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Grass: A Nation's Battle for Life

Merian C. Cooper, Ernest B. Schoedsack, and Marguerite Harrison, 1926
Grass: A Nation's Battle for Life

Grass: A Nation's Battle for Life

Saturday Sep 22, at 7:00 pm at The King Center

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Directed by: Merian C. Cooper, Ernest B. Schoedsack, and Marguerite Harrison

Live musical accompaniment by: Hank Troy

The three filmmakers journeyed by horse-drawn wagon eastward from then-Constantinople in search of the Baktiari, a nomadic people of Iran and the Hindu Kush mountains. A jaw-dropping picture of how the Baktiari lived in the 1920s. The sight of 50,000 people with their sheep and goats crossing first a swollen river and then a 13,000-foot mountain (in bare feet) will knock your socks off!


Preceded by A Trip to the Moon/ Le Voyage dans la Lune (Georges Méliès, 1902, 14 minutes) presented by Serge Bromberg, winner of DSFF’s career achievement award and the restorer of this early masterpiece.

The King Center
855 Lawrence Way
Denver, Colorado 80204 Get Tickets


picture of Merian C. Cooper & Ernest B. Schoedsack

Merian C. Cooper & Ernest B. Schoedsack

Cooper (1893-1973) and Schoedsack (1893-1979) were both pilots in World War I. Cooper was shot down twice, and then when he joined the Polish fight against invading Soviet troops he was shot down again. The two wild-men adventurers met in 1920 in Poland, and several years later cooked up the idea of traveling east by horse cart from then- Constantinople in search of what they considered the lost tribe of the Baktiari in western Iran. Grass is one of the great so-called expedition films, but the pair weren’t finished by a long shot. They then went to then-Siam to make a part-documentary, part-fiction movie called Chang, and then they gave up entirely on the documentary part of their adventure projects and fictionalized entirely an expedition film about a film crew going to a remote island where a huge ape ruled a land of prehistoric beasts. Yes, it’s the 1933 King Kong, and when the warplanes attack Kong clinging to the top of the Empire State Building, the pilots who gun him down are indeed Cooper and Schoedsack. While Schoedsack had a modest post-Kong career, Cooper became a significant producer, including five films with John Ford.