Two young jewel thieves, Tommy and Gordon, stash their jewels on slightly dotty Aunt Martha to avoid the cops. They dupe her into helping them fence the goods. She moves in with the boys, ... See full summary »
Albert S. Rogell
When Pa wins a jingle-writing contest, he and Ma head for New York City. They they get in trouble with gangsters when they lose some stolen money which they had already agreed to deliver to one of the thugs.
Ruth Raymond works on the switchboard and her boyfriend is John Blake. It has taken 14 years, but a detective named Murray has found her and confirmed that she is Ruth Carson. As a child, ... See full summary »
A man's life is retold just after his funeral. Beginning as a track walker, Tom Garner rose through all sorts of railroad jobs to head the company. In the meantime he lost touch with his ... See full summary »
In the coal mining region of Pennsylvania, Wanda Goronski is constantly drinking to shut out the problems in her life. Having deserted her husband and infant children, Wanda sleeps on her ... See full summary »
"Why Be Good?" is a cultural treasure, not only because it's one of the few extant Colleen Moore features of the silent era, but because it has been crisply restored and boasts one of most voluptuous synchronized soundtracks of any late silent feature. As Leonard Maltin explained in his post-broadcast discussion on Turner Classic Movies which aired Sept. 28, 2015, the soundtrack musicians included such jazz greats as Joe Venuti and Tommy Dorsey. Vintage numbers including "I'm Thirsty for Kisses and Hungry for Love," "If You Want the Rainbow, You Must Have the Rain," "Tall, Dark and Handsome," "Flapperette," "Changes," "Le Chant des Boulevards" and "That's Her Now" as well as era-evocative nuggets by William Axt, Hugo Riesenfeld and others, accompany the jaunty proceedings. If Moore was was ever better I'd like to see evidence. She had the face, the hair and the attitude that have come to epitomize "flapper." In early talkies WBG's leading man, Neil Hamilton had a stodgy presence, but is more palatable in silence; if Moore was the ultimate flapper of her time, Hamilton was her equal in the young WASP romantic lead department. Louis Natheaux as a vainglorious would-be dance hall Casanova is the most entertaining supporting player in the early scenes, while Bodil Rosing and John Sainpolis serve the scenario effectively as Moore's parents.
The film showcases in a well-appointed and neatly packaged way the controversies about the role of women at the time. Objecting to her father's strictures about dress code and leisure activities, Moore argues that if she works to contribute to household upkeep, then she has a right to look like she wants (bobbed hair, lipstick, revealing dresses) and do what she wants (stay out half the night dancing, drink illegal alcohol, smoke cigarettes and ride around with men she's just met in moderation, of course). These conflicts had been hashed out in countless films , including Moore's own "Flaming Youth" (1923) before this one was released. WBG then could well be characterized as the Last Word on flappers.
Though not a part of the soundtrack, the popular song of the time "She's a New Kind of Old Fashioned Girl" perfectly suits the Moore character ("Underneath the paint / You will find a saint ")
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?