directed by: Victor Halperin


IMDB link:

Submitted by Charles O'Brien on 2006-11-30

Charles O'Brien's comment:
An early talkie starring Douglas Fairbanks Jr. Most of the scenes were filmed with two or three cameras running simultaneously. Dialogue rarely occurs during the long shots used to open and close scenes, and to mark a character's entrance or exit, unless the dialogue has been postsynched. These long shots often appear to have been filmed separately and then added to the scene in post-production. After the credits sequence, and just prior to the film proper, a crawl title presents the film as a public-service expose of prostitution (maybe this was added some years later). 0.00: interior of the office for the Lindsay Social Bureau, run by Madame Maude Lindsay and her partner Robert, with secretarial worked performed by Miss Manning; 1.40: party girl Diane gets a massage, while receiving a phone call from Madame Maude, who invites Diane to a party; 3.10: interior of the office of district attorney Lawrence Doyle, who, it turns out, is employing Miss Manning as an undercover agent; 3.40: interior of the home of industrialist Mr. Rountree, who chats with his secretary Helen; Jake Rountree (Fairbanks, Jr.), the playboy son, arrives home from college; 7.20: later, Madame Maude and Robert arrive to discuss with Mr. Rountree the benefits of employing party girls as a means of increasing his company's business; Mr. Rountree, an upright businessman, tells them he's not interested; Madame Maude, on the way out, stops to try to convince Helen to return to her former life as a party girl; Helen and Diane, in the apartment that they share, discuss the pro ands cons of party girl life, with Helen deciding to spurn party invitations so that she can cultivate a relationship with Jake; 12.40: Jake and a dozen or so fraternity brothers sing a boisterous drinking song; 13.35: the camera, located in an elevator shaft and pointed upward, reveals the ascension of an elevator up three or four floors; the elevator, which contains an automobile, stops at one of the floors, and opens its door, allowing the car to exit, directly into a raging party, featuring the Earl Burnett orchestra, and dozens of young women and middle-age men; 16.10: a guitar trio sings a hawaiian song, intercut with the arrival of a second automobile, this one containing Jake and four or five frat friends; 18.00: Helen, at home alone, plays the piano and sings the film's theme, "Oh, How I Adore You"; 19.10: the party gets crazier; 25.30: the next morning, Jake wakes up at Lina's apartment, and assumes that he had sex with her (this is odd, considering he's still wearing his suit and tie from the night before); a woman claiming to be Lina's mother arrives, which allows Lina to manipulate Jake into claiming that he and Lina had eloped, and are now married; after Jake leaves, Lina calls her accomplices to report on the alleged marriage, which is now the topic of newspaper headlines; Jake overhears the call, and re-enters the room to confront Lina; Mr. Rountree learns of Jake's marriage to Lina via a phone call from Paul, a business associate in cahoots with Madame Maude; 37.40: Helen and Diane in their apartment, where Helen learns of Jake's marriage to Lina, and Diane mockingly sings a few lines of "Oh How I Adore You"; 40.20: in the living room of his large house, Mr. Rountree meets Jake and Lina; 44.55: the film's one stand-alone musical number, featuring a montage-like series of superimposed images [very difficult to know how to count shots here], accompanied by the song "Farewell," sung by an unidentified male vocalist ("When life was gay/Love had its day/ but now all there is to say--is farewell"); 46.40: Helen gets a party invitation from older guy Lou, which she accepts unenthusiastically; 47.50: two police detectives confront Lina, who returns to her room to stall for time; Lina unexpectedly jumps out of the apartment window!; 52.25: a final song, "Dear heart, beautiful dreams are gone..." (I need to get the title for this one); Jake arrives on the street to find Lina, who quickly dies; the police raid the party girl club, arresting Madame Maude; Jake arrives, and with help of undercover agent Miss Manning, convinces police that Helen is innocent; Helen and Jake embrace. The end.

Number of shots:
MSL 5.1 9.8 1.8 7.4 4.3
StDev 5.5 8.7 1.9 11.2 5
Min 0.8 3 1 1 1.4
Max 28.5 38.3 5.4 68 23.3
CV 0.83 0.67 0.7 0.97 0.83

Step: Vertical resolution: Height:
Degree of the trendline: Moving average : Color code?

Users' comments:

Author: Charles O'Brien Date: 2006-12-19

Here's another film exhibiting the "greek cross" configuration Yuri has suggested we pay attention to, i.e., the film's standard deviation equals its asl.

I am intrigued by the possibility that such equivalence may indicate predictability regarding shot length, so that once one has watched the film for a while, it becomes easy to guess how long a shot will be.

If it's true that equivalence between asl and asd indicates relative predictability, then once cinemetrics is able to reveal the std. deviation for each entry in the advanced function, then it will be possible to see which sort of shot is more, or less, predictable than the others. For instance, concerning Party Girl, I am wondering whether the length of the dialogue shots is more or less predictable than, say, the story shots.

Author: Yuri Tsivian Date: 2006-12-19

Here it is fairly predictable; the positive slope that shows when the trendline is at degree 1 is hardly visible, which means that Halperin cuts evenly throughout. So you probably get an idea early on of how long his shots would be. But look at The House of Darkness, for instance, with its near greek-cross ratio. It has a pronounced positive slope and if you turn the trendline to 12 you'll see how erratic the first quarter is.

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