Photoplay had a regular segment dedicated to readers discovering and sharing errors and cliches in popular films. We modern viewers have nothing on these sharp-eyed viewers from March of 1919!
Remembah! Tarzan was a Superman
In “The Romance of Tarzan,” when Tarzan came to California, he road in a saddle as nicely and as comfy as though he had received years of equestrian training.Gayton McCorkle, Havenford, Pa.
In Ethel Clayton’s new film, “The Mystery Woman,” after her leading man was wounded, he was told that he could return to the front again in three days if he would give up smoking. He immediately put his lighted pipe in his back pocket. Ouch!Fred W. Sidley, Denver, Colo.
Not Scared Out of His Boots
In “Hell Bent,” Harry Carey forces his “pard” to get out of bed and to jump out the window. When he lands he is wearing his boots. Do cowboys, then, wear their boots to bed? Later in the same picture, Harry is supposed to be buried completely by a sandstorm, but a close-up after it passes shows plainly the footprints approaching the spot.Eddy Arken, Ennis, Tex.
Hell Bent was directed by that amateur westerner (checks notes) John Ford. A Czech language copy survives in the George Eastman House.
In “The Changing Woman,” starring Hedda Nova, Hedda is perched up on a table in a hotel dining room playing a guitar but instead of playing where it should be played, she plays it way up where the frets are and she uses no fingering and a ukulele stroke instead of picking it.Foxey, Syracuse, N. Y.
Art Is Often Simplicity
They say photoplay directors should be students of pretty nearly everything in order that their pictures shall be, at least technically, correct. Doesn’t, or shouldn’t, this category of texts include typography?
Some of the most interesting and smooth-running of pictures are made almost incoherent by delirious subtitle artists whose notion of lily-painting an otherwise perfect production is in dolling up the y’s and t’s and g’s with tails, horns, spirals, typhoons and other befuddling whatnot.
In reading one certain subtitle in Hart’s “Branding Broadway.” I devoted all of the brief instant of its presence on the screen toward trying to figure out what a “cat,” mentioned in the second or third line, had to do with a most important situation; then to discover, at the last flicker, by unraveling the curley-cues of the “n” that the word was “can.” Decorate the subtitles all you want with sunsets, midnight moons, skulls-on-the-desert, yosemites and such — but please make the reading matter legible.Will Montague, Nutley, N. J.
He Would Make a Fine Smuggler
Wallace Reid certainly gets better every day, in fact in “Too Many Millions” he not only excels all of his past performances but has somthing on most bridegrooms we have seen. He loses his millions, his car, spends his “change” for supper and then in the dead of night his clothes are destroyed by fire. Without preparation and clad only in patch-work quilts, he and the heroine are married at once. Question: Where did “Wally” hide the new wedding-ring the bride looks at so lovingly at the close of the ceremony?William Gordon , Oklahoma City. Okla.
Oh my! And, alas, presumed lost.
We Can’t Answer
In the 12th episode of the “House of Hate.” the Hooded Terror is shot. He was home and in bed when one of his gang came and told him the police were after him. He got out of a window and climbed the water-spout to the top of the building. Why is it that no matter how badly hurt a person is they can always get away?M. L. P., Minneapolis, Minn.
Because the story would be over in ten seconds otherwise, that’s why! The Serial Squadron has made surviving chapters of this Pearl White serial available on their YouTube channel.
So there we have it! Vintage kvetching and ain’t it fun?
You can look up lots of swell clippings like these at the Media History Digital Library.
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