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A journalist is reluctant to ruin a woman's reputation for the sake of a juicy story.

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Dolly Clare (as Louise Welch)
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James Fairfax
Marjorie Ellison ...
Mrs. Alice Fairfax
Millard K. Wilson ...
Philip Ainsworth
Mae Gaston ...
Helen
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Dan Fisher
Laura Praether ...
Maid
Edward Nes ...
Jap Boy
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A journalist is reluctant to ruin a woman's reputation for the sake of a juicy story.

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Drama | Short

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20 February 1916 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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One of the very few silent films that subtitled the dialog of the actors instead of inserting title cards. See more »

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Featured in Lon Chaney: A Thousand Faces (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Louise is lovely, Lon is lively
18 February 2003 | by See all my reviews

"Dolly's Scoop" starred the Sydneysider actress Louise Carbasse, whose Hollywood career was lumbered with the unfortunate screen name Louise Lovely. But she is indeed lovely, and very beautiful in this film, especially in one beautifully backlit close-up. This film is also extremely interesting because Lon Chaney plays a supporting role, looking comparatively handsome. His character here is completely sympathetic, and (SPOILER COMING RIGHT NOW) he actually gets the girl!

James Fairfax (Hayward Mack) edits a tabloid newspaper that is only concerned with stirring up scandal, not reporting actual news. Most of the reporters on the paper object to Fairfax's editorial policy ... although it's not clear why they don't just quit and get jobs with some other paper, especially as news reporters in those days had no job security anyway. Dolly Clare (Louise) is the most conscientious and moral of Fairfax's reporters. (You're in the wrong business, toots.) Nonetheless, Dolly takes the opportunity to stir up a scandal about society gentleman Philip Ainsworth and his affair with a mysterious veiled woman; Dolly doesn't realise that the mystery woman is Fairfax's unfaithful wife Alice. Dolly gets a photo of the mystery woman sans veil, and passes it to her editor, who gleefully decides to run Dolly's scoop along with the photo ... without looking at it! Fairfax is perfectly willing to ruin the reputations of Ainsworth and Ainsworth's paramour, just to sell a few papers; he doesn't realise that the woman in question is his own wife. (What sort of editor runs photos without looking at them?)

Meanwhile, another reporter on the same paper (Dan Fisher, played by Chaney) is in the same position as Dolly: he claims to have moral qualms about the tabloid's scandal policy, yet (like Dolly) he carries on bringing in scandal material. In Dan's case, he's got a story about a woman who committed suicide, plus a photo of her. Dolly swaps the photos, and the dead woman's picture runs in the Ainsworth story. When Fairfax learns that Dolly has selflessly saved Alice's reputation, he has a change of heart and decides that henceforth his paper will run only genuine journalism, even if this causes a decline in circulation. (This must be a fantasy movie.) Dolly and Dan (Chaney) end up in each other's arms, and we're glad to see them get each other.

Louise Wossname (she used several monickers) is quite lovely here, and a good actress by silent-film standards; sources have told me she had a very strong Sydneysider accent, and almost certainly would not have had a career in Hollywood talkies. Chaney's role is small and only briefly relevant to the plot, but he gives an excellent performance in a part which is a distinct change of pace for him. Lon Chaney is my favourite actor, full stop, but I regret that he's remembered only for playing grotesque character parts; here, he plays what's generally known as the juvenile lead, and he does the part full justice. "Dolly's Scoop" has a ludicrous story (by the unjustly forgotten Ida May Park), but is in many ways an excellent film. I'll rate this movie 6 out of 10.


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