Movie Pictorial (March 1915)

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MOVIE PICTORIAL 23 rig BBBBBaBBaBaBBaBBBaBBBBB' B SBBaBaBBaBBaBBBSaSBaBBaaBBBaBaBBBBBBaBBaBBBBBBBaBBB «[ BBaHBBBSBHHl^BBiaKtsiSSIfiiiitSS! nan ' “ ^Bsisaaaaaaaaiaaaaaaaaaaaa® a® Hs^HaaaaaaaHHHaBgiaaaBiHHHaaHHSiaEiaHHaHHssaHaasaHaaHg!® a S REALISM IN THE MOVIES I N TAKING notice of the errors that are displayed in films, one should bear in mind the enor- mous activity of moving picture production. This is not stated with any view to discourage you in any way in hunting for flaws and record- ing your criticisms—but instead, it is to impress you with sincerity of pur- pose in this work, and to urge you to keep it up. And do not think that only criticisms of faults are wanted— your expression of appreciation of a film that has so impressed you, is wanted at any time. That “popular” criticism is desired is plainly indi- cated in the following extract from a letter by a correspondent in Houston, Texas. It should encourage us all in our endeavors to aid the earnest workers in the moving picture in- dustry. “Recently, I received a letter from one of the most prominent actor-di- rectors, asking me to watch his pro- ductions with as much care as pos- sible and write a candid criticism without sparing the rod, as he was very anxious to please the public above all, and for this purpose needed their opinion. Of course, the regular reviewers are prone to advertise in- stead of finding fault where fault there is, consequently the independ- ent voice of the people will offer many useful suggestions for the guid- ance of such actors and directors with such aims as the one mentioned above. “If all Moving Picture magazines would follow your highly commend- able overture to the paying public to express their opinion, independent of paid film producers’ patronage, these latter could learn a good many things from those patrons that sus- tain their industry by their steady at- tendance to the theaters.” A Winsome Trio (Winner of the $5.00 prize) Glen Falls, N. Y. A short time ago I saw an Associa- tion picture in which an Englishman had received an Egyptian mummy. The Englishman opened the mummy case and found in it a note written by the mummy just before his death to be buried with him. The mummy must have been able to look ahead as the note was written in English. In a recent Biograph release “Dwell- ers in Glass Houses,” the leading lady had beautiful golden hair, but she ought to remember to wear the same amount in all the scenes especially when she wears it in two braids down her back. It made the audience laugh to see the braids a foot longer in suc- ceeding scenes. In the "Exploits of Elaine,” in the first episode, the crook wants to rob the safe and as he don’t know the combination he uses Thermit as the quickest way to get in the safe. Ther- mit is a combination of chemicals which when placed together generate 5,000 degrees of heat and simply melt their way through a steel plate. The Thermit makes a hole of about four inches in diameter in the top of the safe. The crook then reaches down in the hole and pulls out papers from the safe. The papers are perfectly white. The Thermit generating 5.000 degrees of heat inside the safe has not even charred the papers. The Thermit goes through the top of the safe quickly which is actually possible, but what becomes of it? If it goes through the top, why not through the bottom of the safe and through the floor setting fire to the house? Very truly, H. W. Points Well Taken New York, N. Y. Two glaring inconsistencies which showed gross carelessness as to detail on the part of the producer and which marred completely an otherwise ac- ceptable photoplay, were noticed by the writer recently at the Savoy The- ater, New York City, during the run- ning of the two part Domino (New A Department for the Discussion of Films Possessing or Lacking Realism Conducted by Our Readers Your help toward the accomplishment aimed at by this department is requested. Send in your criticisms. Do not hesitate. Join your efforts with ours. A prize of $5.00 is given each month to the con- tributor of the criticism deemed most worthy, be it either for or against the film. Address all communications to the Realism editor. York Motion Picture Corporation), en- titled “The Man at the Key.” The story deals with railroad life and fea- tures as its “big” scene a train-wreck, which is averted by the quick wit of a former telegraph operator in the em- ploy of the company. The time is sup- posed to be night; the action calls for the flagging of the fast mail. Yet in broad daylight, where the shadows caused by the bright sun can be plain- ly seen, the man runs out and. waving a lantern, stops the train. The simple neglect of not tinting these scenes for night effect absolutely spoiled the situ- ation and brought a laugh from the discerning ones in the audience. Further on in this same production of “The Man at the Key,” a telegraph office is shown with a group of opera- tors standing about the table. A lapse of eight years occur and these same operators, man for man, are shown, and not one of them has changed his shirt. To say the least, it was not hygienic, much less realistic. This lack of attention to the small things in this one film absolutely de- stroyed the realism of the action and reduced the photoplay to the level of the indifferently produced “movie.” Renee Foster. “Dugouts” and Disarmament Greenville, Ohio. In “The Desperado,” Jim was sup- posed to sleep in a “dugout” after he had escaped from the sheriff. The “dugout” was only a shanty set out in a field. The director never lived in a “cyclone country" or he would have known what a “dugout” was. After Jim escaped from the “dugout,” he crossed the ford where one of the sher- iff’s men was “laying” for him, and, instead of being cautious, he seemed to court danger; then when he had kicked the man over he was in such a hurry to make his “getaway” that he did not stop long enough to even dis- arm the man before he rode away. Madge Kellogg. A Magic Mirror Nashville, Tenn. Last week I saw the Lasky (I think it was) production of “The Goose Girl.” and in the scene where the prince is disguising himself, he looks at himself in a mirror, standing well away from it, and yet the audience sees both his image in the mirror and the prince himself. If he actually sees himself, as he pretends to be doing, his reflection could not be seen by the audience at all. I have noticed this same thing in other films also. Paul C. Klyce. Someone Missed New Orleans, La. The other night I saw a moving pic- ture called “The Life of Buffalo Bill,” produced by Swain Brothers, of New York. A scene in the first reel showed the camp of the Cheyenne Indians. The Indians w T ere doing their war dance. There was one tent on which was writ- ten in large letters the word “Chief.” If these were uncivilized Indians how did they know how to write the Eng- lish language? In the second reel there was a scene showing Buffalo Bill riding towards camp; the wind happened to blow his hat off, but he did not stop to pick it up, but when the picture showed him arriving in camp he had his hat on. There was a general laugh from the audience at this. R. T. McBride. Legerdemain? Hamburg, la. At a recent number of “The Perils of Pauline.” Pauline is shown placed in an old boiler near the ocean where the tide will rise and drown her. She is rescued by cutting a hole in th*e top of the boiler with an Oxy-Acetylene welding or cutting machine. Now we are not criticizing the handling of the machine, or the rescue. We are famil- iar with handling this apparatus, and the film showed a man removing the iron plate cut out and holding it in his hands and later a man sitting down on the edge of the boiler from where the section had been removed. These men did not have gloves on. nor was there anything to indicate that they wore as- bestos clothes, and anyone familiar at all with the handling of this machine knows that not only the plate but the iron surrounding it would be hot (HOT) and too hot to handle or sit on for some time. There was nothing to indicate but that they handled and sat on this right away for they were in a hurry to get her out to keep her from •drowning. This one feature spoiled the realism of this film for a number of us. C. E. Mincer. Was He Unconscious? Galveston, Texas. In one of the series of the “Hazards of Helen” entitled, “The Open Draw- bridge,” the leading man, in the role of the railroad detective, is handcuffed to one of the iron steps of the ladder which goes up the sides of freight cars. The train starts, causing him to hang by his hands with his feet dragging on the ground. Helen sees him just as the train starts, and runs and jumps on the lad- der to which he is handcuffed. She then takes the key to the handcuffs from his pocket, unlocks them, thus causing him to drop to the ground. By this time the train has had ample time to be moving at least 15 to 20 miles an hour, and Helen jumps from it and lands on her feet with her back to the engine and the direction in which the train is moving. Now any- one knows if you jump off of any mov- ing object like a train or street car and not face the way it is moving, you can’t help but fall unless it is going about two miles an hour. But as soon as Helen touched the ground she ran to the man on the ground just as though she had never been on the train at all, but had been standing still on the ground. And if you say the train had not been moving fast enough to affect her balance when she jumped, then why was the leading man not walking or running with the train but being dragged? A train going fast enough to drag a man who was in a position to run with it if it were go- ing slow, was. going fast enough to throw one, jumping off of it backwards. Geo. P. Thrall. A Sleep Producer? Kansas City, Mo. Were you ever knocked flat on youV back by a blow straight from the shoulder? If so, do you remember what you did with your arms when you came in contact with the ground? A young man in a Biograph picture en- titled, “The House of Horror,” upon being struck down, calmly placed his hands under the back of his head be- fore losing consciousness. It looked as though he were composing himself for a nap. In a Lubin picture entitled, “When Honor Wakes,” a man cuts all labels from his clothing before committing suicide. But he must have been agi- tated to a very great degree for he cut one from his coat and put it in one of the pockets of his trousers. N. W. Some Sound Suggestions Galveston, Texas. In a picture called “England’s Men- ace,” two children discover the secret code of their country’s enemy. The code is made up of numbers, yet the same numbers are not used for the same letter, for example: One letter “e” would be 256, then again the same letter would be 49. In an episode of “The Master Key,” Wilkerson, the villain, with a band of Mexicans, attacks the mine. The troops come upon the scene and take them prisoners, yet Wilkerson is allowed to keep his old office free from guards. And also, how is it that the Mexicans can steal the key from Ruth if they are captives and how can Wilkerson leave the mine at this time of trouble? In another recent picture, a man en- tered a lumber yard office and when he came out a sign was painted on the corner of the building. It was not there when he entered so this shows that the picture was taken two differ- en times. There are many many pictures where the actors lose their hats in one scene and have them on in the next, and also actors coming out of the wa- ter with dry clothes on. I know that these things are done for the comfort of the players, but it takes some of the realism from the picture. G. Peck. Too Many Guests! Danville, 111. I saw a Vitagraph play called “A Madcap Adventure.” A big dance was in full swing in a swell room. One half of the floor was hardwood, the other half was cement. O. E. Long. Another Robinson Crusoe? St. Louis, Mo. In “Haunted Hearts,” a two reel, Gold Seal drama, Jack and Nathan, love a girl; while yachting, she desires a flow- er from a high barren island. The ri- vals swim to the island; Jack gets the flower, but falls and is disabled. Na- than steals the flower, leaves Jack helpless; reports his death and marries the girl. A year later, finding his wite unconscious, holding Jack’s picture, he goes in search of Jack. Nearing the island, with no sign of water or vege- tation. except a small plot around the one flower, Jack has recovered and saves Nathan’s life after his boat cap- sized. Isn’t it wonderful how Jack survived on this barren island? K. H. \ / Very Good Criticisms Chattanooga, Tenn. \ In “Tillie’s Punctured Romance,” I noticed two things that were a decided shock to “Realism.” Tillie’s uncle went mountain climbing and, judging by the costumes, scenery, etc., he was among the Alps. After his accident, the guide rushed into the Inn and the keeper telephoned to the uncle’s home, using a foreign phone (with mouth- piece and receiver in one). He was answered at the other end of the line by the butler who used an American telephone. Since when has it been pos- sible to talk across the Atlantic over a telephone? Are they using foreign telephones in America? In the same picture Charlie Chaplin rushes in the kitchen of the restaurant while Tillie (Marie Dressier) is scrub- bing the floor. He proposes, both are splashed with water and are very un- tidy looking, she accepts and they rush out to get a minister. On the outside he appears in a clean and spotless suit and Tillie’s white apron looked per- fectly clean and fresh. Iam keeping up with “The Runaway June,” and at every instalment I hear numerous remarks about the decided mistake made in the manner in which June has disposed of her watch. In the first picture June sells her watch to a woman who, in turn, sells it to Mr. Blye. Every time June's mind goes back, as it does in every section, she £ees herself selling it to the conduc- tor and Mr. Blye buying it from him. 'June sold the watch to a woman. Mr. Blye purchased it from the same wom- an without June’s knowledge. How was June to know that her watch was in Mr. Blye’s possession? Just one more.—Tn the “Honeymoon- ers,” in one scene, when dinner was announced, the bride left the drawing- room in a coat-suit and immediately entered the dining-room in a beruffled and flowered dress of silk. (Mrs.) J. A. Hogan. v It’s Hard to Say Wellesley, Mass. In the fourteenth episode of the “Trey O’ Hearts,” the motorcycle on which Alan Law and Rose are escap- ing, plunges over a steep hill. Alan and Rose receive apparently a few bruises and some dirt. Along comes the pursuing automobile with Marrophat and the secretary, and plunges over the very same hill. Both (in the story) are killed! How can you account for it? T. H. B. You Are Right New Orleans, La. Saw a Universal Film with Mary Fuller. Her beau sends her some flow- ers with a note of proposal, but her girl chum gets the flowers from the boy who had brought same to house, and reads note intended for Mary. She then burns the envelope, addressed to Mary, but not the box. in which the flowers are sent, and shows note to Mary. Why not burn box as well as envelope, as it was addressed exactly the same way. The whole picture is bad in my belief, as the "Guardian Angel" (Mary Fuller) appears to Chas. Ogle too many times, and if a man would see so many visions, he might as well not work, and just let the angel tell him where to get the “Iron men.” Laurence Deckbar.