Talking pictures : how they are made, how to appreciate them (c. 1937)

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Talking Pictures But, with the year 1927, a new era opened. A singer named Al Jolson sang and talked for part of a photo- play, The Jazz Singer, The talking picture had been born! Edison's dream had at last been realized. Speech and sight were united. Stories whose merit depended on delicacy of dialogue could now be made successfully. "Action," all-important word of silent days, was still important. But now the subtle characters of Charles Dickens could really come to life, and Shakespeare on the screen could emerge from the written word to a pictorial reality. Now in its second decade, the talking pictures can rightfully point with pride to such accomplishments as David Copperfield, Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Trader Horn, Sequoia, A Tale of Two Cities, Story of Louis Pasteur, Les Miserables, Little Women, Anthony Adverse, Last of the Mohicans, House of Rothschild, Henry VIII, Rembrandt, May- time, Naughty Marietta, The Good Earth, Captains Courageous, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, Grand Hotel, Little Lord Fauntleroy, and Lloyds of London. The screen has its faults, but during its short life it has achieved more aesthetic expression per year than any other art. It has been the only art to make a con- certed effort by itself, and in itself, to raise general standards of taste. But physical growth does prove solid popularity. Available figures indicate clearly that the photoplay is no illusory fad, no will-o'-the-wisp, but an integral part of the life of today, and the life of tomorrow. [20]