Dick Barthelmess was married … for real, not just in Way Down East (Picture Play Magazine 1920)

"Way Down East" - Lillian Gish
“Way Down East” – Lillian Gish and the eccentric aunt

Picture Play Magazine Volume XIII September 1920 No.1

Over the Teacups

Fanny the Fan retails gossip on the way to a bullfight, and forgets about tea.

By The Bystander

FANNY and I were off for Tia Juana—with Fanny driving. Now, that means more than it looks as if it did. In the first place, Fanny’s the sort of driver who lets not her right hand know what her left hand doeth ; she shifts gears in the most nonchalant fashion, and then says in sweet surprise, “Oh, that is reverse, isn’t it ? I always forget and think it’s high.” That’s so consoling when you find yourself gently settling back into a ditch ! She maintains, as far as possible, the speed Wallie Reid does in his racing pictures when he’s trying to outdistance the Limited and win the girl. And she talks all the time. That’s one reason why she wanted me to desert the rest of the crowd and drive from Coronado Beach down to Tia Juana with her—so that we could gossip—on the way to a bullfight, too! As for Tia Juana—if you’ve ever been a tourist in San Diego, California, you know it well. It’s just nicely over the Mexican border, and it’s not what you expect at all. Oh, yes, they have bullfights and gambling of all sorts there, and have never even heard of prohibition, apparently—but somehow you expect it to be terribly picturesque and wicked, and your main impression, if you’re at all like me, is one of souvenirs made in Toluka, Kansas. However, all the screen notables flock there, and so does everybody else.

"Way Down East" - Lillian Gish
“Way Down East” – Richard Barthelmess and Lillian Gish

“Well,” began Fanny, as we sped along over the road from Coronado, where we’d been imbibing cool drinks, and looking at the ocean, what have you got to say for yourself? Last time I saw you, at that beach party, you jumped on me for saying Dick Barthelmess was engaged. And then somebody shouted at us to come down to the fire and showed us a wire announcing that Dick was married.”

Portrait of Mary Hay and Richard Barthelmess by Edward Steichen
Portrait of Mary Hay and Richard Barthelmess by Edward Steichen

“I know—I apologize,” was my humble reply. “And by way of making up for it I’ll tell you all about the wedding—a friend of mine in the East saw Lillian Gish just afterward, and she said Lillian told her that it was very impressive; Mr. Griffith told Lillian—he was the only motion-picture person there except the principals. He aid little Mary Hay looked very lovely in her wedding gown, and came down the aisle on her father’s arm – he’s Colonel Caldwell, you know, and was in uniform – and that it was a beautiful ceremony. It was performed at the Church of the Heavenly Rest, in New York, and just a few people were there. Dick had some of his college chums for best man and ushers, and he and his bride couldn’t go away for a honeymoon, because they had to go right on with Way Down East.’ But this friend of mine saw them out at the Griffith studio, and she said they were a perfectly ideal bride and groom, and that the way Dick looked at Mary would make a fortune for him if he could do it on the screen.”

"Way Down East" - Lillian Gish
“Way Down East” – Lillian Gish

“Well, I expected it right along,” declared Fanny, in her most superior manner. “I was in New York when Mr. Griffith took his company there for the opening of ‘Broken Blossoms,’ and when I asked Dick if he was glad to get back to New York he said most enthusiastically that he was—’glad to get back and see all the fellows and my girl’—as he put it. And I asked if he was engaged, and he said he was, but that it was a secret and please not to say anything about it. And he was worried to death for fear Mr. Griffith wouldn’t let him go back and play in comedies opposite Dorothy Gish, because people had grown accustomed to seeing him with her, and if another chap got the job the public might forget all about him. Isn’t that funny, when you think of all he’s done since then ?” I agreed that it was.

Photoplay (Sep 1920) Mrs Belmont Way Down East
Photoplay (Sep 1920) Mrs. Belmont in Way Down East

” ‘Way Down East’ is going to be interesting for more reasons than just because of its cast,” declared Fanny. “I mean besides the people like Lillian Gish and Dick Barthelmess and Creighton Hale and the rest of the stars. Mrs. August Belmont’s in it, you know—one of New York’s big society leaders—one of the first ten of the four hundred, I suppose you could call her. Her father’s in it, too, and Evelyn Walsh, an heiress from Colorado. I think that’s awfully thrilling.”

Over the Teacups (Way Down East) Picture-Play Magazine (Sep 1920)
Over the Teacups (Way Down East) Picture-Play Magazine (Sep 1920)

way down east - lobby card 3

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