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FLICKS FILM AND VIDEO NOTES : Golden Silence : Five silent films, including those of Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton, will be shown at Olivas Adobe on Aug. 17.

August 08, 1991|LEO SMITH | TIMES STAFF WRITER

If silence is golden, Ventura's Olivas Adobe could be another Fort Knox.

Tickets are on sale now for the "Classic Silent Movie Comedies" night at the adobe on Aug. 17. The five-film lineup for the evening will come straight from the quiet archives of silent film buff Leif Engeswick of Ventura.

The movies scheduled to be shown are:

* A remake of the 1895 film "Watering the Gardener," as performed by adobe historian Richard Senate and his son, Kyle. "I don't want to give the plot away," said Engeswick of the 20-second presentation, "but . . . it's basically about a man out watering his garden." Without ruining the story, let's just say that thanks to a mischievous boy, the gardener ends up getting a little wet himself.

* Next up is the 1909 film "Those Awful Hats," which was made to remind women to remove their hats in the theater. "At the turn of the century, ladies' fashions dictated that they wear enormous hats that were elaborately decorated," Engeswick said.

* No. 3 on the schedule is the 1916 Charlie Chaplin film "The Vagabond," in which a tramp rescues a Gypsy girl from an evil-doer. Engeswick said the film isn't one of Chaplain's all-time sidesplitting comedies. "By this time, he was thinking of the tramp as a sensitive down-and-out person. There are touches of humor in the second part of the film, but it's largely a romantic film." With a happy ending.

* Then it's on to "Stage Struck," a 1928 cartoon by Paul Terry, who would later produce the Mighty Mouse and Heckyl and Jeckyl animated films. "Stage Struck" stars farmer Al Falfa, a gullible fall guy. The cartoon was made just as sound was coming on the scene, but this version is silent. Engeswick said it's possible that the film was released to theaters in both sound and silent versions.

* The fifth flick of the evening will be "Cops," a 1922 production starring Buster Keaton as a man in the wrong place at the wrong time. He starts out looking for a job, but runs into a con artist.

The first movie should begin around 7:30 p.m. in the outdoor theater. Before that, Wes Lambert of Camarillo will demonstrate antique movie cameras from his collection and Senate will talk about the county's role in silent films.

Tickets are $2 for adults and $1 for children 12 and younger. Children under 6 will be admitted free. To order in advance, call the Ventura Parks and Recreation Department at 658-4726. Tickets also will be available at the door. The Olivas Adobe is located at 4200 Olivas Park Drive, Ventura. For more information, call 644-4346.

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