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Headlines (1925)

Headlines (1925) St. Regis Productions. Distributor: Associated Exhibitors. Director: E.H. Griffith. Continuity: Peter Milne, Arthur Hoerl. Story: Dorian Neve [or] Olga Printzlau. Photography: Parcel Picard, Walther Arthur. Cast: Alice Joyce, Malcolm McGregor, Virginia Lee Corbin, Harry T. Morey, Ruby Blaine, Elliott Nugent. Duke Ellington and the Washingtonians. 6 reels, 5,600 ft.

A copy of this film is located at the Library of Congress (35 mm., undergoing preservation). Apparently one reel of the film is missing. However, as the Library of Congress worked on the film, they discovered an unknown appearance by Duke Ellington. Mike Mashon posted a clip on the Library of Congress Blog. The video is now out and available from Grapevine Video.

Lobby cards and a still (Thanks to Derek Boothroyd for these scans)

Review from Moving Picture World
Review from Photoplay
Viewing comments

Review from Moving Picture World, August 1, 1925

Mother's Sacrifice to Save Her Jazzy Daughter's Reputation Makes Story That Should Appeal
Reviewed by C.S. Sewell.

Two possible angles are suggested by the title of the Associated Exhibitors release "Headlines." One that it is a story of newspaper life and the other that it involves something that would make good newspaper headlines. Both of these figure in the plot to a limited extent, for the story opens in the editorial rooms of a big daily, two of the principals are members of the staff and there is a threat of a "headline" story in the big climax.

The predominating point of the production, however, is the unhesitating sacrifice of her good name by a mother to save her daughter's reputation. The occurs when the mother follows her daughter to the villain's apartment and hiding her in a bedroom comes out and faces the irate wife looking for divorce evidence. While by no means new, such a situation is always effective if well handled as it is in this instance. Of course all turns out right eventually and the mother's sacrifice is appreciated by the man she loves.

The principal character in the drama is a woman feature writer who has kept secret the fact that she has a grown daughter, but from the minute this girl appears on the scene she is the centre of interest. Posing as her mother's younger sister she turns out to be an ultra-modern flapper with exceedingly advanced ideas of independence. This introduces a decided jazz atmosphere and the sex angle is rather daringly suggested in some of the scenes.

Alice Joyce gives a sincere and thoroughly sympathetic portrayal of the mother while Virginia Lee Corbin is excellent as the jazz-baby daughter. The male members of the cast have roles of less importance but acquit themselves creditably although Elliott Nugent seems rather miscast as the city editor.

The production details are adequate, the continuity smooth and the direction well handles, and "Headlines" should provide satisfactory entertainment. Patrons who may be fed up on jazz and sex will find that this angle is counteracted by the appeal of the mother's role.

Phyllis Dale Alice Joyce
"Bobby" Dale Virginia Lee Corbin
Lawrence Emmett Malcolm McGregor
Donald Austen Harry T. Morey
Stella Austen Ruby Blaine
Roger Hillman Elliott Nugent

Story by Dorian Neve.
Adapted by Peter Milne.
Directed by Edward H. Griffith.
Length, 5,600 feet.

Phyllis Dale, feature writer on a newspaper, keeps secret the fact hat she has a grown daughter. This girl, "Bobby," is a regular jazz baby and when she is expelled from school for a prank she returns home but begins to pose as Phyllis' sister. Phyllis, however, tells her sweetheart, Lawrence Emmett, the truth, and Lawrence takes an interest in the girl and seeks to curb her. Bobby turns down easy-going Roger, the city editor, for a wealthy philanderer, Austen, whose wife is seeking evidence for a divorce. Bobby falls in love with Lawrence and tells her mother they are engaged. Stella, learning Bobby is to visit Austen at his apartment, follows her and is found by Austen's wife and to save Bobby assumes the appearance of guilt. Lawrence is heartbroken and Bobby, realizing her mother's sacrifice, is greatly chastened. Roger comes to the rescue and arranges to bring Stella and Lawrence together and there is a reconciliation and Bobby, having learned her lesson, is glad to accept Roger.

Review from Photoplay, Sept 1925, p. 104

HEADLINES - Associated Exhibitors
A fairly interesting newspaper story made enjoyable by a good cast and interesting titles. Alice Joyce and Virginia Lee Corbin present contrasting types -- the beautiful, dignified widow and her flapper daughter. As do Malcolm McGregor, a young man in love with the mother who is older than he, and Elliott Nugent, a staid city editor bowled over by seventeen-year-old modern ways. - C.H.

Viewing comments

Glad to be able to finally see this film. It's a programmer, but well made and enjoyable. Joyce is mature and dignified as usual, and Virginia Lee Corbin looks extramely young but plays her part as a naive but reckless flapper well. It did give me pause to see Malcolm McGregor cast as Joyce's love interest, given my familiarity with Smouldering Fires.. It's nice to see a film about a complicated mature woman, even if the plot did eventually descend to conventionality. The print looks good, though i noticed that sparkly things had a dark halo. Available from Grapevine Video.

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Last revised December 27, 2018