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What the Fans Think
as Anita Page, in "Telling the World," who can radiate holy, soul-felt, consuming love from her eyes.
In my opinion, pictures could be made a potent factor in propagating higher standards, instead of sponsoring a retrogression to the days of licentious Rome. A splendid opportunity is being wasted. What do the fans think about it?
I'd like to suggest that we refrain from sending intolerant articles to this column, such as the one contributed by Roderick Pank. Such articles as his stint public comment. Arthur W. Gutekunst.
A Brick for Grouches.
This department could be such a pleasant one, but with a few interesting exceptions the contributors' views are so antagonistic that at times it is positively amusing. It is difficult to believe they can give vent to such thoughts in black and white. In fact, I am beginning to think the narrow-mindedness and extreme criticism is conceived in order to get letters in print. If any fan is irritated by the performance of a certain star, let him forget it, and praise his favorites.
Colleen Moore's Jean-nine, in "Lilac Time/' is the best of her recent roles. She impresses upon us that her ability is of a greater depth than suspected from her flapper roles.
Although Mary Pickford never left us, she seems to be back in earnest, and lovelier than ever. I am sure the loss of her curls will not lose any friends for her, for it is Mary herself who appeals to us so deeply. Mary is quite the loveliest of stars, with Dolores Costello running a close second. Their beauty is natural, physically and spiritually. Many of the stars are beautiful, but artificial.
It is a well-known fact that stars will not permit their doubles to have movie tests. Marion Davies is to be complimented on her graciousness in insisting that her double have a test — and the reports are favorable.
A star who has not appeared in pictures of late, and who has showed much promise but suffered through poor stories, is Alice Calhoun. Her many devoted fan friends earnestly desire her return.
Your Turn Next!
Donald was a cattail instead of a Reed, Leatrice was a pest instead of a Joy, Lawrence was black instead of Gray, Laura was a bush instead of a Plante, Wallace was a plum instead of a Beery, Colleen was a field instead of a Moore, Thomas was kind instead of Meighan, Elinor was dark instead of Faire, John was white instead of Brown, Billie was an eagle instead of a Dove, Esther was cornflakes instead of Ralston, Kathryn was a butcher instead of a Carver, Martha was a nightmare instead of a Sleeper,
Patsy Ruth was a blacksmith instead of a Miller,
Virginia was a mountain instead of a Valli,
Clara was a knot instead of a Bow, Camilla was a trumpet instead of a Horn, George, was a sink instead of a Fawcett, Nora was a road instead of a Lane !
James Leland. 32 Alain Street, Hamilton, New York.
Pipe Down, Rooters.
When, oh, when are the distressingly rabid rooters for and against Gilbert and
Novarro going to give us a rest? I, too, have a favorite — Ronald Colman, in comparison to whom most of the other players seem uninteresting and without charm. But who cares if I feel that way, except myself and possibly Mr. Colman, because the more admirers he has, the more money he can make. I do wish, however, that he wouldn't play in costume pictures. "Two Lovers" was a distinct disappointment, principally because the costumes he wore were so unbecoming.
I do not claim that Ronald Colman is the best actor on the screen, but merely the most attractive personality. If any one is in doubt as to who is the best actor, let him see Emil Jannings in "The Patriot" and be convinced.
50 Morningside Avenue, New York City.
Another One, Please!
I have a problem, and I wonder if you would be so kind as to help me. In September Picture Play a letter of mine was printed, for which favor I am eternally grateful, as it has been the means of acquiring some friends in your country.
My problem is this : A fan of London has written to me, giving neither name nor address, and I wish to communicate with him. Could you make an announcement in "What the Fans Think" that I should like to communicate with the writer in London, S. W., who sent me a letter on August 18th? J. Ernest Browne, Jr.
Cairo, Bridge Road, East Molesey, Surrey, England.
I should like to congratulate Connaught Lee on his very charming poem which was printed in the October Picture Play.
Greta Garbo is my prime favorite, and Mr. Lee has expressed so admirably all that I have often wanted to say myself. It is difficult to praise a person without sounding sentimental or silly ; and, since I have no ability as a poet, I've never attempted to praise her.
It was, therefore, very gratifying _ to read the poem, and for the pleasure which it gave me I am taking this opportunity to thank Mr. Lee. E. B.
Brooklyn, New York.
I had not meant to write again so soon, but I cannot keep still after reading a letter by Gertrude Hoffman in the October Picture Play. It is all very well to say that we fans who dislike the talking pictures should stay away from them, and I certainly intend to do so as long as_ possible, but how can we, when practically every picture has some type of sound in it? As some one said, we will be forced to have these disgraces whether we want them or not. To my mind, it would be far more of an accomplishment for the producers to have pictures all in natural color. They would still be silent, and their charm would not be gone. I truly believe the talkies are but a novelty that will wear off soon. And I think the producers should leave in all the subtitles, so that if we did not understand the voices, or missed hearing them, we could still read the words from the screen. The article which appeared in Picture Play recently was very good, and it will be very sensible of the producers if there are two complete versions of the picture — one silent and one with sound.
Would it be asking too much to tell all the Novarro fans to keep still? It is really not making the reading of this de
partment at all interesting, to have to read seven letters in one issue about Novarro. We, who do not like him, know he has fans. It is not necessary to advertise that fact so extensively.
Another thing. I am an ardent Richard Dix fan, and try never to miss his pictures; but I object to being forced to look at Ruth Elder. Why on earth can't the studio give Dick a good leading lady once? Now that he is rid of Mary Brian, they stick Ruth on him. Why can't these baseball stars, swimmers, football stars, aviators, et cetera, stay where they belong, instead of inflicting themselves on the fans?
I agree with Miss Brenner in regard to the silly two-reel comedies we have to endure. I like "The Collegians" very much, especially George Lewis. I avoid the news reel whenever I can, as it bores me. However, in feature pictures I'm not so keen on reality, if to be like real life the picture must have an unhappy ending. I am very bitter against unhappy endings, and if I know beforehand that a certain picture will end that way, I do not see it There is enough tragedy in the world without viewing it in pictures.
Marion L. Hesse.
154 Elm Street, Elizabeth, New Jersey.
Now. As to Pola
Now, that's more like it — that article on Pola Negri in the October Picture Play. It shows that a person can be frank without being prejudiced. Edwin Schallert's criticism is constructive and excusing, with most plausible excuses. He speaks both pro and con. Contrast this with Mr. Oettinger's article in which, though I admire his frankness in telling . what he thinks, he was certainly prejudiced. Does he forget that Pola's English is only five years old?
Why shouldn't she frankly admit that only a few of her German pictures were masterpieces? And when those few were shown in America, it was those masterpieces that made her reputation as an artist. She admits it's only a reputation. And it isn't possible to achieve greatness always. Malcolm criticizes her for being artificial, and then blames her when she tells the truth. I don't blame her for eying him sternly when he asked the question every interviewer must ask, "But don't you think that nothing you have made in this country approaches 'Passion'?" But she decided to be polite and answer his question.
As for always yearning to do better pictures, and that she is never satisfied — that isn't hard to swallow, considering some of the pictures she's made. As a matter of fact, there's only one thing I have to criticize Pola for : That is, having the producers at her mercy with her famous temperament, why didn't she take advantage of this and demand better stories? I mean, do as Greta Garbo did.
But that article "Pola Ends an Eventful Chapter" I consider the best story about Pola I've ever read. Pola's pictures do not make much money in Canada. That is too bad. But I hope her luck will turn and she will regain her popularity. Mr. Schallert says Pola's forte is tragedy, and Pola is often referred to as the great emotional actress. Gloria Swanson, too, is referred to as a great dramatic actress. But I declare that both these actresses are great character actresses, when given a chance.
Fraser P. Macdonald.
8609 One Hundred and Eleventh Street, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.