Captain Billy’s Whiz Bang
Explosion of pedigreed bull
Vol.II January, 1921 No.16
“We have room for but one soul loyalty and that is
loyalty to the American People.” -Theodore Roosevelt.
Keep’ On Keepin’ On
If the day looks kinder gloomy
And chances kinder slim,
If the situation’s puzzlin’
And the prospect’s awful grim;
And perplexities keep pressin’—
If hope is nearly gone,
Jest bristle up and grit your teeth
And keep on keepin’ on.
—Whiz; Bang Bill.
Recent presentation of the new Griffith play, “Way Down East,” caused a laughable situation for those who were aware of the facts. The laughable situation did not get into the newspapers because some of our very best families would have suffered humiliation. It appears that “D. W.” issued several invitations to prominent society women for the opening night, as his” guests”- though he was in New York. What a flurry and flutter there was among the high-brows when they learned that the invites had gone out., Who had been asked ? It did not occur to the high-brow ladies that D. W. Griffith is truly the master, mind of pictures and that his use of Mrs. Belmont in the picture was smart bait to draw society. Mrs. Belmont really didn’t have much to do but appear in’ an up-to-date gown and give Lillian Gish a haughty look.
But society here went daffy when it became known that some society women had been invited by Mr. Griffith’s representatives, while others had not. Immediately there was a buzz of phones and considerable indignation, denouncements and heart-burnings seared the wires. “How came it that Mrs. Such and So had been invited and ‘I’ have not? It reflects upon my social standing.”
‘How crafty old D. W. must have grinned as the reports went into him of the society ladies’ wrath. For lack of brains, poise and downright self-respect society women cart off the well known cake. Newspaper women laughed themselves sick at the coy admissions discreetly tendered them that “Oh,- by the way, Mr. Griffith sent me a personal invitation to be present at the opening of ‘Way Down East.'” It possibly is stretching it to say that the paper gals laughed themselves sick. They have become so used to such situations that they scarcely laugh at all. They just grin and “bear it”- and proceed openly to kid society in the papers without society apparently becoming the wiser.
It is almost pitiable to watch fair and heavy matrons, who have done well, raising a family or starting one, long for a chance to see themselves upon the screen. They gaze upon Lillian Gish as some ravishly blessed mortal lifted by the ‘Gods but they see no reason why they would not be just as good if given a chance. Much of the nasty gossip which follows prominent picture folk emanates from the society morgues where every skeleton known to scandal is laid carefully away for future reference.
The fat ladies of wealth who are unable to fit into the screen take a girl, perhaps like Lillian Gish, and in seeming fury that the girl has succeeded, tear what they may of her character to pieces. About any fashionable hotel where gather the disappointed “widows” and dames whose husbands have let them come west for a “rest” may he heard the most intimate details concerning the private life of every person prominent on the screen. Nine times out of ten these details are featured by everything but the truth.
Every girl that ever worked for Griffith, whether she knows it or not, has been the victim of whispers relative to what price she paid for her success. Griffith is a muchly misunderstood man. He is shrewd, too smart for the average picture maker. His people appear to reverence him. Probably no girl regrets her experience and training under this particular director – though not as much can be said for many other directors. The name of Lillian Gish and Griffith have been mentioned in unsavory tones more than once. The girl is a remarkably fine young woman who scarcely would know what was meant by the insinuations cast abroad concerning her and the director. Wherever Lillian goes her mother is not far away.
The two sisters, Lillian and Dorothy, are among the hardest workers upon the screen. It is understood that the late Robert Harron was extremely fond of Dorothy and it is understood that this admiration was not returned in the way that young Harron would have wished. Harron had a number of sisters, who spent much of their time about the studios where their brother worked. The Gish and Harron families were constantly together and a great friendship existed between them all. It is understood that Dorothy admired Harron tremendously but could not reciprocate his reported love for her. Bobby Harron was an exceptional young man from a moral standpoint. He was clean and wholesome. In fact a number of the Griffith stars have been marked for their personal virtues. In view of these facts it is a relief to point out that some of the unmentionable vices which beset Movieland are partially offset by the cleanliness of many really great stars.
A sculptor made nymphs and bacchantes,
Omitting the coaties and panties,
Till a kind-hearted Madam,
Who knew where they had ’em.
Donated some warm Ypsilantis.