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The Boston Globe


Local films, festivals, and faces

Celebrating a silent, spirited ‘Peter Pan’

It may not be considered a traditional holiday film, but few stories bring more spirit and magic to the screen than “Peter Pan.” In 1924, director Herbert Brenon made the first feature film adaptation of J.M. Barrie’s classic play about a group of children whisked to a far-off land where no one ages. Hollywood lore has it that Betty Bronson was hand-selected by author Barrie to play Peter over several Hollywood superstars, most notably Gloria Swanson and Mary Pickford. Anna May Wong, the first Chinese-American movie star, is the definitive Tiger Lily and there are some eye-popping special effects, from the mermaids to Tinkerbelle’s house. On Monday at 7 p.m., the Coolidge Corner Theatre presents a restored 35mm print of “Peter Pan” as part of its Sounds of Silents series, with a live harp score performed by Seattle native and Wellesley College graduate Leslie McMichael, who is traveling the Northeast accompanying the film. McMichael’s original score incorporates elements of ragtime, Celtic-infused sea chanteys, and poignant recurring theme music for many of the main characters.

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