Snow White (1916 Silent Film)
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SNOW WHITE (1916 SILENT FILM)

FEBRUARY 24

Snow White silent film with Harpist Leslie McMichael & Viola by Barbara McMichael in person.

The silent film SNOW WHITE was released on Christmas Day 1916 and starred now-forgotten actress Marguerite Clark. Once as popular as Mary Pickford, Clark’s entire sparkling career disappeared when her films were lost in a vault fire (a not-uncommon occurrence with the highly flammable early nitrate films). In 1992, a copy of SNOW WHITE was discovered in a film archive in the Netherlands and restored by the George Eastman House film archive.

Harpist-composer Leslie McMichael was commissioned to write a new score for this old film by Children’s Film Festival Seattle in 2016, the 100th anniversary of the film’s debut. McMichael’s fairy tale composition is for harp and viola and is seamlessly played live by harp and viola as the film is shown. The viola part is played by the composer’s sister, Barbara McMichael.

This film is significant to historians because a young Walt Disney saw this silent version of SNOW WHITE in Kansas City as a teenager. Evidently, he was so inspired by the experience, this was the story he chose to release when his studio released the first major sound era animated feature length film, a turning point in animation history.

STARRING

Leslie McMichael

RELEASE DATE

1916

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