The Signal Tower. 1924. USA. Directed by Clarence Brown. Screenplay by James O. Spearing. With Virginia Valli, Rockliffe Fellowes, Wallace Beery, Frankie Darro. 35mm. Silent. 84 min.
Among the densely wooded mountains of Northern California, a railroad signalman (Rockcliffe Fellowes) lives in Arcadian splendor with his wife (Virginia Valli) and young son (Frankie Darro). But a snake enters this paradise, in the form of a flashy relief man (Wallace Beery) with a lustful countenance and a suitcase full of bootleg liquor. Director Clarence Brown (Anna Christie) came into his own with this tour-de-force, which builds to an almost unbearably suspenseful climax on a dark and stormy night. Restored from the only surviving material, a pair of 16mm prints, by the San Francisco Silent Film Festival in association with Photoplay Productions.