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The Matinee Idol

Live Musical Accompaniment
Screening on Film
Directed by Frank Capra.
With Bessie Love, Johnnie Walker, Lionel Belmore.
US, 1928, 35mm, black & white, silent, 66 min.
Print source: Sony Pictures

In quick succession, six weeks for each picture (two weeks for writing, two for shooting, two for editing), I made two more films: So This Is Love […] and Matinee Idol, a tent-show comedy with Johnny Walker [sic] and Bessie Love. In them I tried mixing in another so-called sure-fire ingredient with comedy—a little love story. It seemed to work. Besides which, I ‘discovered’ another directing trick: Don’t let the ponderous behind-the-scenes machinery distract from the heroine’s fluttering eyelid. People pay to hear Heifetz’s violin, not to marvel at his fingers. — FC

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