Moving Picture Exhibitors' Association.

Photoplay (Volume 36 – 37 (Jul. - Dec. 1929)) online

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around here suggested iilming the Cruci-
fbdon. they'd want to make it a dream!"

"Oh," moaned Sam, "If it only had been!"

Most men mnst Itint to booze or fights

To make llieir lives a wow,
But Greta Garho's all I need —

For she's my danger now!

' I 'HERE'S at least one young mummer in
•*- Hollywood who has never shown the
slightest symptom of going actor, and that is
Mr. Richard Arlen, who did not wTite "The
Green Hat."

He doesn't own a derby, nor a walking stick,
nor even one spat, let alone a pair. Beside the
professionally dandified Jlenjou, Arlen is just
a young fellow who drops in to read the gas

The other day he dropped into a shop to buy
a coat for wife Jobyna Ralston. The sales-
girls were all broken up over his modest ap-

" Gee, ain't it a blow?" said one. "He's good
looking on the screen, too. Ain't it a pity he
doesn't wear classy clothes?"



You don't hear any kick from the vaudeville
troupe because a lilm dop wants to earn a
living. Their motto must be "live and let live."
By the ""ay, no one in New York is trying to
freeze Bert Lytell out of the line show,

Milton Hutchinson.

Rip Van Winkle Wakes

Bedford, Va.

The screen had been airing its gift of gab
for about a year when I saw, heard and. alas,
suffered the fact. The pain of the ear-
drums in this case was attributed to the well
known atrocity, namely "Tenderloin."

With the memory of "Tenderloin" not
deadened a whit by a year's time, I dubiously
bought a ticket to a talking picture. The
picture was "Broadway Melody."

That picture made me realize how Rip \'an
Winkle's feelings were \\'hen he emerged from
his cat nap. Since then I have seen all the
good talking movies.

Now I am going back to school. No more
movies for a year. But I can stand it like the
Jail Bird of the moxies does. For I know at the
end of the year, the voice of the talkies, not
little Nell, will greet me.


My, Such Big Words!

New York, N. Y.

Again I passed an almost ineffable evening,
reluctantly listening to the much heralded and
equally protested "all-talkie" cinema.

In its reactionary stride, the loquacious
feature revealed its malefactors. Through
mediums of public opinion, animadversion
stressed the unmodulated tone together with
the phonographic effect, causing unrealistic

"True" may ratiocinate the producer, but
the talkie is in its experimental stage and the
reaUstic effect is our goal and "Utopia."
Sam Stessix.

You're an Actress, Gal!

Decatur, .Ala.
The talkies? Oh, they're all right for some
folks I guess, but the effect they've produced
on me is terrible. I was just another Southern
girl with the typical Southern drawl until
this talkie thing came along. Well, now I'm
wrecked. I've spent so much time in these


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Movietone and Vitaphone places that I'll
never be the same. I sound like some small
boy — you know the kind whose voice refuses
to stay the same. One moment I'm my old
Southern self — then presto! I've suddenly
turned Western or whatever brogue is used in
the current talkies. Something's got to be
done about it.


Talkies Do a Good Deed

Long Beach, Calif.

Before the advent of the talkies both boys
and girls hated going to movies with me be-
cause I am so nearsighted. Sitting down as
near the front as I necessarily had to, to read
the subtitles, gave them a headache.

Therefore, imagine my overwhelming joy
at the talkies, which permitted my sitting as
far back as anyone else wanted.

I now go to movies wth both girls and
boys and no one suffers, for I can see the
actual pictures easily.

If the talkies are hard on the deaf, they're a
pleasure to the blind, and an infinitely greater
advantage to the nearsighted, who outnumber
both the aforementioned groups.

Karalyx Pickett.

Some Like 'Em Bad

Wheeling, W. Va.

Have you noticed the change? Already
there are hundreds and hundreds of people,
who used to think the movies juvenile, who
now go in legions. It is not any wonder, for
the type of thing that we are now getting, such
as "Charming Sinners," "The Last of Mrs.
Cheyney" and the like are so far removed
from the old t>pe of pictures that cultivated
people can now go to the shows and not feel
that the half dollar was wasted. Something
just had to happen, for we were all so tired of
seeing the heroine and hero possess all the
virtues, and now we have sane, life-like people.

The movies have lost none of their appeal
to the average audience and, in the bargain,
have gained new fans through the new medium
of talking pictures, plus the real talent of stage
players, such as Ruth Chatterton.

C. B. V.

Montreal, Canada.

AMiat is badly needed is natural stories. I
am sure you imagine how tiresome we are, we
poor movie goers, being always sure that the
nice boy in the play is perfect, that he will be
in time to finish and win the game and that
the young goddess nill fall hard in his arm.

We need bad people. As they all are.
"Nothing is so ugly as an honest man's

P. Beauregard.

Dry Those Tears

San Francisco, Calif.

I am curious about this sudden desire of our
mirth-producing favorites: Al Jolson, Mary
Pickford, etc., to turn us into weeping-willows.

Jolson's last two pictures: Sobs, tears, and
sniffles, until you were unable to either hear or
see what was going on, let alone the dejected
feeling and miserable headache we took home.
Mary Pickford's "Coquette" had the most
disappointing and most heart-rending finis
ever heard of; enough to spoil one's appetite
for a week.

What has gotten into these people, who
have amassed millions by their laugh-pro-
ducing abilities?

We need "gloom chasers." Down vnth
tragedy! — and — Three Cheers for Maurice
Chevalier, our international "Knight-of-
Mirth!" (Chevalier means Knight.) More
power to him!

H. .\ndersox.

A New World

Fort Worth, Texas.

After years of living in a world of shapes and
sizes and things, I suddenly realized that there
was yet another world. One even more un-
believably lovely. W'hen I saw my first color
movie, "On with the Show," I thought that
it was enchanting and gorgeous and then I
surprisingly realized — "Why, this is the place
we live in — this color world that I have never
before seen."

Oh! I had seen broken bits of it, but never
before a color harmony. It was as if there was
a new dimension of color gorgeousness, always
known with the mind, but of which my senses
were newly aware. A new world is mine and
so I say, "I thank you."

Forest .Appleby.

Appreciation for the Newsrecl

Sumner, Wash.

I am writing this letter to express my
appreciation for the work of the cameramen
who make it possible for us to see the important
events of the day and all the famous places.

When I am not at school I work on the farm
from morning till night, and I have no time to
travel; in fact, I have never been outside of
the county in which I have li\'ed since
coming to .\merica sixteen years ago. But the
news pictures which I see at the theaters
make me feel as if I'm actually travelling along
with the crowd through France or China.

Once more I wish to say that these camera-
men who go through many real dangers in
order to show us these splendid pictures
deserve lots of credit.


Indianapolis, Ind.

1 work in a factory. Though I have
had two years of college, I ain fitted
for no other work, and the sudden
death of my father made self-support

As a factory worker I cannot afford
to run with the old crowds, and I do
not want to go with the people with
whom I work. So I am left out, and
go nowhere.

Every advertisement in pnOTOPI..\T MAGAZINE is guaranteed.

But once a week 1 manage to save
fifty cents or do without a meal to go
to the movies. There, with my old
clothes newly and neatly pressed, I
may slip in among these people, who
I feel are my own kind.

On the screen, too, with the
pictures, I can live over the old
days, and once more life is to me
a joy.

Laine Rogers.

Photoplay Magazine for December, 1929


Does She Mean Theme Song?

Stamford, Conn.

A great deal of stress is being placed on the
subject of "theme songs." Many want the
theme songs discarded. Discard theme songs?
And why? The theme song plays a great part
in the picture. It gives the picture more im-
portance — more enjo\Tnent is derived from it.

What would "The I.ady of the Pavements,"
''The Wolf Song," "The Man I Love," and
hundreds of other pictures be ^^■ithout a theme

The theme song is the whole thing! It
carries the picture to the hearts of its audience.
Hold your own, theme songs!

Helen Agnes Poltrack.

Who, Indeed?

.Adams, Mass.

In my town there are fifty-five out of every
one hundred people who believe that motion
pictures are sinful. They say they will make
bandits and fools of the children. But as I
said in an argument the other day, "Don't the
bad men of the plays set an example as to
what happens to those who do wrong?"

And now with the coming of the talkies, the
most wonderful gift to the mo\ie public, who
wants to spend a dark and gloomy life behind
prison bars?

John Burke.

Are Picture Stories Too Sad?

Arrowsmith, lU.

Which do you prefer — happy or unhappy
endings? Believe it or not, those are words
heard from the lips of movie-goers nearly every

Recently we have been treated to pictures
full of tears and heartbreak. After thej' are
over, we go away with red eyes, having a feel-
ing that something has been incomplete.
Somehow, we are unsatisfied.

Then we read a great critic's review of the
picture. It is called a masterpiece, magnifi-
cently acted; we should not miss it, it is so
true to life.

And that's just it. It is true to life. It
shows us broken hearts and ruined lives. We
see far too much of that in everyday existence.
We go to a movie for recreation and pleasure,
hoping to escape from the grim tragedy
around us for an hour or two, when, behold!
we see the very thing from which we are
fleeing acted so realistically before us that we
come from the theater depressed and blue.
Pleasure? Well, I don't think so. Remember,
we are not all discerning critics. I can't see
how these heart-rending movies benefit any of
us — except the handkerchief dealers.

Lotus M.^rsh.

Some Thoughts on Censorship

Chicago, 111.

Upon its arrival in Chicago, Jeanne Eagel's
fine emotional triumph, "The Letter," was
promptly restricted by the censors to adults
only. .\n excellent picture shown in our lead-
ing theaters was thus placed on a par with a
device used by small-time producers and
exhibitors to lure the morbid. Does that
speak well of motion picture censorship?

Not that "The Letter" was a picture a child
should see. It was purely a picture for grown-
ups. Photopl.w recommended it as such.
So did the local critics. Are we incapable of
acting as suggested by experienced reviewers?
\re we incompetent in the selection of our own
and our children's entertainment? Is this
restriction necessary? It seemed to suggest
that our judgment is unsound. It is an insult
to all Chicago cinema followers.

Who are these censors, anyhow? Why are
they empowered to compel us to accept their
opinions? .\re they of supermentality, and

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Photoplay Magazine for December, 1929

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are we mere children who need them as
guardians? Are they artists, or judges of art?
How are they qualified to regulate our morals?
These positions are held largely by conserva-
tive, reclusive spinsters and egotistic, narrow-
minded old bachelors, through political in-
fluence more than anything else.

For these reasons I conclude that the cellu-
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when censorship is abolished.

James B. Cain.

Minding Their Pros and Cons

J. A. Mallin, of Detroit, congratulates us
on our article, "Truth About Voice Doubling."
Says Mr. Mallin: "We all admire honesty. You
have done the right thing by giving us the

A gentleman from the Straits Settlements in
the Far East, masquerading under the name
Puzzler announces in big, bold type that the
motion picture is a "Saxiour of Hiunanity."

Speaking with a slight accent, he says:
"Dramas from Janet Gaynor, Norma Tal-
madge and Greta Garbo show us the ways to
goodness and corruption." In other words,
take your choice!

Down in Columbia, S. C, Mrs. H. R. Star-
ling gets all excited over the way the talkies
are misrepresenting the true Southe'n accent,

A cheering word for the big boys who never
get their women — on the screen. Idabel
Oberg, of Akron, Ohio, can't get a thrill out
of the smooth palpitators of the Gilbert-
Colman school, but! — "Those big homely
darlings like Ernest Torrence, Charlie Murray,
Lon Chaney and Lionel Barrymore simply
make me want to swim in mo\ies."

In Honolulu a young lady with the witching
name Frances Love Lee (sounds like those
things we used to scribble on fences) speaks
terse words of x\isdom. Says she: "No doubt
there are many amazingly beautiful and like-
wise amazingly dumb actresses there in Holly-
wood. Let the dumb remain so, though beauti-
ful they may be."

Everett Roane, of Highland Springs, Va.,
would like to see a picture of the director
flashed on the screen before the film is shown.

And Julia Napier, of Atlanta, Ga., suggests
that a program including the lines spoken

by the actors be distributed before the pic-
ture for the benefit of the deaf. Well, it's
an idea!

From Canada comes the cry for bigger and
sadder endings. Winifred F. E. Whitehurst
cogitates thus: "It seems foolish to expectevery
story to end like a fairy tale. How could one
possibly suffer through a tragic picture if one
knew all the time that it would end up happily?
I would hate to feel that I had cried for

"Why is it," whys Mrs. Edna Norgress, of
Baton Rouge, La., "that when a picture or
talkie or even a stage show is put out, and
proves to be a success, in a little while the
country is overrun by cheap imitations?"
We'll bite— why?

T. L. Easley, of San Antonio, Texas, has a
few harsh words to say against talking shorts —
tallaie vaudeville acts, he calls them. He says
they are so amateurish that he suspects the
producers of palming off dependent sons and
nephews "who would make better ribbon clerks
and clothing salesmen than they would actors."
Tsch, tsch, — temper !

Donald Rawson, who has left the old home-
stead to jog about Europe, writes that in
Naples he paid sixty cents for a copy of
Photoplay — and was glad to do it. Tears of
gratitude well up in the editorial eyes.

Ferman Etheridge, of Findlay, Ohio,
writes in on borrowed stationery to say that
Garbo is unusual in that she is the idol of both
masculine and feminine fans. He concludes
that it is her personal charm and her marvelous
portrayal of unconventionality that attract

Virginia Lyons, of Breckenridge, Texas, is
heartbroken to read in Photoplay that Bill
Haines wants to go in for serious drama. She
says Billy is the most natural person the screen
has given us and adds: "I can only picture
William Haines a future flop if he undertakes
to please his fans with sophisticated roles which
also call for a 'cookie duster' — in other words — -
that sheikish mustache that makes most of the
stars look so conceited. Mr. Haines, change
your mind."

Naomi Hult, of Lincoln, Nebraska, hkes the
way Ruth Chatterton and WiUiam Powell
talk. And a good many other fans second the
motion. To hear them, says Miss Hult, is an
education in "English as she should be

Olive in Quest of Her Soul

'. continued from page 59 1

part for so long she was shocked and surprised
when executives did not batter down her doors
with fat contracts to offer.

For five months she didn't do a scene. For
five months she lay on the sands, got as brown
as that morning after taste and began to get
acquainted with her soul.

But the process of complete reconstruction
was slow. It took longer than five months to
become a human being when she had, before,
been an executive's idea of a lady.

In an hour and fifteen minutes she bad
taken the first step. She had made her first
decision. But it took longer than five months
to completely purge herself of black lace and

CO when an independent producer offered her
'^a part in a picture she thought a long time
before she accepted work with one of the
smaller companies. At last she decided that
it was her only way to come back.

She returned to the screen.

Olive had always taken great pride in her
long, black hair. It had a habit of winding

so seductively over the nape of her neck. But
she felt suddenly, unlike Samson, that its
very length was holding her back. She was
just the old fashioned vamp type. So she made
her second decision. She sat in a barber's
chair and watched her long locks fall to the

But she was still afraid. She allou-ed it to
be cut only shoulder length.

TT pleased her but the change was not drastic
-•■enough. She felt that with all the exciting
things going on inside her soul it Avas necessary
to undergo some vigorous physical change.

She at last made the final gesture of inde-
pendence. A bo>ish bob!

An entirely new GUve Borden signed a new

The child is really made over. And she
deserves a gleaming laurel wreath to encircle
that crisply bobbed head. I believe that hers
is as heroic a gesture as has been made in
Hollywood. It takes what tennis players call
the tournament temperament to do what Olive
has done.

Every advertisement in PHOTOrLAT MAGAZINE is euaranteed.

Photoplay Magazine for December, 1929


Radiant in a pleated sports skirt and a
bright blue sweater, she said, "I look at my-
self in the mirror and I can't believe it's I.
I can't believe that a year ago I was such a
little idiot. I'm only just beginning to know
and understand myself."

It takes the tournament temperament and
it takes brains to do what Olive has done. I
wonder how many of us would admit to being
completely ridiculous. I wonder how many of
us would talk about such a period without
blushing for shame.

Online LibraryMoving Picture Exhibitors' AssociationPhotoplay (Volume 36 – 37 (Jul. - Dec. 1929)) → online text (page 135 of 145)