film cinema


starring Betty Bronson, Adolphe Menjou, and Florence Vidor


September, 1925

Because it is handled intelligently - because it expresses a deal of depth and feeling, this shapes up as interesting entertainment. It is a story of incompatibility between a husband and wife whose daughter refuses to take sides. A young man advises her that parents are people - that they can be brought together by giving them a mutual worry. So the girl effects a reconciliation by flirting with scandal and disgrace. It's a simple story, well emphasized with human interest. Betty Bronson of "Peter Pan" fame plays the daughter with charm and authority, while Adolphe Menjou and Florence Vidor score as the parents. A good number.

An intelligent and interesting domestic story told with taste and a good measure of charm is this adaptation of an Alice Duer Miller story. Here is the triangle of a married couple on the verge of divorce and their grown-up boarding school daughter. The twentieth century child takes things in her own hands and brings her father and mother together.

"Are Parents People?" is delightfully acted by a nearly perfect cast. Florence Vidor gives a sincere portrayal of the wife, while Adolphe Menjou's characterization of the husband is finely shaded. Excellent as are these two performances, it seems to me that Betty Bronson is even better as the daughter. Her Lita Hazlitt proves that she can do more than be Peter Pan. The superb spirit of youth is here, plus a growing surety of acting. Her playing, in fact, is genuinely charming. And there is a highly promising young actor, Lawrence Grey, in a smaller role. You will hear more of Mr. Grey before long.

"Are Parents People?" brings forward a new director, Mal St. Clair, at least new to screen drama. St. Clair has been making slapstick comedies for years. Farce seems to be the perfect college of the screen.

Everybody has been anxiously awaiting the release of this picture for two reasons: first, to see if Betty Bronson would measure up to her performance in "Peter Pan"; second, because this is the first production that the youthful director Mal St. Clair has done for Paramount. We could write pages and pages about Betty, but it can be summed up in this: she is a marvelous actress, natural and human at all times. The story shows a young girl whose parents suffer from incompatibility. She decides to give them a mutual worry to bring them together. Every member of the cast is perfect - Adolphe Menjou, Florence Vidor, Lawrence Gray and Andre DeBerganger. BUT what is foremost is the direction. The picture moves along smoothly with a finesse of touches that are subtle and amusing. See this!!

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