MUFF x Toronto Silent Film Fest: Why Be Good?
Hey! Guess what? We’re co-presenting Toronto Silent Film Festival’s opening night film and it’s gonna be awwwwweeeesomeeeee!
When Shirley Hughes, festival director of the Toronto Silent Film Festival, first emailed us to pitch the idea of a co-presentation, she gushed about their opening night lineup and why it would be such a great match for MUFF.
Why Be Good? (1929) is the last silent film by superstar actress Colleen Moore. She was a top star (and, truly, the physical embodiment of the flapper spirit) in the 1920s, but most of her work is now considered lost. It wasn’t until 2012 that the long-thought lost 35mm print of Why Be Good? was found, sitting virtually forgotten in the Bologna Italy film archive. Through the dedicated and tireless work of several individuals, groups, the archive, and Warner Brothers, this film has now been restored to its full glory and is ready to once again grace the big screen!
Why Be Good? is a sparkling romantic comedy, filled with wonderful sight gags, biting retorts, feminist sass, and a remarkable performance from Moore. Starring as top-notch salesgirl Pert Kelly, Moore’s character is rebelling against a conservative prude of a father and encouraged by a supportive mother who doesn’t want her daughter to miss out on the freedoms which were unavailable to her when she was young.
Pert Kelly spends her days killin’ it at the sales game and her nights letting loose: smoking, drinking bootleg booze, flirting with men, and dancing up a storm! With her brilliant bob, lithe dancer body, and exuberant personality, Pert has no trouble being the life of every party.
Throughout the rest of the film, Pert dodges slimeballs, charms the dreamboat she has her eye on, and, above all else, stays true to herself. To give a highlight of her chutzpah: when her “good girl” status is put to the test by her new beau, she responds brilliantly with “You men! You insist on a girl being just what you want—and then you bawl her for being it!”
What a badass. Sounds #MUFFApproved to us!
The screening will take place 7:00 PM at The Royal Cinema in Toronto. This will be the CANADIAN PREMIERE of this beautifully restored print!
AND WAIT, THERE’S MORE! Before Why Be Good? you’ll get to see the short film The First Misunderstanding (1911), which was the first film in which actress Mary Pickford was named as a star. This short was also thought to be lost, until a few years ago when a curious contractor looked inside a decaying New Hampshire shed and found several reels of nitrate.
Check out the Toronto Silent Film Fest website to see their entire six day lineup, and remember: “Why be good, when it’s more thrilling to be bad?” We’ll see you there!