The Picture Idol (1912)
Short | Comedy
"Isn't he lovely!" "One of the grandest men I ever saw," "perfectly exquisite," were the expressions to which Beth Ward, a young high school girl gave vent to whenever she thought or spoke of her "moving picture idol," Howard Hanson, the player who takes the leading parts in the motion picture plays in her favorite productions. She unexpectedly sees him on the street and follows him until he disappears in his dwelling place, which she carefully notes by taking the number of the house. She sends him flowers and letters, much to his disgust, as this sort of recognition has become a pest to him. She and her friend, Pearl Shelby, are constant attendants at the theater where he appears in the films and they are both entranced. Beth is simply hypnotized. She becomes so violently carried away with her picture man, she falls behind in her studies. Her parents are notified by her teachers and soon learn of her insane infatuation. Her father calls on Howard and they arrange a plan to cure her of her foolishness. Howard dines with the Wards. Beth is enraptured until he exhibits such astounding table manners and insists upon bawling instead of singing then she begins to see some defects in her idolized ideal. In return, Howard asks the Wards to take tea with him the next day. He arranges with his roommate to impersonate his wife and employs several children from the neighborhood to represent his family. Mr. Ward and Beth call and she is so shocked by the coarseness and rudeness of his wife, and the terrible behavior and multiplicity of his children, she is glad to escape and is forever cured of her idolatry.