Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Film Series, Envisioning Los Angeles: Past, Present, Future – The Salvation Hunters
5905 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036
The Salvation Hunters
1925/b&w/72 min./silent/35mm restored print courtesy of the UCLA Film & Television Archive. Scr/dir: Josef von Sternberg; w/ George K. Arthur, Georgia Hale, Bruce Guerin, Otto Matiesen, Nellie Bly Baker.
Josef von Sternberg’s feature debut is also one of America’s first independent films. Shot on a slim budget raised by its leading man (George K. Arthur), this “film about thought” trades backlot expedience for location grit. Sternberg’s saga follow a boy and a girl as they rescue an orphan and journey from the “mud” to the “sun”—along the way passing through San Pedro, Chinatown and the San Fernando Valley. Long unseen, The Salvation Hunters has only been recently restored. In the words of Sternberg, “I had in mind a visual poem. Instead of flat lighting, shadows. In the place of pasty masks, faces in relief, plastic and deep-eyed. Instead of scenery which meant nothing, an emotionalized background that would transfer itself into my foreground. Instead of saccharine characters, sober figures moving in rhythm.”
Live musical accompaniment by Robert Israel.
Bing Theater | $10 general admission; $7 LACMA members, seniors (62+), and students with valid ID; $5 LACMA Film Club. Includes admission to Double Indemnity. | Tickets: 323 857-6010 or purchase online.
In conjunction with the exhibition The Presence of the Past, this film series curated by Bernardo Rondeau, Assistant Curator of Film, aims to capture representations of past, present and future Los Angeles onscreen.