Inner courage, great gags and tender romance: Silent Movies with Walt Strony presents Harold Lloyd classic ‘The Kid Brother’ Sunday |

Inner courage, great gags and tender romance: Silent Movies with Walt Strony presents Harold Lloyd classic ‘The Kid Brother’ Sunday

Submitted to The Union

A lawman’s timid son summons his inner strength, whups the bad guys, wins his family’s respect and saves the girl. The belly-aching laughs start at 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 16, at Peace Lutheran Church.

Silent Movies with Walt Strony presents “The Kid Brother” starring the great silent-era comedian Harold Lloyd. Internationally acclaimed theater organist Walt Strony accompanies this classic with music from the period. Actor and producer Lloyd plays the role of Harold Hickory, the slightly built younger brother of two muscled men. Their father is the local sheriff. Through a series of events, Lloyd’s character shows determination and wit that reflects Lloyd’s personal life.

And of course, you’ll howl over the physical comedy Lloyd made famous.

This performance offers the unique combination of film and live concert, much like the original audiences experienced a century ago. Strony performs on his own Walt Strony Signature Series four-keyboard organ, on loan to Peace. His musical selections and variations-on-a-theme evoke the action and emotions on scene, heightening the sensation of being immersed in the film’s story.

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Admission is by donation. All contributions go to the Peace Organ Fund. Our goal: Replace the aging organ now in our Sanctuary with a magnificent new instrument capable of playing real pipes. Peace members are excited about creating a thrilling musical experience for both our worship and for secular presentations to benefit our community.

A free wine-and-cheese reception follows the movie, starting at about 5:15 p.m. in the Fellowship Center, overlooking cypress and pine trees. Bring your Valentine to enjoy this relaxed social scene.

Lloyd’s own story reflected in “Kid Brother”

Lloyd rose from a bit player in the early days of film to the star of his own studio. Film critic Carrie Rickey describes the continuity between Lloyd’s professional life and that of his on-screen characters for The Criterion Collection, which carries “The Kid Brother” on DVD. Like Harold Hickory, Rickey suggests, Lloyd was a determined and creative person who overcame adversity to reach his goals.

“Made at the apex of Lloyd’s career and of silent film, (‘The Kid Brother’) is the most lyrical of his features and, arguably, the funniest,” Rickey writes. “It’s a series of gags with a tender romance that runs through it, and a terrifically funny and suspenseful action sequence in its third act.”

Lloyd filmed “Kid Brother” in then-rural southern California, with the abandoned ship scenes on Catalina Island. The rich scenes depicting small-town life, a traveling medicine show, rich landscapes and an abandoned ship elevate Lloyd’s particular brand of slapstick.

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