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December 4 , 2005

What's Going On At Circus Beely

December 4 (Sunday) 7 pm

What's Going On At Circus Beely

Directed by Harry Piel
Germany 1926, b/w (tinted), 85 min.

Nicknamed the "dynamite director" because of the many exploding bridges and houses that appeared in his films, Harry Piel demonstrated his taste for adventure in front of the camera as well. Piel directed over 100 films in his career and played the leading role in many of them, adapting his young experience as a stunt pilot to his action hero persona and performing many of the stunts himself. Circus Beely, Piel's 75th film, represents the only material of the film, and Piel's only feature, known to survive. This print, preserved by the Cineteca Italiana and recently elaborately restored, is a true early action film-replete with breakneck scenes involving tangles with a lion, a wrestler, and a masked man. In 1926, Piel's films were playing in some 1,200 of Germany's 3,500 cinemas, an indication of the immense popularity he enjoyed at the time he produced this sensational murder mystery.

This screening is co-presented with the Goethe-Institut Boston.

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Harvard Film Archive • Carpenter Center • 24 Quincy Street • Cambridge MA 02138 • 617-495-4700