Carole Lombard had a supporting role in Billy Bevan's comedy vehicle "The Bicycle Flirt," a Mack Sennett two-reeler released in the spring of 1928. It's one of more than 28,000 films in the collection of the George Eastman House in Rochester, N.Y.:
The one-time mansion of camera pioneer George Eastman, this serves as a museum and an archive, housing more than 2 million photography-related items. It has done yeoman work collecting and restoring films (with its own accredited school, the L. Jeffrey Selznick School of Film Preservation). In her later years, famed actress-turned-writer Louise Brooks lived in Rochester and bequeathed her collection of items to Eastman House.
Now, Turner Classic Movies in the U.S. is honoring this important venue with a 24-hour tribute on Wednesday, beginning at 6:15 a.m. (ET) with a 1918 adaptation of the fabled children's story "The Blue Bird":
The morning highlights are many: Paul Muni's film debut in 1929's "The Valiant" at 7:45 a.m.; a 1937 documentary on the Spanish Civil War, "Spanish Earth," whose creators included Ernest Hemingway, Archibald MacLeish and Lillian Hellman, at 9; and Gloria Swanson's famed talkie debut in 1929's "The Trespasser," at 10. It's a TCM premiere, as Eastman House has the only known complete copy. If you only know Swanson as Norma Desmond, this will set you straight.
The afternoon schedule includes Jeanette MacDonald's only film for United Artists, "The Lottery Bride" (1930) at 1:30 and another early musical, 1931's "Delicious" (starring Janet Gaynor, Charles Farrell and El Brendel, with songs by George and Ira Gershwin) at 4:30.
For the prime-time schedule, Eastman House's head of collection information and access, Jared Case, joins Robert Osborne:
The evening lineup begins at 8 with Stanley Kubrick's rarely-seen first directorial effort, a low-budget war film called "Fear And Desire" (whose cast includes Paul Mazursky in his movie debut). Kubrick himself suppressed this film for many years, as it was the work of a beginning director (Kubrick had been a photographer for Look magazine) in the process of finding himself. At 9:15, TCM will show the 1920 "Huckleberry Finn," directed by William Desmond Taylor, who, like Thomas Ince, is today unfortunately primarily remembered for his demise rather than his artistic talent. If you can stay up late or can set your recorder, TCM has John Ford's 1934 historical effort "The World Moves On," with Madeleine Carroll and Franchot Tone, at 2:45.
You can see the entire schedule at http://www.tcm.com/schedule/index.html?tz=est&sdate=2011-12-14, learn more about the day's event at http://www.tcm.com/this-month/article/453452|0/A-Tribute-to-the-George-Eastman-House-12-14.html and visit the Eastman site at http://www.eastmanhouse.org. All in all, a wonderful salute to a place that has kept the history of film alive in sundry ways for more than six decades.