MISS LULU BETT
Starring Lois Wilson, Milton Sills and Theodore Roberts
December 23, 1921
The only just way in which to pass judgment on the William DeMille (sic) film production of "Miss Lulu Bett" would be to forget having read the book or seen the play. From that viewpoint Famous Players has turned out a first-rate, non-sensational, program feature from a scenario of the Zona Gale novel, prepared by Clara Beranger.
As is the custom in film adaptations of literature, the psychology has been so distorted as to be entirely lost, but there is no longer any doubt but that such a procedure is deemed to be essential to come with the mental scope of the general public. While the minority may protest at such "defilement," picture producers will tell you it reduces the percentage of business gamble. They add (generally with an admonition that it is not for publication) that they are not in the business for art's sake. Judging "Miss Lulu Bett," therefore, as an original scenario, it is a well-wrought, closely-knit, straightaway, cumulative domestic drama of rural life, well acted throughout, carefully produced and vividly atmospheric.
Lois Wilson in the name part is as nearly perfection as one could imagine. She brings to the role just the requisite pathos. A younger man cast for Dwight Deacon might have been more in keeping with the Zona Gale story, and an older, less vigorous woman, than Ethel Wales for Grandma Bett might have been selected, but both these players sustained their respective characterizations satisfactorily. All the others qualified pleasurably.
MISS LULU BETT
Starring Lois Wilson, Milton Sills, Theodore Roberts
December 24, 1921
If all pictures ran up as high a score as does "Miss Lulu Bett," reviewing them would be an unalloyed joy; unfortunately such is far from being the case. "Miss Lulu Bett" fairly brims over with human interest, pathos, and the hard-to-duplicate comedy touches of Theodore Roberts.
Lulu Bett, as the heroine, is the human pack-horse in the family of her sister, with whom she makes her home. All the menial work is saddled onto her; scant courtesy and taunts from the family being also her daily portion. Quite unexpectedly, the long lost brother of the master of the household returns home after an absence of twenty years. He quickly sizes up the home situation; then puts himself out to befriend the family drudge, Miss Lulu. In her honor he gives a dinner, at which, as the result of a mischievous prank, they find themselves legally married. The heroine soon learns that the man she has married has been wedded before, fifteen years previous; and although his wife had deserted him, he does not know whether or not she is living, and consequently is still his wife in the eyes of the law. The heroine leaves him on account of this revelation and returns to what she has called home, The village school-teacher becomes interested in the heroine's case; and then in her; the interest being mutual. A letter from the heroine's husband arrives, announcing that his first wife is still living, and that the heroine, therefore, is free. She and the school-teacher are last shown planning their marriage.
"Miss Lulu Bett" affords excellent entertainment of the wholesome sort that every member of the family can enjoy. The acting and the directing are "up to snuff" every minute; and the inimitable Theodore Roberts outdoes himself, if possible, in this picture.
For more information, see "Miss Lulu Bett" as our "Feature of the Month"
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