Good-Bye Girls; Gone, Goodbye, Good-day: a Lost Film

 

New Castle News, New Castle, Pennsylvania, July 16, 1923

New Castle News, New Castle, Pennsylvania, July 16, 1923

Survival status of Good-Bye, Girls, is unknown according to Silent Era.com. More than twenty-five years later the film was still around, when in 1950 the Fox Film Corporation renewed the copyright of the silent feature.[1]  The premiere date of March 11, 1923 is supported by the Film Daily, which reviewed the movie on that date and the Motion Pictures News Booking Guide;[2] while the Exhibitors Herald incorrectly had the release day as March 31.[3]

Motion Picture News March 3, 1923

Motion Picture News March 3, 1923

Motion Picture News March 3, 1923 - Copy (2)

Motion Picture News March 3, 1923

Motion Picture News March 3, 1923 - Copy

Motion Picture News March 3, 1923

 

The action-comedy-adventure was directed by Jerome Storm; the story was written by George Foxall and adapted by Joseph F. Poland.[4] The cinematography was handled by Joseph H. August and was considered one of the primary reasons for the film’s success; the story-line spent much time outdoors which evidently was beautifully photographed,[5] although much of this may have been Fox publicity hype for the picture instead of actual film critique. At the least, some of the exteriors of Good-Bye, Girls, were filmed in Sanford, Florida, many locals and familiar places were identifiable by pupils from the elementary and high schools and members of the Kiwanis Club who saw the movie at the Ritz Theater in Sanford,[6] which is northeast of Orlando, on the south shore of Lake Monroe. Good-Bye, Girls, ran forty-nine minutes and Variety said of the film that it was a, “Corking comedy, built solely for laughs.” [7]

McPhee’s Sensational Rest was the original title of Good-Bye, Girls; Foxall’s story when seen in print in 1917 carried this same label.[8] The next title change was to, Wanted – A Wife, and though I can find no advertisements in North America with the designation, Don’t Get Excited (possibly the British title[9]), the film was listed as such in a Hollywood fan magazine.

argosy_191707

 

The Cast:

William Russell

William Russell   (Vance McPhee, the author)

 

pho26chic_0066

Carmel Myers   (Florence Brown, the young lady in distress)

 

Tom Wilson

Tom Wilson

Tom Wilson   (Bill Jordan, trusted servant of McPhee; Wilson appeared in blackface[10])

 

Kate Price.php

Kate Price   (Sarah)

 

Robert Klein

Robert Klein

Robert Klein   (Batista)

 

Hardee Kirkland

Hardee Kirkland

Hardee Kirkland   (Part unknown [11])

 

Fay Holderness

Fay Holderness

Fay Holderness   (Part unknown [12])

 

The Plot:

Vance McPhee, an author of popular fiction, is on the verge of a nervous collapse. He is instructed by his doctor to take a rest. So, McPhee decides to resort to his country home, which had recently been left to him by his late aunt. Upon his arrival he is informed by the maid that there is a young woman who wishes to rent or purchase the house. The young lady is being pursued by a gang of ruffians who are after a box belonging to this damsel in distress (a condensed version of the synopsis seen in Variety).[13]

Side note: It seems that the misspelling bug has attacked both TCM and Silent Era, both websites have the film listed as: Good-By Girls; which appears to mean that both TCM and Silent Era (each do great work) used the same source material (Robert E. Sherwood’s: The Best Moving Pictures of 1922-1923[14]) for their notes; maybe a third has used the same source, that being Aubrey Solomon in his history of The Fox Film Corporation. [15] Yet, the Film Daily, in their “Current Releases” section, in five 1923 editions has the film listed as Good-Bye, Girls;[16]  Just a few days prior to the official release of Good-Bye, Girls, a one paragraph notation was released by Fox stating that the production had its name changed three times with the latest choice being, Good-bye, Girls.[17] By the way, whoever did the research for TCM and Silent Era missed the fact that within the same book Mr. Sherwood spells the title of the movie (from the film-résumé of director Jerome Storm), Good-bye, Girls and under Ms. Carmel Myers listing as, Good-Bye, Girls. [18]Adding to the confusion, the only available images (poster and a still) from the film have the spelling as Good-By, Girls,[19] and in the Motion Picture News it is, Good-by, Girls, within the article and Good-Bye, Girls, in the description with the accompanying photos. Is that enough confusion and pettifogging for us?

It is too bad that we have had to say Goodbye to Good-Bye, Girls, which unfortunately rests as another unique piece of the puzzle that is “lost films.” A piece and a puzzle that can in most circumstances only be viewed through the written word, yellowed images and faded memories.

Moberly Evening Democrat, Moberly, Missouri, April 19, 1923

Moberly Evening Democrat, Moberly, Missouri, April 19, 1923

Daily Republican, Rushville, Indiana, May 9, 1923

Daily Republican, Rushville, Indiana, May 9, 1923

Daily Free Press, Carbondale, Illinois, May 23, 1923

Daily Free Press, Carbondale, Illinois, May 23, 1923

Daily Star, Fredericksburg, Virginia, January 3, 1924

Daily Star, Fredericksburg, Virginia, January 3, 1924

 

By C. S. Williams

 

[1] U. S. Copyright Renewals, 1950 January – June, Published by the U. S. Copyright Office

[2] Film Daily, March 18, 1923

Motion Picture News Booking Guide: Pictures Released Between March 1, 1923 – September 1, 1923

[3] Exhibitors Herald, April 21, 1923

Motion Picture News, March 10, 1923

[4] Variety, May 3, 1923

[5] Delaware County Daily Times (Chester, Pennsylvania) July 24, 1923

St. Petersburg Times (St. Petersburg, Florida) August 9, 1923

Penn Yan Democrat (Penn Yan, New York) August 24, 1923

Santa Ana Register (Santa Ana, California) February 16, 1924

[6] National Register of Historic Places Registration Form, December 18, 2000

[7] El Paso Herald (El Paso, Texas) March 8, 1923

Variety, May 3, 1923

Pictures and Picturegoer, March, 1924

[8] Argosy, July, 1917

[9] Motherwell Times (Lanarkshire, Scotland) August 15, 1924

[10] Variety, May 3, 1923

[11]  Pictures and Picturegoer, May 1924

[12] Motion Picture News, March 3, 1923

Salina Evening Journal (Salina, Kansas) March 10, 1923

[13] Variety, May 3, 1923

[14] The Best Moving Pictures of 1922-1923: Also Who’s Who in the Movies and the Yearbook of the American

Screen, Edited by Robert E. Sherwood, Published by Small, Maynard & Company, page 168

[15] The Best Moving Pictures of 1922-1923, Also

Who’s Who in the Movies and the Yearbook of the American Screen,  by Robert E. Sherwood, Small, Maynard &

Company, 1923, page 168

The Fox Film Corporation, 1915-1935: A History and Filmography, by Aubrey Solomon, McFarland, 2011, page 282

[16] The Film Daily, March 18; April 8; May 13; May 20; May 27, 1923.

[17] El Paso Herald (El Paso, Texas) March 8, 1923

[18] The Best Moving Pictures of 1922-1923

Who’s Who in the Movies and the Yearbook of the American Screen, by Robert E. Sherwood, Small, Maynard &

Company, 1923, page 168

The Fox Film Corporation, 1915-1935: A History and Filmography, by Aubrey Solomon, McFarland, 2011, page 282

[19] These are privately owned and access is restricted

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