starring Wallace Reid, Gloria Swanson, Wanda Hawley, Theodore Roberts, Agnes Ayres, Monte Blue and Bebe Daniels
September, 1921

Nothing left of Schnitzler but the title. The subtle craftsmanship, the sentimental melancholy and the humorous cynicism have given place to crudity and even clumsy vulgarity. We look upon "The Affairs of Anatol" as the worst massacre since Custer's forces were wiped out by the redskins. The silken DeMille is certainly running riot.

starring Wallace Reid, Gloria Swanson, Wanda Hawley, Theodore Roberts, Agnes Ayres, Monte Blue and Bebe Daniels
September 12, 1921

Cecil Be DeMille's long and widely heralded screen version of "The Affairs of Anatol" came to town in duplicate yesterday, one print going into the Rivoli and the other into the Rialto for at least a week at each theatre.

Here is Mr. DeMille at his best. Whether you will like it is another matter. If you like a glorified movie that you can take as a movie and are not asked to take as a genuinely human photoplay, you will probably be among the large number who will find enjoyment in Anatol and his innocent escapades. Mr. DeMille, it appears, must be ornate and artificial, theatrical at all times, and his style is not suited, therefore, to stories of real people and serious import. For this reason, the matrimonial homilies, which he delivered for viewing and which simply would not let themselves be taken lightly, were false and tiresome -- except to those who like moralizing guaranteed to produce no moral effect upon them.

But the case of the present offering is different. Here is an extravagant story that never by any chance could be taken seriously, ornamented by elaborate and expensive sets, and such an assemblage of screen favorites as has never before been brought together in one picture for the worship of idolatrous fans. And, incidentally, any number of the screen's best pantomimists are among them. So it's a magnificant puppet show, legitimately and logically excessive in every way. For once Mr. DeMille's theatricalities are in harmony with his subject. He is free, for example, to indulge his love of trick furniture and bizarre costumes to his heart's content without giving offense. They're all part of the show.

Doubtless there will be those who will say that the picture could have been something more than just a show. They will point out that it really becomes most enjoyable when it runs most freely in the spirit of banter and satire and they will insist that, if it had been treated throughout with that light and subtle incisiveness that makes the whole world grin at itself, it would have been a work of exceptional value, but that, with its somewhat labored movement and general burden of Hollywood's celluloid morality, it lacks the sparkle of a cynical levity, which, obviously, it might have had.

True, true, but it is as it is, and, despite what it might have been, it may so easily be taken as a movie show deluxe that one is inclined to accept it as that and not find fault. And it has its really worthwhile moments, too, remember. Wallace Reid, as Anatol, farces some of his scenes delightfully,. Theodore Roberts makes the old rounder he impersonates a joy, and Agnes Ayres almost succeeds in creating a character. Gloria Swanson is decorative, Wanda Hawley is fascinating, and Bebe Daniels does one of the best mock-vampire acts. It's a pity hat these three ever became stars. They are so good in parts which do not make it necessary for them to assume the play-it-as-I attitude.

Also in the cast, and pleasantly present, are Elliott Dexter, Raymond Hatton, Monte Blue, Charles Ogle and a number of others well known on the screen,. Theodore Kosloff, one of the best pantomimist of them all, has only a bit. It is done in finished style. There ought to be more of it.

The producton, it may be said even by one who did not see the Schnitzler-Barker original, is only a distant and thoroughly acclimated cousin of the continental work that flourished on the stage some seasons ago. In the first place, according to all reports, Schnitzler's play was not something the censors would have approved of. It doesn't seem likely that they will find much fault with the picture, however. On the screen Anatol is an exceedingly nice young man whose affairs are all entirely innocent. If the girls who, one after another, arouse his purely philanthropic interest are not so innocent, they are still not so very, very bad, and promise to be good before they are dismissed from the story. The picture, in fact, bears a closer resemblance to "My Lady Friends," which many no doubt will remember than to the freely continental farce "Anatol" is reported to have been. And, it should be added, although it uses the original name, it does not claim to be a faithful translation. "Suggested by" is the term used on the program, and the authorship of the screen version is ascribed to Jeanie Macpherson.

Also at the Rivoli and Rialto, and adding merriment to their programs, is the latest Sarg-Dawley Shadowgraph, "Fireman Save My Child."

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