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The Loves of Letty (1919)

The Loves of Letty (1919) Goldwyn Pictures Corp. Distributor: Goldwyn Distributing Corp. Presenter: Samuel Goldwyn. Director: Frank Lloyd. Scenario: J.E. Nash. Camera: Edward Gheller. Cast: Pauline Frederick, John Bowers, Lawson Butt, Willard Louis, Florence Deshon, Leila Bliss, Leota Lorraine, Sydney Ainsworth, Harland Tucker, Joan Standing. 5 reels. This film appears to be LOST


An ad for the film from Film Daily.
(Thanks to David Menefee for this scan)
The Lure of Jade

Review from Variety
Review from Moving Picture World

Review from Variety, February 13, 1920

THE LOVES OF LETTY
Letty Shell Pauline Frederick
Richard Perry John Bowers
Nevill Letchmere Lawson Butt
Bernard Mandeville Willard Lewis
Marion Allardyce Florence Deshon
Hilda Gunning Leila Bliss
Florence Crosby Leota Lorraine
Ivor Crosby Sydney Ainsworth
"Coppy" Drake Harland Tucker
Slavey Joan Standing

This feature offering by Goldwyn with Pauline Frederick as the star in the title role of Letty in "The Loves of Letty," is not perhaps the best in the extensive repertoire of plays from the gifted Sir Arthur Wing Pinero, which have been adapted for screen purposes.

The play, however, written possibly in the prime of Sir Arthur's career, and in the days too, when English society was trying to sever itself from the bonds which so inexorably separated the middle from the upper strata, must have had great effect. In the present time, this problem is not new and has been depicted in numerous ways and in a diversity of manner in telling on the screen before, so that the moral and what one may call the "punch" behind the feature seems absent.

The story briefly concerns Letty, a young lady, though not in impoverished circumstances, must earn her living, while into the counting house where she is employed comes the first man in her life. He is a man of the upper strata, inheriting as most Englishmen do in the upper strata a false sense of human values when the weaker sex is not of their own class. He cannot marry her for he is bound in marriage to a wife who will not grant him a divorce. And from then on begins a struggle between the woman and the man, while from two other angles comes two other men. One is her employer, a man risen from the ranks into wealth, but coarse and uncouth, who marries her. At the wedding ceremony she cannot undergo the strain and the thought of imminent proximity causes her to flee with the man in the higher station in life. The fourth man, silent, though attentive, looks on and in the critical moment brings her back to him.

It is not by any means a dull story and the manner in which it has been directed plus the personality of Miss Frederick makes the feature, despite its drawbacks of an up-to-date problem, stand out as though it were one of the best pictures on the market.

There is a peculiar atmosphere of England throughout the picture that makes it even more attractive to an element which likes to see the frame of a story set and enacted in a local fitting with the subject. Altho probably made in America scarcely no one can penetrate its air of England unless an individual is too scrutinizing, and film fans seldom are.

Miss Frederick is supported by a very able cast, most of whom seem to be well fitted for their respective parts. There is little her of what one sees in the average run of films in the way of overacting. Each does his or her bit and does not go beyond the pale of the chalk lines. But it does not seem rational to have Miss Frederick play opposite John Bower [sic] in the role of Richard Perry, for the most important reason that Miss Frederick, who is getting along in years, through no fault of her own, shows the contrast, which no film star, especially of the female sex, dare flaunt on the public unawares.

To the exhibitor booking the feature, he may be assured those who like Miss Frederick will not be disappointed in "Letty."


Step.




Review from Moving Picture World


February 21, 1920

"The Loves of Letty"
Goldwyn Presents Pauline Frederick in Screen Version of the Play by Sir Arthur Pinero.
Reviewed by Louis Reeves Harrison.

Originally an English play dealing with the class idea that little matters what happens to one of the masses, the Goldwyn production touches this but lightly, just enough to show how firmly established it is in the social fabric of Great Britain. "The Loves of Letty" develops into the story of a romantic working girl who finds her limited and shabby environment distasteful and who is tempted to sacrifice her soul in order to get rid of material discomforts.

Miss Frederick acts her role with dignity and charm, and her support is generously good. Lawson Butt and Willard Louis distinguish themselves as the lovers aristocratic and plebian. Among the minor characters are many who contribute in first rate style to the comedy element and provide bright relief to an otherwise dark story. The atmosphere and settings are consistently English, amusingly so in the ensembles. The roof party standing solemnly to be photographed is a veritable hit. The general values of the picture as shown at the Broadway Theatre are good, and it should provide a fair entertainment wherever shown.

Cast:
Letty Shell Pauline Frederick
Richard Perry John Bowers
Nevill Letchmere Lawson Butt
Bernard Mandeville Willard Lewis
Marion Allardyce Florence Deshon
Hilda Gunning Leila Bliss
Florence Crosby Leota Lorraine
Ivor Crosby Sydney Ainsworth
"Coppy" Drake Harland Tucker
Slavey Joan Standing

Adapted from the play by Sir Arthur Wing Pinero.
Directed by Frank Lloyd.
Length, Five Reels

The Story:
Earliest among the "Loves of Letty" is Letchmere, London clubman of good family. His attentions cause her employer, Mandeville, to take and interest in her as a prospective wife. He warns Letchmere to keep his hands off, only inciting the clubman to further effort to win Letty without the formality of marriage. Poor Richard Perry, who lives in her lodging house, tells Letty of his love and of his hope that a wealth uncle will establish him in business.

Letty is given three parties on her birthday. The first of these is in Letchmere's rooms, where she is chaperoned by two girl friends. She has almost starved herself to buy the gown she wears, but she bears up bravely under Letchmere's ardent wooing, in the full belief that he means marriage. The second party is at her lodging house. Letchmere appears and gives her some caddish advice to seriously consider Mandeville's offer of marriage. Letty is overcome by this revelation. When Mandeville arrives and offers her wealth with respectability, she is desperate enough to accept him and announces that he is to be her husband. He invites all hands to a big supper party and gorges himself and drinks so hard the he gets into a dispute with the restaurant keeper.

Letchmere appears and carries the disgusted and disheartened Letty off to his rooms. He has almost persuaded her to sacrifice herself when he receives news that his married sister has eloped with a lover. He is overcome with horror. Letty now sees that he has one morality for his own set and quite another for her own. She escapes in a driving rain and faints on London Bridge. When Letty comes to herself she is the honored guest of poor Perry's rich uncle. Letchmere calls to announce that he is free to marry her, but she refuses him. She has accepted the love of Perry because it is founded on honor and respect.

Program and Exploitation Catchlines: She Could Marry a Man with Gold--A Man with a Title--and a Poor Man with Love--See Which of the Three Suitors Letty Chooses in Convincing Drama.
These Are the Three Questions Letty Had to Face--"Can I Marry a Rich Man and Be Happy?"--"Can I Marry a Man with a Title and Be Contented?"--Can I Afford to Marry a Poor Photographer Who Will Give Me His Love?" See Which One She Answers.
"The Loves of Letty" Numbered Three--She Allowed Riches to Blind Her Eyes to the Light of Love--But Then--For the Remainder of the Story See This Appealing Play.

Exploitation Angles: Play up Miss Fredericks [sic], but work hard on the problem of the play. Try such arguments as "one man was poor, but decent. One was a rich and well meaning, but a drunkard. The third was a most attractive libertine with money to burn and a plentiful supply of matches. Which lover won Letty"" Recast this in different forms. If you can get cut outs of the three from the posters, hang a label about the neck of each one and ask the same question.


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Last revised, November 3, 2011