Sunday, March 8, 2015

Silent Sundays: The Flapper (1920)


The flapper - glass slide - 1920.jpg
I hate it when I do not find a film enjoyable. When a film is not enjoyable or one I find to be remotely interesting I kind of feel like I wasted my time. But as I like to say every film good or bad or boring is an experience and I can at least say I saw it. This is exactly how I feel about the silent film The Flapper.
            I am going to be totally honest with you I zoned out almost right from the beginning of the film. THE TITLE IS SO MISLEADING!!!! Seriously, I thought this was going to be about a flapper, an actual girl who goes out and becomes this freewheeling flapper. What a letdown. Here is what I took away from the film as I kind of paid attention while I was scrolling through a Mamrie Hart tumblr:
            In the small town of Orange Springs, Florida lives a girl named Genevieve “Ginger” King (Olive Thomas). She is one of those girls who is tired of her small town life where she has “scandalized” her senator father by having an ice cream at the soda fountain with a boy named Bill E. Forbes. So she does not head down a truly destructive path her father sends her to an all girls school in upstate New York.

            The school is not so terrible. Ginger and the other girls are allowed to go out and play in the snow and somewhat flirt with the boy at the military school next door. It just so happens that Bill E. Forbes attends that military school. Even in New York Bill tries to flirt with Ginger and get her attention. The only person who has Ginger’s attention is the handsome man who rides past the school on his horse. All the girls turn to putty when he rides by. To get the man on the horse to notice her Ginger has a sleigh ride go awry so that the guy will have to come and save her. Her plans work. Richard Channing is the man’s name and he asks how old she is. Ginger lies telling him she is almost twenty instead of sixteen. Richard invites her to a dance at his country club that night.


            The girls are all in a tizzy with Ginger going to the dance with an older man. She has to sneak out to the party since an action like this is against the rules. The dance goes well for a little while until a girl at the school named Hortense rats Ginger out and the headmistress has to go bring Ginger back. Ginger overhears Richard call her a young saphead and that breaks her heart.
            When Ginger and the headmistress return to the school a robbery has just occurred. Back in the City, Hortense is at a hotel with a man. She and this man have just robbed the girl’s school of all its valuables. Richard is also staying at the same hotel Hortsense and her friend are. Hortense comes up with the plan to bring Ginger to the hotel and blame the robbery on her.
            Ginger being the gullible girl she is goes to the hotel before she heads home for a break. Hortense and her friend dress Ginger up in vamp clothes to head down to dinner at the hotel. Richard sees her and she plays with him thinking she is a real grown-up. Other things happen then Hortense and her friend get Ginger to take the suitcases full of stolen stuff down to Florida with her and they will come and get them.
Image result for the flapper 1920 movie
            While at the hotel waiting to head home, Ginger goes through Hortense’s suitcase and finds all kind of vamp clothes. She even finds some of her letters from her boyfriend. Ginger uses the clothes and the letters to make herself appear more adult to Richard who is also heading down to Orange Springs to go yachting with his friends.
Image result for the flapper 1920 movie
            Ginger shows up in her small town and almost causes a riot. Her father comes home from somewhere and is shocked by what he is hearing. Ginger tries to tell him it was a joke but he does not believe her.
            Again, other things happen. I think she ends up with Bill E. Forbes and they have ice cream together which is no longer as scandalous as her joke she pulled.
            The Flapper was boring. This was the first time I saw Olive Thomas in a film. Despite this not that great story I would like to see Thomas in another film. I am actually surprised that Frances Marion wrote the screenplay. Usually her stories and screenplays are really good. I will say that The Flapper is worth seeing once if you really like silent films since it is considered a well known one.  At least the Mamrie Hart tumblr I was looking at was entertaining. (Don’t know who Mamrie Hart is… you’re insane and have no humor in your life. Her face alone will crack you up. Go to YouTube and search either You Deserve a Drink or Mametown).
            You can watch The Flapper in full on YouTube.