Motion Picture Magazine – February 1919
Our Animated Monthly of Movie News and Views
By Sally Roberts
It was a notable day in Los Angeles when the flu ban was lifted. Music entered the cafes, motion pictures held sway everywhere, all the theaters were redecorated, fumigated and had expanded their orchestras, and the studios showed awakening from the Rip Van Winkle sleep of nearly two months. We noticed Monroe Salisbury coming out after the first show of “Hugon the Mighty,” which was a firstnighter at the Superba. He looked mighty handsome in a costly velour bonnet and wide, floppy brown coat, belted loosely, and his tall figure swayed over slightly as he got down to the level of a five-foot blonde who was vivaciously asking questions about his picture.
Right next door, Dorothy Gish’s “Battling Jane” filled the house, and while the character was overdrawn; nevertheless, peals of laughter showed the approval of the audience, and their delight at seeing a motion picture comedy once more. By the way, Dorothy has. been in a sanitarium for weeks and, as she had to sleep six hours daily, besides putting in all night on the hay, she certainly made up for the enforced rest-cure by devilling the life out of everybody during the other waking hours. Her friends smuggled chocolates onto her window-sill, because she was restricted to about three articles of diet and balked rebelliously. When friend nurse turned her back, Dorothy hopped out like a brisk little bird, scooped up the candy-boxes and hid ’em till she got a chance to eat. In spite of all this, she recovered. Her trouble was not serious, just a little nervous breakdown from over work and society doin’s. It was hard to imagine this disciple of perpetuum mobile lying on her back for 18 hours daily.
MaryPickford has her studio on the old Griffith lot, so these friends of early Biograph days are nearby and can hobnob at studio luncheons. Blanche Sweet has been working there also, but just ran off for a little New York trip. Anyway, the whole collection of blondes for once was united.
Snooping around the enclosed stages, we found Lillian Gish dying to the tune of Chopin’s Funeral March, played on a wheezy accordeon. She’s doing a Chinese play in which Dick Barthelmess plays male lead and Donald Crisp does the heavy. The latter broke a couple of small bones in his one foot during a scene, but as his active scenes had all been shot, he’s not compelled to walk during the others which follow and can go onwith the work. By the time healing is complete they will need him for the shaking of the tootsies in a grand finishing skirmish.
Dorothy Gish persists in annoying mother and Lillian with her strange comb noises which are music to her ears