These Were the Movie Errors, Tropes and Eccentricities That Annoyed Viewers in August of 1919

If you think modern moviegoers invented cinematic nitpicking, you are in for a shock! Photoplay Magazine had a regular feature on reader complaints and they are great fun to peruse. Here’s the collection from August of 1919.

Notify the Coroner

Please tell us what became of the girl who fell in the well, in “Daddy Long Legs.” No further mention was made of her in the picture and no one seemed to miss her — if she was drowned.
L. A. Durr, Washington, D. C.

Well, the reader (whose name I assume is a pun on “ladder”) is not wrong. The well gag does kind of end with no resolution, if I am recalling my film correctly, but we do see the young lady in a later scene. You can read my review of the picture here. Drowning aside, it is delightful.

A Movie Travelogue

In “She Loves Me Not” when Harold Lloyd and Bebe Daniels are on the train, the scenery passing the windows keeps repeating itself — painted on an endless canvas belt, I suppose.
L P. K. Columbus, Mo.

Quite probably so! The film survives, by the way, but I haven’t seen it yet. Anyone who has watched it, please chime in about the canvas scenery.

Maybe It Was Esperanto

In Viola Dana’s “The Parisian Tigress” the signboards were all French as you would expect in a French village, but in the den of the “apaches” the signs appeared in English bearing the words “Cafe, Beers & Liquors.”

May Russell, Duluth, Minn.

This picture seems to be missing and presumed lost. However, perhaps I shall change my site name to Filmoj Silente.

We’re Leaving for There To-night

An incident in “Spotlight Sadie” reminded me of the good old days before we realized the high cost of living. Sadie sent her love and a dollar to Bill, her good-for-nothin’ brother-in-law. Bill’s heart was touched, so instead of spending the money for a wicked beverage, he bought an armful of groceries, which included several loaves of bread, a bottle of milk, all kinds of can goods, etc.
M. T., Wichita Falls, Texas.

Another lost picture but either the beer is very expensive or the groceries are very cheap in Bill’s neck of the woods!

Henry Must Be Strong

In “The Long Lane’s Turning,” Henry Walthall receives a letter from his intended wife, stating that it is impossible for her to marry him. Upon hearing this he becomes enraged, and with one mere push of the hand overturns a huge safe.
Aline Hanley, New York

This film survives so if you have seen it, please let me know! Walthall was famously slight, so I am most interested to hear about this astonishing show of strength against a cardboard safe.

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