SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT
Starring Gloria Swanson, Theodore Roberts, Elliott Dexter and Monte Blue
I am pleased to report that, temporarily, at least, Cecil De Mille has moved out of the lingerie department into the storybook section of the Famous Players' studios in Hollywood. His newest picture, "Something to Think About," is as old as "Hazel Kirke" and as new as a novel by Mary Roberts Rinehart. But it is a good picture, an interesting picture and beautifully screened. The "something" of the title will be accepted as Christian Science, I suspect, by the scientists, but it is broadly a sermon on the text that love can conquer all human ills, and not likely to excite controversy. A wealthy young man living in the big house on the hill becomes interested in and pays for the education of the blacksmith's little daughter who lives below him. When the child returns from college, with her hair up and her skirts of fashionable length, the wealthy young man falls in love with her -- but he is lame and cannot ask her to marry him. Then the little girl, out of gratitude and to please her father, proposes to the lame man, and he is very happy. But she runs way with her schoolboy sweetheart next reel, and darkness settles over the big house. Only the kindly philosophy of the gray-haired housekeeper helps the lame one stand up under his disappointment. "Right will triumph" she preaches, and holds love thoughts over everyone. Sure enough, years after, the blacksmith's daughter returns, a widow and in rags. And though she is turned out by her angry father and contemplates suicide, the lame boy finds and saves her. After her fatherless child is born, he still cares for the two of them, and by the time the lad is three or four, and both the gentle landlady and the grateful heroine have held love thoughts over everybody, the lame boy is able to throw away his crutches, grandfather becomes forgiving, and the ending is beautifully happy. The De Mille sense of beauty of scene, and his care in the selection of the decorative and significant detail, help immensely to cover the obviousness of the story's development. The visit of hero and heroine to the country fair is an illustration, with its ironic clown and his reiterated sneer that "the strong man always wins." The cast is as perfect as casts can be. Theodore Roberts is a masterful figure as the blacksmith. Elliott Dexter is entirely sympathetic but never maudlin as the lame man. Monte Blue is excellent as the schoolboy lover; Gloria Swanson plays the heroine with great earnestness and considerable dramatic power, and Theodore Kosloff serves the story admirably as the clown.
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