New Release- Restored 1920 Silent Film: The Church With an Overshot Wheel

Silent Film

Green Planet Films announces the 2022 restoration of the silent film The Church with an Overshot Wheel (1920).

Green Planet is proud to present this recovered gem of the silent film era directed by Joseph Byron Totten. Totten owned a farmhouse film studio, known as Studio Farm, in Voluntown, Connecticut from approximately 1915-1924. The Church with an Overshot Whee is based on a story by renowned American author O Henry, and Restored by The Academy Film Archive in Los Angeles, the film has been given a new musical score composed by Donald Sosin.    

The Church with an Overshot Wheel is one of two surviving O. Henry stories (out of 94) produced by Albert E Smith of Vitagraph Studios from 1917 until 1924.  

Below excerpt from "Vitagraph: America's First Great Motion Picture Studio" 2021
by Andrew A. Erish

On February 1, 1917, Vitagraph entered into a six-year contract with publisher Doubleday Page & Company and the heirs of author William Sidney Porter to adapt his O. Henry stories into two-reel shorts and a few longer features. Initially, the films were 'personally supervised by J. Stuart Blackton, for twenty years the dominant genius of the photoplay and ... responsible for more big, world-wide photoplay successes than any other one producer." After Blackton left, Albert Smith became the presiding genius supervising the O. Henrys. Unfortunately, only two of the ninety-four O. Henry films produced by Vitagraph are known to survive. A Philistine in Bohemia (1920) contains beautifully photographed New York City locations such as Union Square Park and adjacent 14th Street and Washington Square Park as well as shots of a Jewish street vendor and inside an Italian barber shop.

STORY: A grain miller lost his daughter and converted his mill into a church.  (The 'church' is the Old Town Mill in New London Connecticut).

This film was restored by The Academy Film Archive in Los Angeles, with funding from Green Planet Films. Read the Feature Article in the New London Day about the restoration and debut of the film:

Older Post Newer Post