100 Years Ago: The Antidote for Movie Violence

A small-town movie theater owner was surprised by the crowds who flocked to see an old-fashioned tear-jerker

People watching an old movie

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It was a sweet, wholesome story of old folks and young people in a small town. I ran the picture eight times in two days, and had to turn people away at each presentation. Mind you, this in a town of less than 4,000!

An old acquaintance since my boyhood stopped on her way out to tell me how much she had enjoyed the picture.

“I guess that’s the kind they like to see, isn’t it?” I asked.

“Oh, yes,” she said; “such a relief after all the sexpots.”

“How do you explain that?”

“I reckon you know,” she said. “All girls and boys who go to a theater want to imagine themselves as the girl and boy in the picture. And we old folks love to forget where we are and imagine ourselves like the old folks that’s in the play.”

“And,” she asked, “how on earth is an old woman like me going to imagine herself the mother of a femme fatale, and enjoy it? How’s a nice girl going to imagine herself sittin’ on a lounge in a leopard robe, looking wall-eyed at some fool man?”

—“Hard to Pick ’Em” by a Village Movie Man, June 3, 1922

First page of the article "It's hard to pick em"
Read “Hard to Pick ’Em” by Village Movie Man from the June 3, 1922, issue of the Post.

This article is featured in the May/June 2022 issue of The Saturday Evening Post. Subscribe to the magazine for more art, inspiring stories, fiction, humor, and features from our archives.

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