UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif., May 31, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Universal Pictures will be premiering the restored 1920 silent film Outside the Law during the 2017 San Francisco Silent Film Festival. Directed by Tod Browning (Dracula 1931) and starring Priscilla Dean and Lon Chaney, Outside the Law is a crime drama with a high-society jewel heist. The screening takes place on Saturday, June 3, 2017 at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco.
"Outside the Law is significant for using camera techniques that enabled Lon Chaney to shoot himself as another character, which was innovative for the time," said Michael Daruty, Senior Vice President, Global Media Operations at NBCUniversal. "It is also one of ten feature films that paired Tod Browning and Lon Chaney together at Universal. We are proud to continue our restoration initiative with this film."
Outside the Law originally opened in Los Angeles on December 26, 1920, and was released wide in January 1921. In the story, gang leader "Black Mike" Sylva (Lon Chaney) frames "Silent" Madden (Ralph Lewis), which makes Madden's daughter Molly (Priscilla Dean) determined to revenge herself on society. Not knowing of the frame-up, Molly joins Black Mike's gang and agrees to aid in a jewel robbery at a high-society event. After finding out the truth, Molly and "Dapper Bill" (Wheeler Oakman) take the jewels for themselves, leading to an all-out battle between the gangs. In addition to filming at Universal Studios, exteriors for Outside the Law were filmed in San Francisco, including shots of Chinatown, Nob Hill, and the waterfront area.
After a worldwide search by NBCUniversal Global Media Operations, the best quality source elements were found at the Library of Congress who loaned a 35mm safety dupe negative for the restoration. Assistance was also provided by The Packard Humanities Institute at the UCLA Film & Television Archive. The 4K digital restoration was completed by NBCUniversal StudioPost.
The Universal Pictures silent film restoration initiative builds on the company's ongoing restoration commitment. Other silent films that have been restored include Oh, Doctor!, The Last Warning (which premiered at SFSFF 2016) and Sensation Seekers (which premiered at MoMA in May). Since the restoration program was first announced in 2012, over 65 titles have been restored. Fully restored titles to date include All Quiet on the Western Front, The Birds, Buck Privates, Dracula (1931), Dracula Spanish (1931), Frankenstein, Jaws, Schindler's List, Out of Africa, Pillow Talk, Bride of Frankenstein, The Sting, To Kill a Mockingbird, Touch of Evil, Double Indemnity, Holiday Inn, Spartacus, King of Jazz, One-Eyed Jacks, and Cleopatra.
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SOURCE Universal Studios