Starring Richard Barthelmess and Dorothy Mackaill
September, 1925

The romance of a tough gob and a New England spinster, told with rare deftness by John Robertson, and acted with great humor by Richard Barthelmess and Dorothy Mackaill.

"Shore Leave" is apt to be Dick's most popular recent picture, because he really finds himself as a comedian. As the dumb sailor, pursued by a girl who is out to get her man, he makes 'em laugh as loud as the well-establshed comics.

The picture has a charming, sea-goin' atmosphere and, underneath its comedy, it has a human and sympathetic story. The United States Navy took part in some of the episodes, which gives the story that authentic quality that made "Classmates" so popular. This is a picture for the whole family

starring Richard Barthelmess and Dorothy MacKaill
October, 1925

The pictures I have seen during the last month have been a little like the foam on an ice-cream soda, cool and pleasant, but gone before you can swallow it. I, for one, have been just as well pleased. Problem plays and hot summer nights shouldn't go hand in hand. The summer may be responsible for the problems, but winter is undoubtedly the time to do the solving.

One picture is worth taking seriously. It is "Shore Leave" starring Richard Barthelmess, and directed by John Robertson. When I first heard that it was to be a picture about a sailor, I felt that Mr. Barthelmess should have waited a decent interval between "Classmates" and West Point and "Shore Leave" and sailors, leaving practically nothing left in reserve but the marines and aviators.

However, it is not a story of battleships and our flag; it is the story of a gob and a village dressmaker. Richard Barthelmess is the gob, and Dorothy Mackaill is the dressmaker. It is also the story of two great goofs. To John Robertson, who directed it, must go the great honor of filming a simple picture simply.

He knows there is no heavy hand needed, and he has let his absent-minded hero and his one-track heroine wander about in a pleasant daze, just as Belasco did on the stage.

In a small town by the sea lives a dressmaker with a nautical turn of mind. Her father had been a sea captain, and her mother was an expert elephant trainer for P.T. Barnum. The only two things she has left from al this glory is a schooner stuck in the mud somewhere and a diamond pendant which P.T. Barnum had given to the little girl having the best trained elephant at the end of the fiscal year.

Richard Barthelmess as a Mr. Smith on shore leave drops by one night for dinner. He doesn't do much but eat, but there is enough salt air clinging to him to turn the head and freshen the heart of the dressmaker.

The pendant is sold to salvage the ship, and a great search is started for a Mr. Smith, U.S. Navy, to command it. Mr. Smith is found, but it takes a good bit of maneuvering to get him to "live off'n a rich woman."

Quite recently Mr. Barthelmess has found out that he can be a comedian. He is terribly funny in "Shore Leave." No one could be a bigger boob, and that is high praise indeed.

Almost all the action in the picture is between Mr. Barthelmess and Miss Mackaill. They are alone before the camera at least three-fourths of the time without one tiresome moment, which speaks well for both the acting and directing. What I mean is, it's a great picture.

starring Richard Barthelmess and Dorothy MacKaill
September, 1925

"Shore Leave" (First National) is the last production to come of the combination of Richard Barthelmess as star and John Robertson as director. These two men have now gone their separate ways.

In the footlight version, played by Frances Starr, the story was simply that of a drab New England dressmaker, bordering on spinsterhood, who fell in love with a careless, forgetful sailor. Eventually he wandered back. That was all.

The film version has made "Shore Leave" into a highly diverting study of a brash, happy-go-lucky gob. He meets the little dressmaker, who loses her heart, and eventually he drifts back to her, but the camera follows him thru his merry travels on board one of Uncle Sam's battleships.

Barthelmess' playing of "Bilge" Smith will surprise you, being altogether different than anything he has ever given the screen. It is a performance that would make a star out of any player. Here is a brand new characterization to add to the Barthelmess' gallery, worthy in its way to go with his idealistic Yellow Man of "Broken Blossoms" and his mountain boy of "Tol'able David." Incidentally, it will make the critics who have said that he is no comedian eat their own words.

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