Town Hall Theatre in Wilton presents ‘Eagle of the Night’

  • A scene from “Eagle of the Night” (1928), a 10-part aviation serial drama released late in the silent era. COURTESY PHOTO

Published: 9/11/2023 8:00:06 PM

Although it's missing some parts, enough survives of “Eagle of the Night,” a 1928 silent-era aviation adventure serial, for audiences to follow the story. What remains of the 10-chapter saga will be shown on Sunday, Sept. 17, at 2 p.m. at the Town Hall Theatre, 40 Main St., Wilton.

Admission is free, with a suggested donation of $10. Live music will be provided by silent film accompanist Jeff Rapsis. The screening is part of "Not Known to be Shown," a series of early films that never played at the Wilton venue when originally released.

'Eagle of the Night' is a 1928 American drama film serial directed by James F. Fulton. Dismissed when released  and forgotten in the modern era, the 10-chapter aviation serial starred real-life aviator Frank Clarke, a stunt pilot whose talents were featured in better-known films of the era, including “Wings” (1927) and “Hell's Angels” (1930).

“Eagle of the Night” was one of the last silent film serials produced by Pathé Studios. The entire serial is not known to exist, with half of chapters three and six, all of seven, eight and nine and the beginning of the 10th and final chapter considered lost. The surviving footage runs about one hour and 50 minutes.

In “Eagle of the Night,” unscrupulous smugglers are attempting to steal the "Magic Muffler," a device that can make an aircraft practically silent. Flying at night would make the smugglers and their forays across the border, impossible to detect. The smugglers, led by rancher Paul Murdock (Earl Metcalfe), capture the inventor, Professor Payson (Josef Swickard), holding him hostage until they get the secrets to his invention.

Unable to get Payson to make another device, the gang then kidnaps Professor Payson's daughter (Shirley Palmer) to force her father to work for them. Even faced with torture, she refuses to help the smugglers.

Secret Service agent Frank Boyd (Clarke) is called in to confront Murdock and his gang. With the professor and his daughter on a speeding train, Boyd manages to land his Curtiss "Jenny" aircraft on a flat car of the moving train, in time to effect a rescue and win the girl in the end.

The “Not Known to be Shown” series features obscure dramas, comedies and adventure movies from the silent era. The final film in the series will be Sunday, Oct. 8, at 2 p.m. with "The Red Kimona" (1925). A small-town girl finds escape from her cruel home life in the arms of a handsome stranger, a situation that leads her to work as a prostitute in New Orleans.

Sign up for Monadnock Ledger-Transcript Newsletters
Monadnock Ledger-Transcript Headline Alerts
Monadnock Ledger-Transcript MLT Minute North
Monadnock Ledger-Transcript MLT Minute South
Monadnock Ledger-Transcript Real Estate & Transactions
Monadnock Ledger-Transcript Contests and Promotions
Monadnock Ledger-Transcript Dining & Entertainment
Monadnock Ledger-Transcript Sports


Support Local Journalism

Subscribe to the Monadnock Ledger-Transcript, your source for Peterborough area news.

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

20 Grove St.
Peterborough, NH 03458


© 2021 Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy