Once billed as "The Screen's Brightest Star" Elaine Hammerstein was a protege of Lewis Selznick who acquired her for his Select Pictures after Clara Kimball Young deserted him to form her own production company. He thought Elaine, with her impeccable theatrical pedigree was a name he could exploit. Selznick Pictures were lavish productions and Elaine proved a popular personality - her flippant attitude to her career came across in her screen portrayals in movies like "Reckless Youth".
"Youth chained to a house of decay, like a racing motor boat tied to a
crumbling old wharf" - hard words indeed as applied to beautiful Alice
who feels her spirit is being stifled by the austere family - even the
butler spies on her comings and goings!! Just a beautifully restored film
although there are missing scenes at the start - you don't meet her
parents, even though her mother, played by the lovely Myrtle Stedman,
has prominent billing.
Alice makes the break and confides to her friend John that she wants to
go to the city and find out what it's like to be young and who cares about
paying the piper, to which her friend replies "there'll be a bill all right"!! In
order so she will not be forced home they marry but Alice sees it as an
emancipation and just gallantry on John's part. She soon gets entangled
with Harrison Thornby (Huntley Gordon), a playboy who is called dangerous by his sister. She sails close to the edge - Harrison tells her to call him when
she has grown up a bit. Too late, John has already left her for his lodge. He is
in a drunken haze and can't quite remember he has a house guest - "Tootles" a tough little flapper and it's Constance Bennett in her first adult role!! She
is terrific and gives the movie a big boost - not playing a slinky sophisticate
but a girl who "after a two by four hallway off Broadway find's John's
cottage a paradise"!! Elaine Hammerstein is a darling as Alice, a spoiled
girl who doesn't know what life is all about but Constance's "Tootles" is
the character you remember. The ending is a let down!!
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