Peter Pan | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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A beautiful restoration of the 1924 silent version, one of the loveliest movies for and about children ever made. Though he's forgotten now, director Herbert Brenon was a formidable figure in the teens and 20s, also known for his work with Annette Kellerman and Theda Bara, his subsequent James Barrie adaptation A Kiss for Cinderella, and his 1926 adaptations of Beau Geste and The Great Gatsby. Peter Pan also benefits from a script by Willis Goldbeck, the superb cinematography of James Wong Howe, and some very charming special effects by Roy Pomeroy, the same man who parted the Red Sea in De Mille's 1923 The Ten Commandments. The cast includes Betty Bronson in the title role, Ernest Torrence as Captain Hook, and Anna May Wong as Tiger Lily. (My own favorite is the only carryover from the stage production, George Ali as Nana the dog.) David Drazin will provide piano accompaniment and, judging from what he played at the preview, this will be a wonderful enhancement, especially sensitive when it comes to dealing with Tinkerbell. Children under 12 will be admitted free when accompanied by an adult. 105 min. Univ. of Chicago Doc Films, 1212 E. 59th, Thursday, May 4, 7:00, 773-702-8575.

--Jonathan Rosenbaum

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