Paul Scheer sheds some light on The Room, lets us in on a secret in The Disaster Artist, and answers your questions. Plus, we explore the origins of midnight movies and take a look at IMDb's Top 10 Stars of 2017.
The Changing Roles of Women and Marriage in the 1920s
On October 12, 1924, Christine of the Hungry Heart was released by
First National. Producer Thomas Ince had selected the Kathleen Norris
story to film even as it was being serialized in Hearst's International
Magazine as "The Love Story of a Restless Woman." With production
beginning in April, it took roughly eight months to bring to the screen
at a cost of $185,408.
Ince wanted to film other stories initially appearing in Hearst
journals; the rights to Christine of the Hungry Heart had cost $25,000.
This was, ironically, one of the reasons for Ince and Hearst to meet
aboard his yacht in November 1924, which ended tragically when the
filmmaker, already ill with ulcers and angina, would be taken fatally
John Griffith Wray had been the first choice to direct Christine of the
Hungry Heart, but the First National release was helmed in eight reels
by George Archainbaud. Archainbaud, who had inquired about joining
Associated Producers, producer Thomas Ince's short-lived 1920-21
organization, remained to direct two more Ince productions, The Mirage
Bradley King's adaptation of Christine of the Hungry Heart related how
the title character (Florence Vidor) is spurned by her drunken husband,
Stuart (Warner Baxter), for another woman. Christine thereby gains her
divorce and marries her wealthy, aristocratic physician, Alan (played
by Clive Brook in the first of several films for Ince). They have a
son, but when her new husband leaves her to assist a patient she is
enraged. She finds companionship with the unsympathetic writer Ivan
(Ian Keith), and they elope to Rio, accompanied by her son. Alan gains
custody of the boy, and Christine decides to care for the desperately
ill Stuart. Just before his death, Alan and their child convince their
mother to reunite the family.
Wray explained that with Anna Christie, a new type of screen woman had
emerged, who was found in Ince melodramas, as I outline in my Ince
"The woman who sins is the woman who holds deepest interest for the
screen audience of the day ... Time was when only the sweet young thing
could find any place in the film world as a heroine. But the taste of
audiences has matured with the more complex psychology of the day and a
woman who once would have been labeled a shameless creature will prove
... acceptable ... Audiences will forgive a woman almost anything
providing she acts under emotional strain. Men are coming to realize
that women go through emotional stresses which practically are unknown
to males. They can sympathize with a woman even if she breaks a
cardinal commandment providing there was no mental calculation before
she acted. But an audience never forgives a woman who sins after mental
conflict, for then they feel she is a cold-hearted, calculating,
malevolent creature. "
Christine of the Hungry Heart was the logical culmination of a trend
that had been clear since Ince's What a Wife Learned, and was promoted
in Ince publicity as indicative of the "new" woman and love, her
privileges and the results of emancipation, suggesting that the issue
of gender roles "is more vital than that of the League of Nations or
any other discussion that fills the front page columns of the daily
press." "Marriage," it was noted, "under the complex conditions of the
twentieth century, has become one of the outstanding problems of the
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