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Following the Blue Print
Dorothy Mackaill planned her career with care, and she is following it according to specifications, even though her sudden marriage surprised her almost as much as it did the world at large.
By Malcolm H. Oettinger
DOROTHY MACKAILL is English, youthful, and bright. She served her apprenticeship, briefly, in the "Follies," seized upon a lucky opportunity to play a lead opposite Barthelmess, progressed in similar capacity with other heroic gentlemen, and arrived where she is to-day, well along the spangled road to stardom. She is not much of an actress, true enough, but few stars are. Dorothy strings with the crowd.
In such things as "Shore Leave" and "Twenty-one" she is at her best, playing naturally and spontaneously, brightening the picture unconventionally and without affectation. In such things as "The Dancer of Paris" she is no better than Mae Murray, wet paint, low tide, or prickly heat.
She has a keen understanding of the fillum industry and its decidedly devious workings. She has fought shy of bad parts and has nursed shrewdly and wisely her notinconsiderable, public. She has gone ahead slowly, rather than risking quick flight followed by quick flop.
The first time I met Dorothy Mackaill she was even younger than she is now. She couldn't have been more than eighteen. Barthelmess had engaged her to be the heart interest in a furbelowed romance hight "The Fighting Blade." Between scenes she amused herself by shouting "Hey !" and listening to the echo reverberate through the barren reaches of the old Fort Lee studio. At luncheon later she cheerfully continued to "Hey!" at intervals during the table talk. She was delightful in a hoydenish way, refreshingly natural, unacquainted with such a word as poise, and happy in her ignorance.
When Dorothy Mackaill shouts "Hey!" she usually gets what she is after. PhDto by D00iitt]a
Five years have dealt kindly with her. Five years can do terrible things to the world at large, one might point out with no claim to being a philosopher. But time has not scarred Dorothy.
She was working like a beaver, or Trojan, according to your taste, and she looked no older; she assumed no air that might be — and often is — assumed by a "Follies" girl who has made, as the saying goes, good; she exploded with occasional frank outbursts just as freely and lustily as she had "Heyed !"
No longer, however, was she merely a lovely foil for the amorous advances of an importunate lover. No longer did she coo in her wooer's arms. In this respect she had changed, for there, beneath the blinding lights, she was acting away for dear life, simulating grief, sorrow, and sadness as she heard what must have been bad news from Vincent Serrano, at the moment her father.
Again and again, under the driving direction of the energetic, swarthy little Mendes. Dorothy indicated surprise, horror, despair, the moods flitting across her face in quick succession. She emerged from each take of the scene spent and nervous. Retake followed retake. She was acting. It was no fun.
Thus it was that, finding the dreary, factory atmosphere of the Cosmopolitan atelier incompatible, we arranged a second meeting, at the Mackaill chambers.
This was better. Put the pretty Dorothy in the intimacy of a smart Park Avenue apartment, and her charm has a chance. In the vasty settings of "The Song of the Dragon," * she had been all but lost. The film heroine's home had had the proportions of. Madison-Square Garden. But Dorothy's own apartment fitted her admirably. [Continued on page 107]
: Title to be changed.