The Church with an Overshot Wheel (1920) Story by O. Henry
DVD STREET DATE: November 1, 2022. Stream now.
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 announces the 2022 restoration of the 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 owned a farmhouse film studio in Voluntown Connecticut from approximately 1915-1924, known as Studio Farm. 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 Vitagraph Studios from 1917 until 1924.
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 was October 22, 2022 at the La Grua Center in Stonington CT during the local Mystic Film Festival. More screenings will follow.