Pomposity and pretentiousness… Bah! We all hate that! Well, silent movie people were not so fond of it themselves and here some of their methods of dealing with it.
Gloria Swanson returned to her comedy roots in Manhandled, a romantic comedy that is not nearly as sassy as the title suggests. In this case, she is a shop girl who has been given a bit of grief by her boss. She knows how to handle him, though. Her boyfriend is a lot trickier, though, and that is where the plot thickens.
(You can read my review here.)
Availability: Manhandled was released on DVD by Grapevine Video as a double feature with Swanson’s 1918 film Shifting Sands.
Gloria Swanson sheds glamor for a stick of chewing gum. She plays a shop girl who feels neglected by her inventor boyfriend so she gets her kicks posing as a Russian countess. Unsavory men start sniffing around and Gloria has to beat them off with a club. That or smack her gum at them.
Needless to say, chaos ensues. Swanson’s return to her comedy roots is a pleasant and unpretentious little romance that plays to her strengths.
[toggler title=”How does it end? (click here for a spoiler)” ]Gloria’s boyfiend thinks she is cheating and dumps her but all is forgiven when he realizes how much she loves him. Oh, and he becomes a millionaire with his inventions.[/toggler]
If it were a dessert it would be:
Homemade chewing gum. We’re taking something back to where it began!
You can read my full-length review here.
What with the popularity of fake language speaking (this week anyway) I thought it would be fun to post a little goodie I have been holding onto for a while. Gloria Swanson is posing as a Russian countess because… Hollywood. Anyway, everything is okay until she meets a real Russian who, shockingly enough, decides to speak Russian. Gloria’s solution? Start sobbing!
“You remind me of old country!”
Russian is just too upsetting, it reminds her of the revolution! Don’t even think in Russian around her! The trauma! The trauma!
Brilliant. Mayhaps Ricardo Cortez should have tried it with Spanish.
I find this especially funny because I was once acquainted with a person who, for reasons best known to them, claimed to speak fluent Mandarin. It was… odd. (And extremely confusing to actual Mandarin speakers.)
The GIF is from Manhandled.
Famed Hollywood fashionista Lilyan Tashman plays Gloria Swanson’s best pal in Manhandled. Gloria’s shopgirl gets the attention of the bigwigs with her defiant attitude. I rather enjoyed the resulting turn of phrase.
The fellow to Lilyan’s right is Arthur Housman. Laurel and Hardy fans will recognize him as the eternally inebriated fellow who always manages to get the boys into trouble.
In the 1920’s, a working girl could be identified by her ever-present wedge of chewing gum. Gloria Swanson is rather annoyed at being asked to chuck it in Manhandled. The chewing gum phenomenon was immortalized in the 1924 novelty song Does the Spearmint Lose Its Flavor on the Bedpost Overnight? (It has been revived several times since, usually with “chewing gum” instead of “spearmint” in the title.)
Gloria Swanson sheds her glamorous image to play Tessie, a shop girl in the big city who just wants to have a little bit of fun. Her workaholic boyfriend (Tom Moore) is neglecting her in favor of an invention that could make his fortune so Tessie accepts an invitation from the smart set. However, she soon learns that all of the thrills and glamour come at a price.
Poor Gloria Swanson! Even strumming her uke doesn’t improve her mood in the 1924 romantic comedy Manhandled.
The ukulele is cheap, tiny and cute. Plus, it is easy to play! As a result, it became the go-to instrument for flappers and college saps all over the United States. In this film, Gloria is taking a break from glamour to play a shop girl who is living from paycheck to paycheck. Exactly the sort of person who would embrace the uke!