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The Eagle (1925) + live piano score (U)

9 April

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  • A Autism friendly
  • C Captioned
  • D Dementia friendly


The Eagle is in many ways Rudolph Valentino’s best film. Set in Russia in the time of Catherine the Great, he plays a Lieutenant in the Russian Imperial Guard who has attracted the unwanted attention of the Empress. Hearing from his father that an evil nobleman is taking over his lands and terrorising the countryside, he returns home fleeing from Catherine, who in her anger puts a price on his head. Can he save his lands, placate Catherine and marry Mascha, the woman whom he loves?

With a wonderful supporting cast including Louise Dresser as Catherine and Vilma Bánky as Mascha, Valentino displays an unexpected gift for comedy as well as romance. If you’ve never seen a Valentino film this is a great place to start. Directed by Clarence Brown, the film shows what a high level of production that Hollywood was capable of in the mid-1920s.

The film will have a live piano score played by John Sweeney. John has played for silent film since 1990, starting at Riverside Studios in London and subsequently playing at many venues in Britain including the National Film Theatre, the Barbican Cinema, Broadway in Nottingham, the Imperial War Museum, and Watershed in Bristol. He has played for the British Silent Cinema Festival since its inception and has since 2000 been a regular pianist at the Giornate del Cinema Muto in Pordenone, Italy. In 2018 he composed and performed a score for the London Film Festival Archive Gala, The Great Victorian Picture Show, which he subsequently performed at MOMA in New York and at the Cinema Ritrovato festival in Italy, where he is a regular performer.

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  • Director Clarence Brown
  • Cast Rudolph Valentino, Vilma Bánky, Louise Dresser
  • Year of Production 1925
  • Country USA
  • Running Time 1h16m
  • Certificate U
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