Picture-Play Magazine (Sep 1928 - Feb 1929)

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The tenderness and sanctity of family relations was the inspiration that made "The Way of All Flesh" a great picture. S love, as a passion, ebbing on the screen? Has romance, sweet scented, begun to fade in its fascination and charm? To quote the poet, "The nightingale that in the garden sung — ah, whence and whither wandered now ? Who knows ?" These inquiries are prompted by the changing qualities of pictures. They are inspired by the fact that the palpitant embrace and kiss apparently are less ardent in the filmy, flickering fantasy than of yore. The fervid scene, presided over by Amor and Venus, by Eros and Aphrodite, languishes and wanes in its esprit, and no pensive tears, it would seem, are shed. All the world loves a lover. But does it? And in the movies ? Even the stars and directors feel the spell of change. They confess that a love scene, if and when it is played, must be more delicately interpreted than ever before. Heavings and maulings, such as went on in the good old days, and until perhaps as late as a year ago, are out. By some it Prolonged and artificial its apex in "Flesh is even conceded amusedly that the movies may be going in for semicelibate life, and that while romance, when it is true romance, may still mean much, there is abundant opportunity to-day for themes of greatly varying type. In these the Are trie MoVies Most decidedly there is a trend in that direction, ing pictures that emphasize parental or brotherly romantic passion altogether. Was "Flesh and the love-making, and is Bj> Edwin reign of enamorment may often assume only a very insignificant part. Lon Chaney, for example, told me not long ago that the day might not be far off when a cast composed of men could enact a story that would appeal. Greta Garbo, high priestess in the temple, of Astarte, admitted quite frankly that she does not care for love roles. Clara Bow informed me that among the pictures she has made, she especially favors "Ladies of the Mob." In this picture all the romance was taken for granted, and Clara was allowed to display her dramatic talent in the portrayal of sorrow, fear, repentance, courage and other emotions only incidentally connected with amatory impulses, if at all. Too, Evelyn Brent avows that she has looked askance at so many men in recent films, that she is doubtful if she could vouchsafe a coy glance at any comely hero. Her popularity proves love-making reached and the Devil."