This year’s edition of the Old Pasadena Film Festival included a very special occasion. We were offered the opportunity to present a recently restored version of the Mary Pickford silent film Daddy Long-Legs (1919), her 226th film appearance at the age of 27, with a newly commissioned score composed by Maria Newman. This particular film coined Mary Pickford as “America’s Sweetheart” and one of the most beloved actresses in history.
The composer Maria Newman was born into one of the most famous and influential musical families in Hollywood. The youngest daughter of the nine-time Academy Award-winning composer/conductor, Alfred Newman (The King and I), she grew up in a family of renowned musicians and composers, including Randy Newman (Toy Story). Ms. Newman has received numerous commissions from the Mary Pickford Foundation to compose original music for newly restored vintage classic films of the silent era.
So it was that on a balmy Saturday evening in Old Pasadena, members of the Malibu Coast Chamber Orchestra performed the exhilarating musical score to the silent film under the direction of Maria Newman. On July 11th, the film was screened for a capacity crowd in the Courtyard at One Colorado and the musicians received a warm standing ovation at the end of their performance.
We have received wonderfully enthusiastic praise for this event and heard from many people who treasured this magical evening. Don’t miss the last weekend of the 2009 Old Pasadena Film Festival featuring An American in Paris and Gypsy on Friday, July 24th, West Side Story and Twilight on Saturday, July 25th.