See Hollywood's first cowboy star Tom Mix at Silent Film Night Dec. 14

  • Tom Mix, one of the first Western film stars, will be featured in the next "Silent Film Night" on Tuesday, Dec. 14, with the 1925 movie""The Great K & A Train Robbery."

    Tom Mix, one of the first Western film stars, will be featured in the next "Silent Film Night" on Tuesday, Dec. 14, with the 1925 movie""The Great K & A Train Robbery." Courtesy of Silent Film Society of Chicago

Updated 12/8/2021 6:00 PM

On Tuesday, Dec. 14, Silent Film Night returns with the 1925 Tom Mix movie "The Great K & A Train Robbery" at 7:30 p.m. at the Arcada Theatre, 105 E. Main St. in St. Charles.

First appearing in the 1917 film "The Heart of Texas Ryan," "Tony the Wonder Horse" made 181 movies (silent and sound) with his owner, cowboy star Tom Mix. The films are loaded with stunts, furious shootouts, romance, and set in beautiful western locations.


Live accompaniment on the historic 1927 Arcada organ will be provided by the Chicago area's premiere organist Jay Warren.

Following a series of robberies of the K & A Railroad, detective Tom Gordon is hired to uncover the mystery. Disguised as a bandit, Tom boards the train of K & A President Cullen. Cullen's daughter, Madge, senses that Tom is not a criminal and soon falls in love with him. Madge is sought after by Burton, her father's secretary, who is in league with the bandits. Tom eventually discovers his duplicity, and with the aid of Tony, his horse, rounds up the villains and wins the hand of Madge.

Also shown will be the 1924 animated 10-minute film featuring Felix the Cat in "Felix Goes West."

Cost is $10 or $8 for Silent Film Society of Chicago and Chicago Area Theatre Organ Enthusiasts members and their guests.

For information, visit or

Follow or

by signing up you agree to our terms of service

The Arcada Theatre opened in 1926 as a silent film and vaudeville theater. Relive those glory days of the Roaring Twenties' silent film era the second Tuesday of each month. Jay Warren, Chicago's foremost pipe organ expert will perform on the Arcada's 1926 classically restored 3/16 Marr Colton/Geneva organ.

The next film on Jan. 11 will feature silent film comedian Harry Langdon in the 1927 film "His First Flame."

The story tells of Harry Howells (Langdon), a recent college graduate who's madly in love with his sweetheart Ethel (Kingston) and hopes to marry her. His woman hating uncle, however, Fire chief Amos McCarthy (Dent), tells his nephew to avoid marriage because all women want is money. Even though Harry is determined to marry Ethel, it seems his uncle was right: Ethel is a golddigger. Harry is crestfallen. Her sister, Mary Morgan (Hiatt), however, is very interested in Harry. Still, unhappy, Harry spends the night in the firehouse. That night the fire alarm goes off, and it gives hapless Harry a chance to prove his mettle.

On Feb. 8, it will be the 1926 comedy "The Nervous Wreck," featuring the first movie star named Harrison Ford (no relation), Phyllis Haver, Mack Swain, and Chester Conklin.

Henry Williams, out in Arizona looking for a cure for his imaginary ills, stops at the ranch of Jud Morgan, and decides to stay. Jud's daughter, Sally, attracts his attention, although she is engaged to be married to Sheriff Bob Wells. Henry rides with her to town, where she wants to go shopping for her wedding clothes, but they run out of gas. No, problem' Henry holds up a passing motorist, with a monkey-wrench, and takes gasoline out of his car. They stop at a ranch where the foreman makes them become the cook and dishwasher. Then Jerome Underwood and his daughter, Harriet, arrive and they recognize Henry and Sally as the ones who held them up for gas. The jealous sheriff adds to the complications.


D.W. Griffiths' 1925 film "Sally of the Sawdust," starring the famous vaudevillian W.C. Fields, will be shown on March 8. Because she married a circus performer, Judge Foster (Erville Alderson) casts out his only daughter. Just before her death a few years later, she leaves her little girl Sally (Carol Dempster) in the care of her friend McGargle (W.C. Fields), a good-natured crook, juggler and fakir. Sally grows up in this atmosphere and is unaware of her parentage. McGargle, realizing his responsibility to the child, gets a job with a carnival company playing at Great Meadows, where the Fosters live. A real estate boom has made them wealthy. Sally is a hit with her dancing. Peyton (Alfred Lunt), the son of Judge Foster's friend, falls in love with Sally. To save him, the Judge arranges to have McGargle and Sally arrested. McGargle escapes, but Sally is hunted down and brought back. McGargle, hearing of Sally's plight, steals a Flivver, and after many delays, reaches the courtroom and presents proof of Sally's parentage. The Judge dismisses the case and his wife takes Sally in her arms, but Peyton's claim is stronger and she agrees to become his wife. McGargle is persuaded to remain and is found an outlet for his peculiar talents in selling real estate.

With the start of the baseball season, check out the 1927 film "Casey at the Bat," starring Wallace Beery, Zasu Pitts and Sterling Holloway, on April 12.

Casey is a slovenly junk man in a turn-of- the-20th-century hick town who has a remarkable ability to play baseball. An unscrupulous New York scout signs him up, so Casey and his equally dishonest manager go to the big leagues. Eventually, the scout and manager conspire to get him drunk and bet against him for a crucial game with the pennant at stake.


Get articles sent to your inbox.

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.