The Church With an Overshot Wheel (1920) Story by O Henry. Directed by Joseph Byron Totten
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).
Green Planet Films is pleased to announce the 2022 restoration of silent film The Church with an Overshot Wheel (1920). Story by American author O Henry. Directed by Joseph Byron Totten. Restored by The Academy Film Archive in Los Angeles, with funding from Green Planet Films. Totten had a farmhouse film studio in Voluntown Connecticut from approximately 1915-1924, known as Studio Farm.
The Church with an Overshot Wheel is one of two surviving O Henry stories created for silent film.
from "Vitagraph: America's First Great Motion Picture Studio"
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.
Green Planet Films commissioned Connecticut composer Donald Sosin to create a score.
The world premiere of the restored silent film is October 22, 2022 at the La Grua Center, Stonington CT at 5:30pm during the local Mystic Film Festival. More screenings will follow.