Photoplay (Jan-Jun 1929)

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j^rickb Three prizes are given every month for the best letters'^ $25, $10 and $5 Bouquets The REAL CRITICS, the FANS. GIVE THEIR VIEWS The Monthly Barometer npHE novelty of the "talkies" has worn off. -'■ Photoplay's readers are now asking for more than mere sound; they want the same standard of acting, photography, direction and settings that they have been getting in the silent movies. A large order for a new invention! "Our Dancing Daughters" is the picture of the month. It is going big with the younger generation — and with the younger mothers who share their children's amusements. On the crest of its popularity, Joan Crawford becomes the most-discussed star of the month. According to letters received by Photoplay, John Gilbert, Nils Asther and Gary Cooper are the three kings of the hour, with Richard Arlen, "Buddy" Rogers and John Mack Brown running a close race. Among the girls, Clara Bow, Greta Garbo and Colleen Moore are the three queens. Brickbats for underworld melodramas! Enough is enough. And brickbats, too, for slapstick comedies and Westerns. But bouquets for romances, mystery stories and stories about modern young people. This is your department of criticism. What have you to say? $25.00 Letter New Orleans, La. I have lived most of my life in the rural districts of a state that is notably narrowminded. As a youth, it was instilled in me that moving pictures were fundamentally bad, that I was endangering my immortal soul to attend such orgies of human indecency. So, of course, I reached my late 'teens with the utmost horror and distaste for such forms of amusement, distaste of something of which I knew nothing, e.xcept from people who knew really less than myself. I had the good fortune to make a trip out West and, without guardians or authorities to watch me, of course I decided to see one of those awful things called movies. So one night I screwed up my courage and timidly walked up to the window of a theater and asked for a "first row" ticket, thinking I was doing quite the high-brow, society thing, not realizing that the general admission gave me my choice of seats. The picture was "The Old Nest" and I shall never forget it. During that two hours of entertainment, I e-xperienced more emotion than 10 The readers of PHOTOPLAY are invited to write to this department — to register complaints or compliments — to tell just what they think of pictures and players. We suggest that you express your ideas as briefly as possible and refrain from severe personal criticism, remembering that the object of these columns is to exchange thoughts that may bring about better pictures and better acting. Be constructive. We may not agree with the sentiments expressed, but we'll publish them just the same ! Letters must not exceed 200 words and should bear the writer's full name and address. Anonymous letters go to the waste basket immediately. I had during all the previous years of my existence, and I left that little theater sold to moving pictures. Since that day I have seen hundreds of pictures, some good and some bad, but I am still in love with them as the best means of expressing the emotions and dreams of the common folk of the world. I am beyond the influence of that country district in which I was reared and hence I do not hear the condemnation that would be mine if I stUl resided there. I only wish that those good folks back there could have brought home to them the wonderful power of the motion picture. T. E. WiNBORN, Jr. ,00 Letter Homestead, Pa. I wonder what some producers think of the movie-going public. Or do they think of them at all? And why in the name of all that is good, bad and indifferent does the old-fashioned girl have to be a dumbbell and the modern girl a damfool? I did not realize that the only distinction between the antiquated and the modern was the length of hair, absence of dress, the puffing cigarette and the coming home with the milk man. I have always thought that a modernistic trend was dependent more upon progressiveness, broadness of vision and a generous use of gray matter. But I have made the discovery, in the movies, that all of my youthful struggles and efforts to get a grip upon the ladder of life are in vain because — assuming the same dis tinction is applied to the male sex — I am already exiled to the antiques unless I become a gin-guzzling ninny. After a lot of pictures about so-called modern youths, is it any wonder "Our Dancing Daughters" is such a success. The girls are human; they have dreams, hopes and ideals. They give you something to think about. I felt as though I wanted to grasp the hand of Joan Crawford and say, "Well done, old girl. You are doing your best to give life a square deal." Joseph M. Rhodes. $5.00 Letter Enid, Okla. Photoplay is a gloom-chaser. Here's how! The scene was a desolate railway station, several miles from Nowhere. The atmosphere, inside and out, was damp and cold, as the Time was December 24, 1927. The characters were ten silent figures (ages ranging from eighteen to sixty-five), huddled around a wood stove, suddenly planted there because of the derailment of the train that was to take them home for Christmas. What would liven up this group, make them forget their little tragedy, and interest each of them? A college youth, with exploring eyes, spied a gaily decorated magazine beneath the strap of a travelling bag, and with eagerness brought to light Photoplay. He was soon showing the illustrations, calling forth comments on each favorite star, film criticisms, new developments, etc. One teary-eyed young lady forgot herself to the extent that she entertained them by mimicking the famous stars. The air was full of vital, hiunan interest, for, truly, they had found a universal subject, interesting to everyone at all times. It saved the spirits and dispositions of the holidayers. Conversation is not a lost art when Photoplay is the subject. Jackie Dunning. Justice for Foreigners PhiUppine Islands. I cannot see why foreign players should not get their chance. The reason why the movies continue to import foreign talent is because they stand in need of something that they cannot find in Hollywood, to supply the pubhc demand for new types of faces and different methods of acting. Miss Trini De Perez. [ continued on page 94 ]