Too Much Johnson (1938) with live music from Manhattan on the Rocks, Tuesday, December 1st, 7 PM @ the Darkside Cinema

For the Tuesday December 1st edition of CMNYK, we welcome back Manhattan on the Rocks, who will be playing live jazz music in the theater as they did for the one year anniversary screening on July 7th. This time around we have a somewhat more ambitious screening planned, as instead of accompanying a short before the feature, Manhattan on the Rocks will be playing along with the feature itself, Orson Welles’ once thought to be lost silent film, Too Much Johnson (1938).
Based on an unfinished concept by Welles, which was way ahead of its time, the film was meant to be part of a multimedia production of the play Too Much Johnson, by William Gillette, that Welles and his Mercury Theatre Troupe were staging. Welles envisioned a brilliant but ultimately unrealizable concept of a stage play with big budget comedic action sequences projected live in between swathes of dialogue.
Filmed in 1938, Johnson is the wild tale of a love triangle that spins out of control with hilarious and classically cinematic consequences. Starring the legendary Joseph Cotten, the film is beautiful and simultaneously inscrutable due to the missing sequences of the play which were never filmed, being meant to be performed on stage. The project was scrapped by Welles as a failure and a learning experience, but it leaves us with an important bit of film history to enjoy.
On Tuesday, December 1, at 7:00 PM at the Darkside Cinema, CMNYK will screen the 67 minute Too Much Johnson, with live music provided by local jazz band, Manhattan on the Rocks. The screening will be preceded by newsreels, shorts and cartoons from 1938, as well as an introduction from Ygal Kaufman, who will shed some light on the plot of the play to aide in your enjoyment of the film. Admission is free as usual, but donations are accepted and benefit the Darkside Cinema renovations and Manhattan on the Rocks. Better get there early, this one could fill up fast.
Don’t forget to stop by our sponsor, The Majestic Theatre, for all their great programming.

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