THE GIRL WHO STAYED AT HOME
starring Robert Harron, Clarine Seymour, Richard Barthelmess and Carol Dempster
MOTION PICTURE CLASSIC
At last! David Griffith has contributed something to the screen
which deserves its meed of praise and which at moments
flashes to brilliant humanness. It is "The Girl Who Stayed
at Home" (Artcraft), which is, at basis, just another war
This time Griffith takes two love themes, first the story of a typical, healthy young American and his French sweetheart, and, secondly, of the chap's weak, lounge-lizard brother and his cabaret light o' love. It is in this second theme in its showing how war regenerates the two that Griffith touches his heights. But the director must have his war, and we are shown how the two brothers rescue the little French girl, undergoing the usual embrace from the usual dastardly Hun officer.
There are two or three remarkable scenes in "The Girl Who Stayed at Home" bits of life showing the director's uncanny insight into femininity. It may sound odd to mention a little moment where the cabaret girl who but Griffith would dare to call her Cutie Beautiful? cuddles into a huge chair and whispers nothings into a telephone. But the blinding flash of greatness is here. Again, in a moment where the lonely girl half sobs, half dances as her phonograph grinds out a rollicking war ditty. It is here that Clarine Seymour stands out so brilliantly. Griffith has a genuine discovery in Miss Seymour, whose playing is vivid in every detail. And Cutie Beautiful's fascinating "shimmie walk"! The screen has had nothing like it since Dorothy Gish's little disturber came gliding across the silversheet with piquant boisterousness.
In one other thing Griffith's "The Girl Who Stayed at Home" stands out. He has dared to present a kindly German soldier, even to showing the man leaving his old mother in the fatherland. Yet shortsighted critics have condemned this broadmindedness.
It is in these few flashes that Griffith rather restores our faith in his leadership. If only he had literary discernment! 'The Girl Who Stayed at Home," credited to a mysterious S.E. V. Taylor, is banal stuff, another variation of the old Biograph chase.
Miss Seymour overtops every one in the production, altho Bobbie Harron indicates the regeneration of the weakling with broad strokes, Richard Barthelmess is commendable as the brother and Carol Dempster satisfactory as the Parisian sweetheart.
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