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Peg O’ My Heart (1922) with Laurette Taylor

Played for Peg O’ My Heart at MoMA last night, and will play for its repeat on Thursday. Print is MoMA’s, acquired from Filmoteca Española, Madrid. Titles were all in English, possibly made by the archive as part of their preservation work, as they looked newer than the film. The film is basically complete, with a number of jumps where I’m assuming footage is missing due to nitrate decomp. Laurette Taylor has a great deal of pancake make-up and has a follow spot on her face at all times, probably to help cover her age (she was 38, playing a teenager).

I played the infamous standard Peg O’ My Heart, but just during the opening titles as the feel of the song doesn’t match the film at all — the film is very Irish (can only imagine what John Ford might have done with it, besides giving J. Warren Kerrigan a character part). MoMA’s Ron Magliozzi, an expert on film-related sheet music (among other things) confirmed my hunch that the song was not part of the film. Following the stage play in 1912 which was a big hit, the song was written and published in 1913 and introduced in the Ziegfeld Follies; another edition of the sheet music was published in 1922 to promote the film.

Have now booked an additional 9 DW Griffith shows at MoMA concurrent with the Desmet series (July 1-10), making July’s performance total a whopping 26.

See you at the silents!

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