In a tribute to the 100th anniversary of Hollywood, the silent film, "The Vanishing American" will be screened at Paramount Ranch in Agoura next Friday. The 1926 film will be shown at 8 p.m. in the open-air pavilion on the 300-acre ranch whose standing set of a typical old Western town is often used for filming.
The showing is sponsored jointly by the National Park Service and the Silent Society, an organization that preserves historical films that are educational and entertaining. Based on a Zane Grey book, "The Vanishing American" is a prime example of early film-making that remains "sensitive to Native Americans," said Silent Society special projects director Alice Allen. "Though melodramatic and by our standards dated and a bit naive for its time, the film represents a radical departure from the typical stereotyped images of the West," she said.
To retain the flavor of pre-talkies, Robert Israel, a regular musician for the Silent Society, will play the original piano score. The public is invited to come early for picnicking. There will be folding chairs and free parking. Bring flashlights to return to the parking lot. The Silent Society will have membership information and donations will be accepted.
Starring Richard Dix as the brave Indian agent who outwits scheming white horse traders and, in the bargain, protects Lois Wilson as the pure school marm, "The Vanishing American" also features Noah Beery and Malcolm McGregor.