We all enjoyed a wonderful weekend in Los Angeles in preparation for the sceening of “Ramona” on Saturday at the UCLA Billy Wilder Theater.
Prior to the event, we attended a pre-screening party hosted by Diane Allen, a granddaughter to Edwin Carewe and a cousin to many of us. The party was a huge success and was attended by a wide variety of industry people who also had an interest or hand in this project.
When we arrived to the Billy Wilder theater, you could feel the buzz in the air with anticipation of seeing a movie which had not been viewed for some 85 years. Ramona, based on the book by author Helen Hunt Jackson, is a wonderful story of early California history.
This particular film has had quite a storied history. During WWII, a print of “Ramona” was in Czechoslovakia and was confiscated by the Nazi’s and sent to Berlin. At the end of the war, Soviet soldiers took the movie back to Russia where it remained for many years in obscurity. In the 1960’s, a Czech archivist located the film in the Russian archives and brought it back to the Czech archives since this copy contained Czech language subtitles. It is truly amazing that this film survived such a journey and yet today, it has been restored to all its previous glory.
During the screening, which was also presented by Diane Allen, the Mont-Alto Motion Picture Orchestra was on hand to lend their talent and musical score to the movie. In my view, it was the music score to this movie which truly told the story in all of its lore. The music was so critical to telling the story and the Mont-Alto Orchestra did a superb job of presenting the music to accompany the film. You can learn more about the Mont-Alto Orchestra by visiting their website here:
On behalf of all of us and our greater family at large, we thank everyone who had a hand in making this restoration a reality. We would also like to thank Diane Allen for her unwavering support to make this event a true success and wonderful experience. There will be other showings of this film and we will do our best to post this information as it becomes available.
You can hear Dolores del Rio signing the title song, “Ramona” in both the Biography page and also the Filmography page to this website.