frank Bockius specializes in jazz and is versed in medieval, flamenco, and Latin music styles. He has performed for dance and theater companies as well as in his own bands, including the jazz quintet Whisper Hot and the percussion ensemble Timpanicks. He joined the Guenter Buchwald's Silent Movie Music Company twenty years ago and has since performed for silent films at festivals in Kyoto, Pordenone, and Sodankylä, Finland. He made his first appearance at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival in 2014.