Portrait from How I Broke Into The Movies
How I Broke Into The Movies by Colleen Moore
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Why Be Good? and Synthetic Sin are the last silent films Colleen made - although technically they are sound synchronized. In the time following Al Jolson's history-making You ain't heard nothin' yet, studios were transitioning to sound by releasing silent films with timed music and sound effects recorded to shellac discs. The disc was started when the movie began and thus movie and sound were synchronized. Why Be Good? and Synthetic Sin were both discovered in an Italian archive almost ten years ago; fortunately, the Vitaphone discs for Why Be Good? were complete and available but only the final disc of Synthetic Sin was found. For the theatrical showings and on disc, Why Be Good? is sound synchronized while Synthetic Sin has a piano score until the last reel when the disc is used.*
These pictures of domestic goddess Moore were published
in the January 1922 issue of Pantomime magazine.
Colleen's career started in 1917 with an appearance in The Bad Boy. She, like many other actresses of the time, wore her hair in long curls to emulate the most successful and highest paid actress of the time, Mary Pickford. It wasn't until 1923 when Colleen was begging First National Studio for the starring role in their film of the best-selling novel Flaming Youth that her mother offered this sage advice: Why don't we cut your hair and then make [the studio] give you a test for the part? Out came the scissors, Colleen got the part and Flaming Youth became her biggest film hit to date. The film made Colleen Moore a huge star (and for a time the highest paid actress in Hollywood). Girls everywhere cut their hair into a Dutch bob and copied her style of dress. Before Clara Bow, Louise Brooks and Joan Crawford, Colleen was the quintessential flapper.
This clip is all that remains of Flaming Youth the
film that put Colleen Moore, and flapperdom, on the map.
I've uploaded Colleen Moore's Ella Cinders with a custom score
using jazz tunes from the 1920s to both archive.org and YouTube.
A list of the songs and artists is below.*
This interview was published in a 1929 book by Lee Shippey called
Personal Glimpses of Famous Folks and Other Selections from the Lee Side o' L.A..
This interview was published in the March 1922 issue
of Pantomime magazine, an early Hollywood fan magazine.
pictures of Colleen from throughout her life and career.
- Henpecked Blues - Isham Jones & His Orchestra
- Hold Me - artist unknown
- Hot Mama - artist unknown
- Whispering - (Paul?) Whiteman
- Blue Rose - Free 20s Jazz Collection
- Bugle Call Blues - artist unknown
- Sing You Sinners - artist unknown
- Paddlin' Madelin Home - Isham Jones & His Orchestra
- Wabash Blues - Isham Jones & His Orchestra
- Alabama - Isham Jones & His Orchestra
- Cry - Isham Jones & His Orchestra
- Ivy - Isham Jones & His Orchestra
- Never Again - Isham Jones & His Orchestra
- When Eyes Of Blue Are Fooling You - Howard Lanin