'The Strong Man' gets the symphonic treatment
Each summer, Kirk Trevor and the Missouri Symphony Society take classical music to a range of venues around Columbia and Mid-Missouri. From Stephens Lake Park to Douglass Park to Shelter Gardens, classical music fans get to absorb symphonic and chamber works in a range of diverse settings. This Thursday, the Missouri Symphony Orchestra returns to the Missouri Theatre stage to play film music. The movie is the 1926 silent film The Strong Man.
The film being screened at the Missouri Theatre Thursday is Frank Capra's feature-length directorial debut. After The Strong Man was released in 1926, Capra went on to direct dozens of films including fan-favorites including It Happened One Night and It's a Wonderful Life. Summarizing the film's story on IMDB.org, Dan Navarro writes:
A meek Belgian soldier (Harry Langdon) fighting in World War I receives penpal letters and a photo from "Mary Brown", an American girl he has never met. He becomes infatuated with her by long distance. After the war, the young Belgian journeys to America as assistant to a theatrical "strong man", Zandow the Great (Arthur Thalasso). While in America, he searches for Mary Brown... and he finds her, just as word comes that Zandow is incapacitated and the little nebbish must go on stage in his place.
The live orchestral performance this Thursday evening features a 2007 score penned by British composer Carl Davis. In 2007, The Strong Man was selected by the Library of Congress for inclusion in the United States' National Film Registry for being 'culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.'
Several Columbians have asked "Why the unusual start time of 6:51 p.m?" Missouri Symphony Society interim office administrator Nancy Griggs noted that the start time is actually quite normal: "Kirk Trevor picked the time because films start at odd times like that. 6:10 or 7:20. All different times."