Earlier versions of this article were presented to the biennial conference of the Film and History Association of Australia and New Zealand (November 2008) and to the University of Otago Department of History and Art History’s Work in Progress Seminar (May 2010).
America’s present need is not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy.
—Senator Warren G. Harding, 14 May 1920
The 1926 silent film My Lady of Whims features Clara Bow, the most popular movie star of the late-1920s, as Prudence Severn, a young woman “whose brown eyes could turn an old soldier into a boy scout.” An aspiring writer, Prue has taken up residence in New York City’s Greenwich Village—“where everybody’s an artist—even the street sweeper uses a brush”—“for atmosphere” and spends much of her time soaking up that atmosphere in local jazz cafes and at wild parties. Her wealthy father (played by John Cossar) and older sister (Betty Baker) disapprove of her lifestyle, and the film begins with the family hiring a World War I veteran, Bartley Greer (Donald Keith), as the latest in a succession of men charged with the “dangerous mission” of attempting to bring Prue home. However, Greer is betrayed the same way his predecessors were: by the fifty-dollar bills Prue’s father gives him for expenses. “I always draw it in ‘fifties’,” James Severn tells Greer, “a little habit of mine.” Prue is also familiar with this habit, though, and the first time Greer uses one of the bills, she realizes who he is and why he is in the Village.
The action of the film unfolds as a contest of wits and wills between Prue and Greer. She has the wit, and he has the will. In one sequence, Prue eludes Greer’s watchful eye to attend a wild party with her boyfriend and “inspiration,” a painter named Rolf (Francis McDonald), wearing a costume that, as one movie reviewer put it, “will make the eyes of every flapper bulge”— a skin-tight, fairly transparent dress which revealed every curve of Bow’s body and which obviously was worn without undergarments of any kind. When Greer shows up at the party to bring her home, Prue tricks him into trading punches with Dapper Kelley, a former boxing champion who happened to wear the same costume to the party as Rolf. Naturally, Greer comes out second best in the contest. On the other hand, Greer comes to the rescue later in the film when Prue decides to elope with Rolf simply to “spite” Greer and her family. At gunpoint, Greer forces both to return with him to the Severn mansion, where Prue renounces Rolf—he is a “poor prune”—and declares her love for Greer—“I know what a real man is now.” But lest the viewer think Greer and her family have won, Prue insists that they will return to live in Greenwich Village after they marry, and Greer nods his assent.
On the surface, then, My Lady of Whims is a romantic flapper comedy, a film type common in the 1920s. A young woman, potentially on the road to ruin because she embraces modern life too completely, meets a young man who captures her fancy and helps restore her to a more conservative, family-oriented—normal—lifestyle. Clara Bow alone made dozens of similar films, “probably … more … than any girl in films” according to her contemporaries, and enough for her to be marketed as “the flappiest flapper of the screen” or even “the flapperiest flapper that ever flapped.” As a romantic comedy, My Lady of Whims contains many elements familiar to film audiences and scholars in the twenty-first century. Most obviously, it follows standard romantic comedy plotting, beginning with a central couple from different worlds whose strong personalities initially clash before they realize their love for each other and get married. Further, using Northrop Frye’s archetypes of Western comedy, My Lady of Whims presents a fairly typical cast of supporting characters: in addition to the central couple, the story includes (1) a self-inflated character who becomes an object of ridicule (Rolf); (2) a self-deprecating though ultimately sympathetic character who helps bring about the happy ending (Prue’s roommate Wayne Leigh [Carmelita Geraghty]); and (3) a buffoon (Greer’s army buddy Dick Flynn [Lee Moran]). That these same elements were familiar—perhaps too familiar—can be seen in the comments of George T. Purdy, who reviewed the film for Motion Picture News. Purdy dismissed My Lady of Whims as having “no plot worth mentioning,” adding that it could only be expected to “do business where patrons aren’t particular as to story values.”
That reaction fails to do My Lady of Whims justice. As the word ‘whims’ in the title hints, the film explores the instabilities of the 1920s, a decade in which many accepted ideas about what was normal in American life were being challenged. Specifically, My Lady of Whims reflected on-going changes in three areas of American life: women’s roles, attitudes about sex and marriage, and treatment of the disabled. During the nineteenth century, the “cult of true womanhood” defined the home as women’s normal sphere, but during the 1920s many women shed their restraining corsets, bobbed their hair, shortened their skirts, and increasingly entered the mostly male spheres of politics, saloons, and business offices. Likewise, sex had been a mostly taboo subject in public life, but during the 1920s a new frankness about sex emerged. Further, a rising divorce rate and ideas such as companionate marriage challenged existing beliefs about the permanence of marriage. Finally, before the Great War the physically and mentally impaired were primarily cared for by their families, or segregated in asylums and other institutions, or gawked at in circus and carnival sideshows; disabled war veterans might have had a small government pension to assist them. During and after World War I, though the idea took hold that the nation had a responsibility to restore disabled veterans to participation in the workforce, and soon the civilian disabled also were being placed in rehabilitation programs funded by national and state governments.
Yet even as it changed around them, many Americans still craved normality in the 1920s. Indeed, they voted for it in record numbers in 1920, making Republican Warren G. Harding—with his promise of a return to “normalcy”—the first presidential candidate ever to receive more than 60 percent of the popular vote. But what is normal? Often used loosely to imply a natural order of existence, anthropologists, historians, and scholars of disability studies stress that normal is, in fact, socially constructed. Historically in the United States, as well as in other western societies, normal has corresponded largely to white, middle class, able-bodied, sound-minded, monogamously heterosexual males. Elements of the dominant culture, such as economics, politics, law, and social life, then combine consciously or unconsciously to stigmatize as weak, ugly, dependent, deviant, or defective individuals and groups which differ from the norm. The idea of normal, in short, functions to limit, control, or exclude difference, and normality itself “becomes paradoxically a kind of ideal” to which people aspire. An obvious example is the way romantic comedies such as My Lady of Whims present the “normal” state of marriage as an “ideal” absent which no woman or man can be fulfilled.
Despite its plot deficiencies, then, My Lady of Whims and other similar films represent an important source for understanding what happened to ideals of normality in the 1920s. As film scholar Janet Staiger argues, context—current events, historical circumstances, and social issues—influenced both the films made and audiences’ reception of those films. In her book Babel & Babylon, for example, Miriam Hansen discusses the contributions of silent movies in the transition from the cult of true womanhood to the greater freedom of the 1920s. She concludes that the movies facilitated the transition by opening a social and perceptual space for women’s participation in public life (movie theaters) and by presenting models on the screen for how women could be properly modern. Film historian Martin F. Norden describes similar developments with respect to representations of disability in the movies. Reflecting a context which, instead of opening public spaces for people with disabilities, treated disability as something to be hidden and stressed rehabilitation—or fixing—of the disabled, silent movies presented them with an inexorable “cure or kill” logic. Generally speaking, disabled characters whose disabilities could not be fixed would be killed off before the film ended (sometimes miraculously).
Norden succinctly describes the relationship between movies and their historical and social context as being “mutually reflective” and “mutually causal.” According to this view, even movies which on the surface seem to be light, purely escapist, mass entertainment with insignificant plots—such as My Lady of Whims—mirror the beliefs, hopes, fears, and desires of their society while shaping those same beliefs, hopes, fears, and desires. In fact, “escapist movies,” in the strictest sense of the term, do not exist. The movies offer not “a full-scale flight from our problems,” as film scholar Michael Wood put it in the 1970s, “but rather a rearrangement of our problems into shapes which tame them.”
Thus My Lady of Whims can be read as both reflecting and, within its narrative, taming or resolving the tension between a rapidly changing society and the desire for normalcy. Specifically, the film addresses two issues. First, it presents two physically healthy but emotionally and mentally impaired veterans of World War I struggling, like millions of ex-doughboys in real life, to reestablish their place in normal, civilian society. Second, the film reflects a widespread public perception in the 1920s that fast-living fueled by jazz music caused “jazz madness,” particularly among young women, and was undermining morals, family life, and ultimately American society itself. The film offers hope on both of these issues, though for the most part it is hope based upon the Harding prescription of a return to normalcy, especially in family life.
Although audiences at My Lady of Whims most likely came to see Clara Bow—described by Vanity Fair in 1928 as “the hyper-reality and extra-ideality of a million or more filmgoers”—the first thing they would have noticed is the characters of Bartley Greer and his buddy Dick Flynn. Literally so, since the film begins with a close-up of an advertisement they had placed in the “Situations Wanted” section of a local newspaper: “Two Young Men desire employment. Danger no objection. Address: Soldiers of Fortune, 65 Darrington St., City.” A shot of the two men sitting in the tiny apartment they share follows, and intertitles soon clarify their identities as veterans of World War I. Although neither man appears physically disabled, the film quickly makes their mental and psychological impairments clear.
For one thing, the two men clearly have struggled to readjust to civilian life, a common experience among Great War veterans. As Red Cross official Curtis Lakeman put it shortly before the Armistice ended the fighting, “The change from the military to the civilian status involves a radical mental readjustment.” Years later, a veteran of the British army in the war captured something of that readjustment. He wrote that for ten years after the war he was “retarded and adolescent,” living in a kind of “mental internment camp” and unable to “escape from the comradeship of the trenches.” Indeed, according to German army veteran and novelist Erich Maria Remarque, “comradeship” was “the finest thing that arose out of the war.” Unable to forget the experience of the war, American veterans confronted an indifferent and disillusioned society that did not allow them to remember either, at least not in public. As a result, veterans could be most comfortable around other veterans, a fact which contributed to the creation of several veterans’ organizations in the United States after World War I, most significantly the American Legion (1919) and Disabled American Veterans (1920), both of which survive in the twenty-first century. My Lady of Whims reflects these circumstances. When the film opens on Greer and Flynn sitting in their apartment, they have only each other, no other friends, no families, and apparently no money, as they grimly contemplate bills they cannot pay. The comradeship they developed in the trenches defines their civilian lives, a point reinforced by the cramped quarters they share.
The film further represents the readjustment difficulties of veterans by Greer and Flynn’s apparent inability to find and keep jobs after the war, necessitating the Situations Wanted advertisement. This, too, was a common veteran experience. According to ex-doughboy Joe Nickell, life in the trenches produced “a slow and subtle change” in many seemingly unimpaired soldiers, “robbing [them] of those qualities with which nature endows most of us … for the strenuous work of earning a living in competition with our fellowmen.” Calling them “economic casualties,” the American Legion estimated as many as one million physically unimpaired but unemployed veterans in the first few years after the war. If accurate, the number of unemployed veterans was substantially larger than the number of disabled veterans and surely represented, in the Legion’s words, “a crisis equal to the emergency of the disabled.” Many veterans resorted to looking for jobs via the Situations Wanted sections of their local newspapers’ classified advertisements. An example appeared in the Bradford (Pennsylvania) Era in 1921: “Wanted—By ex-soldier, position driving private car or truck.” In smaller communities, like Bradford, these advertisements generally disappeared within a few years, but in larger cities they continued throughout the 1920s. The Oakland (California) Tribune still had seven such ads in June 1929, down from eighteen ten years earlier. Hence when Greer and Flynn use the Situations Wanted section to try to find work in the movie, they duplicate the example of many real life veterans and use a format familiar to most Americans. The advertisement enables the Severns to locate and hire Greer, launching the film’s plot.
Although both Greer and Flynn fit Joe Nickell’s general description of “the buddy who finds the going hard after years of trying to get a start in civilian life,” Flynn has a further impairment. He presents a number of stereotypical symptoms of shell-shock. Originally linked to the concussive effects of exploding shells on human physiology—hence the name, “shell-shock”—physicians soon realized that many of their patients exhibited symptoms without ever being exposed to shell fire. Still, the name stuck, especially among laymen and women, as shorthand for psychological trauma and war neuroses during and after the war. More important here are the typical symptoms of the condition. Frederick Dillon, a British physician who studied shell-shock during and after the war, concluded that “the basic features of all the forms of … war neuroses” included “general tremulousness, nervousness, and ‘jumpiness’ varying in degree.” Other sources yield similar descriptions of men with shell-shock. Historian George L. Mosse summarizes the picture painted in the sources: men with shell-shock were seen as “nervous, ill-proportioned, and, above all, constantly in motion.”
My Lady of Whims uses his nervous condition—as films all too often use disability in general—for humor, and Flynn becomes a fairly standard buffoon character. The idea of shell-shock sufferers as ill-proportioned is suggested by putting Flynn in a series of poorly fitting three-piece suits throughout the film, what one reviewer called “trick clothes.” He is also frequently, though not necessarily constantly, in motion. Most noticeably, Flynn is exceedingly nervous or jumpy. He always carries a large pistol and brandishes it at the slightest hint of impending danger: when someone knocks on the door of his and Greer’s apartment, when he bumps into someone in a hallway, or when a parrot squawks. Although he never actually fires the gun, it remains a constant threat. “I ain’t gonna leave this house without shootin’ somebody,” he tells Greer at one point. The casting of bug-eyed actor Lee Moran as Flynn adds another visual cue to the representation, since the eyes of shell-shock patients sometimes bulged out of their heads.
The film embraces other elements of doctors’ understanding of shell-shock. Men with shell-shock often were advised to stay out of cities, crowded rooms, and other places with large numbers of people, and Flynn clearly functions best away from crowds. When he takes Prue’s roommate Wayne Leigh to the Blue Mouse Cafe, a crowded working-class speakeasy with a jazz band, Flynn sets his gun on the table under his hat, telling her—and perhaps himself—not to “get nervous while I’ve got little Bertha.” Later in the film, however, the pistol stays tucked in Flynn’s pants when he and Greer go to a seedier speakeasy—a place “so hard boiled the cookoo [sic] clock wears a muzzle”—looking for a couple of thugs to kidnap and rough up Rolf. Unlike the Blue Mouse, whose over-crowded dance floor sparked a brawl among the patrons while Flynn and Leigh were there, apart from Greer, Flynn, two tough guys, and a bartender more interested in his newspaper than his patrons, this speakeasy is empty. Here Greer is the jumpy one, while Flynn exhibits calm and control for one of the few times in the film. Hence, like a stereotypical shell-shock patient, Flynn functions best away from people and on the margins of society. In more normal and crowded civilian places—city streets, apartment buildings, and dance clubs—nervousness threatens to consume him unless, as in the war, his gun is at the ready.
Flynn, moreover, lacks intelligence. He “once had an idea in his head,” an intertitle explains, “but it died of solitary confinement.” Since many physicians thought shell-shock could produce “retardation of thought,” Flynn’s mental dullness might be read simply as a further sign of his war-induced impairment. But his condition also may have led audiences to recall the results of intelligence tests administered by the military to nearly two million volunteers and conscripts during the war. Most shockingly, the results indicated that 47 percent of white and 89 percent of black recruits had mental ages less than thirteen years. Intellectually, they were at best “morons,” the clinical term for the highest level of feeblemindedness, adults with mental ages eight through twelve. Extrapolated to the nation as a whole, the army intelligence tests suggested the alarming fact that nearly half of Americans possessed subnormal intelligence.
The army intelligence tests and their results were widely reported and much debated after the war. In 1922, journalist William Allen White warned darkly of a “moron majority” which threatened the nation’s existence, a view echoed by conservative social critic Irving Bacheller, defender of all things modern H.L. Mencken, and liberal historian Bruce Catton, among others. Further, the test results were used to promote a variety of measures, such as eugenics, immigration restriction, and racial purity. Other people, though, expressed less concern about the results, noting flaws in the tests and faulty interpretation of the results, especially around the potential for better educational systems to raise the general intelligence level. Besides, just as the army dismissed outright very few of the men who scored extremely low on the tests, so modern civilization with its myriad “routine tasks repulsive to the mentally alert,” according to Dr. C.E.A. Winslow of Yale Medical School, made the mentally dull “a necessary and desirable element” in postwar society. Or, as psychologist Henry H. Goddard—who played a central role in bringing intelligence testing to America—put it more succinctly, “we need these people.”
Army testing in World War I revealed another problem among the nation’s young men. Nearly one-third of volunteers and conscripts between the ages of 21 and 31 had to be rejected as physically unfit for service in the military. Although the physical fitness data attracted less attention than the intelligence data after the war, moviegoers might have been inclined to assume that the third important male character in My Lady of Whims—Prue’s Greenwich Village beau, the painter Rolf—was in some way physically impaired. It would help explain Rolf’s inability or unwillingness to meet the physical challenge presented by Greer. When Greer and Rolf first cross paths in Prue and Leigh’s apartment, for instance, an argument breaks out, during which Greer grabs Prue’s arm violently to prevent her from leaving the room. Rolf steps forward to defend her, but a mere point of Greer’s finger stops him and forces him to retreat. Once Prue extricates herself from Greer’s grasp and leaves the room, Greer warns Rolf to stay away from her “or I’ll rock you to sleep.” Rolf meekly assents, quickly exiting the apartment. Later, at the costume party, Greer similarly dominates Rolf, who literally runs away when Greer raises his fist as if to hit him. After the boxer decks Greer, Rolf quickly hustles Prue out the door before Greer can regain consciousness.
In the world of romantic comedy, Rolf’s character is a familiar one. Men like him—who are not quite manly enough to attract or hold the attentions of the leading female character—are fairly common in romantic comedies generally and in Clara Bow films specifically. In Bow’s best known film, It (1927), for example, the character of Monty (William Austin) is the first to notice the charms of Betty Lou (Bow), but she merely exploits his interest to get closer to the true object of her affections, Monty’s friend Cyrus Waltham (Antonio Moreno). Marsha Orgeron’s analysis of It variously describes Monty as “bumbling,” “foppish,” and “feeble”—terms that describe Rolf equally well. Comparing Rolf to Greer, audiences first might have noticed Rolf’s stoop-shouldered posture versus the ramrod-erect Greer. Further, Rolf dresses more stylishly, sporting a thin mustache, an unconventional necktie, and a walking stick. Greer, in contrast, is clean shaven, wears a standard bow tie, and definitely does not have a walking stick. Finally, Rolf smokes cigarettes—which syndicated newspaper health columnist Dr. William Brady described as fit only for “little boys” and “female morons”—and not just any cigarettes, “Turkish” cigarettes. Greer smokes a manly, American pipe. In short, even before Prue brushes him off as a “poor prune,” My Lady of Whims has ridiculed Rolf over and over as something less than “a real man.”
Thus Rolf actually had one thing in common with Greer and his buddy Flynn: they all needed rehabilitation. Certainly Greer and Flynn, as emotionally, psychologically, and intellectually impaired war veterans, required rehabilitation to prepare them to fill useful roles in society and the economy. Rolf’s lack of physical prowess and manliness indicated that he, too, needed rehabilitation. They were not alone. The army’s physical and mental tests suggested a substantial portion of the civilian population was impaired. Furthermore, many people saw jazz music—the “drivel of morons” according to automaker Henry Ford—compounding the problem, undermining the physical and mental health of otherwise normal people and causing them to violate social conventions. Something had to be done about it.
For many people, not just movie families like the Severns, society and culture in the 1920s represented the antithesis of normal, family-oriented, American ways of living. Historians have tended to stress modernism and a revolt of youth to explain these changes in American society. But contemporaries frequently blamed another factor above all others, something historians have ignored in this context: jazz music and its associated dances. Suggesting the extent of the perceived problem, in 1926—the same year My Lady of Whims was released—the nation’s Episcopal bishops launched a “nation-wide crusade” to save “jazz-mad” America by defending the “well-ordered disciplines of domestic and social life.” The bishops and others held jazz-induced madness responsible for, among other things, rising rates of divorce and of suicide and the growing crime rate, particularly among young people under the age of twenty-one. Jazz itself was variously described as an “epidemic,” a “virus,” or even a “cancer” “infecting” American society.
Prudence Severn’s life in Greenwich Village in My Lady of Whims put her in one of the most dangerously infected jazz precincts. Other historians have noted the significance of Greenwich Village as a symbol of 1920s American lifestyles, and some of the advertising for the film exploited the allure the Village held for many Americans of the period: “Do you want to see Greenwich Village? Do you want to see all the hectic revelry of that world famous colony? Do you want to see what one girl found when she went to ‘the Village’ to live her own life? Then see this feature.” The Village in the movie is a place where feminized men (Rolf) and women with masculine names (Wayne Leigh) live in cramped apartments and attic rooms, spending their days and nights unproductively pursuing their art, smoking cigarettes, consuming alcohol in jazz clubs, and attending wild parties. Wealthy older men also loiter about the scenes, ostensibly as patrons of the arts but also attempting to seduce young women with promises of money, baubles, and, as a last resort, marriage. Although the film was a Greenwich Village story, though, many of the same jazz-influenced lifestyle features—music and dance, speakeasies, sexual openness, idle youth, and others—could be found reflected in communities across the nation, albeit in less extreme forms.
Jazz reached a broad national audience for the first time in the 1920s, drawing a wide range of people—black and white, young and old, urban and small town—into its orbit. In large part because the music and dances originated primarily from the African American experience in the United States, critics variously assailed jazz as “primitive,” “vulgar” “savage,” and “demoralizing.” “Jazz goes back to the African jungle,” asserted an Episcopal minister in New York City in a representative comment, “and its effect is to make you … want to go on all-fours and whisk your tail around a tree. It is a savage crash and bang.” Though religious leaders were among the most colorful and quotable critics, they were not alone in condemning jazz. “That music is … designed for naked wriggling savages,” declared the mayor of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania in an unsuccessful effort to ban jazz in his city in 1924. Even some Northern, urban blacks—among them intellectual W.E.B. Du Bois, novelist and poet James Weldon Johnson, and David Peyton, the music critic for The Defender, an African American newspaper in Chicago—joined the critics denouncing jazz. For African American critics, the problem with jazz seems to have been its association with rural black culture, a culture they, too, considered primitive and ultimately inappropriate for a race seeking equality of rights and opportunities in 1920s America.
For many critics, jazz was dangerous because as music it encouraged breaking the basic rules of musicianship, which in turn undermined respect for all social precepts. Briefly, jazz music in the 1920s was defined by “syncopation”—that is, removing the musical accent from its traditional place on the first note of the bar and allowing it to “occur anywhere in the bar”—and by the addition of a “superimposed accompanying rhythm” of “one, two, three on top of the underlying tempo” of one, two, three, four. Thus Anne Shaw Faulkner of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, writing in the Ladies Home Journal, described jazz as violating the rules of music by putting “the three simple elements of music—rhythm, melody and harmony … out of tune with each other.” Critics similarly denounced jazz dancing for breaking the basic rules of dance. The popular dance known as the Charleston, according to Mrs. W.L. Keep, a dance teacher in Omaha, Nebraska, violated the “three established rules” of dance: “Knees never turned in,” “Toes always stretched and pointed,” and “Grace, grace, grace.” Such violations made the larger danger of jazz seem clear. As Faulkner put it, “Jazz disorganizes all regular laws and order; it stimulates to extreme deeds, to a breaking away from all rules and conventions; it is harmful and dangerous, and its influence is wholly bad.”
Perhaps most relevantly to My Lady of Whims, the primitive, bad influence of jazz, according to critics, meant that it posed an extreme threat to American homes and families. Novelist Gene Stratton-Porter, one of the most popular writers of the first decades of the twentieth century, argued that although it was “very well” to strive for normalcy in things like prices and wages following the war, it was “infinitely more necessary that a fight should be begun for a return to normal home life” against “the allurements of cafe dining, jazz dancing, motoring, [and] motion pictures.” Many critics saw their concerns seemingly validated one night in January 1925 when sixteen-year-old Dorothy Ellingson of San Francisco shot and killed her mother. Dorothy had become accustomed to frequenting the city’s speakeasies and jazz clubs in the company of men of dubious character, and her mother belatedly tried to put a stop to it. The nation’s press jumped on the story, splashing it across front pages around the country. Lurid headlines and news stories variously described Dorothy as the “jazz murder girl,” a “‘jazz mad’ disciple of the bright lights,” and “the red-headed, bobbed-hair ‘jazzmania’ addict.” Often, though, she was just called the “jazz girl,” a description which indicted jazz for her crime. Initially ruled insane (“jazz mad”), Dorothy stood trial on a charge of manslaughter later in the year. She was convicted and handed a ten year prison sentence.
With examples like the Ellingson case in the background, audiences perhaps understood the urgency of Prue’s family in My Lady of Whims and their desire to save her “before it’s too late”—even if it meant hiring mentally and emotionally unstable men who will force her to come home at gunpoint. Bartley Greer’s reaction to life in the Village similarly reflects a negative view of jazz culture. Before Prue realizes he is working for her father, she takes Greer to a speakeasy called the Pirate’s Den. Prue responds enthusiastically to the jazz music, the floor show, and the dancing of the patrons. Greer, on the other hand, sneers. “So this is freedom … You really mean you left the family that loves you—to choose this sort of tinsel and trash?” he asks. He starts getting through to her, too. “You make me feel as if I’d been selfish,” she replies, “I hadn’t thought of it before.” Then he spoils things by pulling out a wad of fifty-dollar bills (her father’s trademark) to pay for their drinks. Prue immediately develops a severe case of the “heebee jeebees” and demands that they leave the speakeasy.
Jazz clearly fuels life in the Village in My Lady of Whims, with three scenes set in speakeasies or jazz clubs and another at a wild, jazz-fueled costume party. The film’s director, Dallas Fitzgerald, takes the opportunities afforded by these settings to show dancers performing the latest steps, both individually and as couples. As Prue and Greer exit the Pirate’s Den, the camera lingers on a pair of flappers doing the Charleston in the center of the room, and at the costume party, couples dance cheek-to-cheek pressing their bodies closely together in what was sometimes called the “bunny hug.” The party scenes also give Clara Bow the chance to dance on her own for the camera in her eye-popping costume. When Dick Flynn and Wayne Leigh go to the Blue Mouse Cafe, director Fitzgerald includes several shots of the dance floor and adds an overhead camera angle showing the dancers as well as the jazz ensemble—trombone, trumpet, saxophone, pizzicato double bass, and drums—supplying the music. The film also suggests the infectious nature of jazz music. Before Greer dampens the scene in the Pirate’s Den with serious talk, Prue restlessly squirms in her seat, her arms, hands, and head in almost constant motion. Later, at the costume party, in addition to the people on the dance floor, the young man who checks tickets and takes coats at the entrance desk moves uncontrollably to the music when not occupied by his duties. Indeed, the only people who seem immune to the music at the party are Greer and a muscular African American man in an Egyptian costume stationed near the door, apparently to act as a bouncer in case of trouble.
In its depictions of jazz dancing and the uncontrollable, jerky, spasmodic motions elicited by jazz music, the film thus reflects the opinion of critics that jazz caused a nervous disorder similar to shell-shock. President Edward C. Elliott of Purdue University, saw jazz fans as “generally nervous and fidgety and want[ing] to be on the go all the time,” echoing the typical symptoms of shell-shock. Listening to jazz, critics heard only “a riot of discord,” a combination of “weird wailings and wild shrieks,” or most simply “noise.” Accordingly, they concluded that jazz was likely to have the same effect on human physiology as the “thunder of the guns,” the “howls” and “shrieks” of bullets and artillery shells in flight, “the roar of the explosions,” and other battlefield noises during the war. Hence the public health commissioner in the city of Milwaukee asserted that jazz excited “the nervous system until a veritable hysterical frenzy is reached. It is easy to see that such a frenzy is damaging to the nervous system and will undermine health in no time.” Because jazz seemed to grow in popularity as one of the consequences of World War I, other close connections were drawn between war and jazz. As war tried “to kill men’s bodies,” a critic in the Musical Quarterly warned, so jazz “not so swiftly but none the less surely, wrecks the bodies of youth.”
Furthermore, although My Lady of Whims and other films prior to the advent of the “talkies” are called “silent” films, the label is a misnomer. Audiences experienced sound at so-called silent movies in several ways. From the beginning, music had accompanied many silent films, and by the 1920s, such accompaniment was nearly universal. Indeed, surveys indicated that moviegoers considered the quality of the music to be as important as, if not more important than, the movie itself in their experience. Depending on the theater, the music could come from a recording, an individual pianist or organist, or an orchestra—sometimes a fairly large orchestra. Some filmmakers scored their movies, indicating precisely what music should be played with each scene; other times theater musicians consulted cue sheets published in trade journals or in fan magazines such as Motion Picture News and turned to compilations like Erno Rapee’s Motion Picture Moods for Pianists and Organists for the necessary sheet music. The largest portion of this music came either from compositions specifically for the movies or from contemporary composers of popular jazz music like Irving Berlin and Aaron Copland, among others. But music from classical composers such as Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Verdi, and others also featured. Classical music was unlikely to be played straight, however. As one analysis of movie music in 1929 put it, “Symphonic music is too grand to be submissive to the movie,” but, the same analysis noted, “jazz converters … might find a profitable field in the cinema.” In other words, the movies offered a great field for what some critics denounced as “jazzing the classics”—that is, adding elements of syncopation to classical compositions.
In addition to the music accompanying feature films, other elements of a movie program added more music—and specifically more jazz—to the theater experience. A typical movie program in the 1920s included some combination of newsreels, serials, two-reel comedies, cartoons, or other short subjects, in addition to a feature film five-to-seven reels in length. Theaters also frequently hired vaudeville acts, singers, musicians, or additional orchestras to perform between the several elements of the film program, during intermissions, and after the last showing of the main feature at night. Thus, when My Lady of Whims played the Majestic Theater in Sheboygan, Wisconsin in March 1926, along with other short subjects the program included the second reel of dance teacher Arthur Murray’s six-reel series of Charleston lessons. Two months later the film appeared in La Crosse, Wisconsin, also at a theater named the Majestic, and the advertising on that occasion promoted a “Midnight Frolic” and “Big Charleston Night” continuing after the movie program and featuring two separate jazz orchestras and other live performers.
In short, given the intimate relationship between the movies and jazz, many people in the 1920s struggled to distinguish a movie house from a “jazz palace.” Three months before My Lady of Whims inspired the jazz-fueled “Midnight Frolic” at the La Crosse Majestic, the Salvation Army in Cincinnati, Ohio, sued to prevent the construction of a movie theater adjacent to their maternity hospital for unwed mothers. Citing the deleterious effects of jazz music on fetal development and newborns, the plaintiff’s brief argued that although “we are living in a jazz age … we object to imperiling the happiness of future generations by inculcating in them before they are even born, the madness that now rules the country.” The court agreed and stopped the construction.
Of course not everyone in the 1920s agreed that jazz music and dance evoked madness and represented a severe threat to society. Many jazz exponents, such as prominent orchestra leaders Paul Whiteman and Vincent Lopez, had an obvious stake in the music’s acceptance and success, but individuals of high standing in the non-jazz musical community also defended jazz music. Otto Kahn, chair of the board of directors of New York’s Metropolitan Opera Company, for instance, called jazz not primitive or savage but rather a “cure-all for music.” Likewise, Leopold Stokowski, director and conductor for the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra, compared the effect of jazz on other forms of music to “the injection of new … blood into dying aristocracy.” As for jazz dance, novelist Arthur B. Reeve argued similarly that it “saved modern dance from decay.” Overall, although they sometimes acknowledged the often “morally anarchic spirit” of jazz music and dance, its defenders argued that jazz represented, not a rejection of normalcy, but a return to “first principles” in music and the natural accompaniment to modern, industrial, faster-paced ways of living. “Jazz has come to stay,” said Stokowski, “because it is an expression of the times, of the breathless, energetic, superactive times in which we are living, [and] it is useless to fight against it.”
Indeed, for jazz proponents like syndicated columnist Elsie Robinson the dangers of jazz—the “snarl of insanity”—only emerged when critics fought against it, and when people’s “cry for freer, fuller life” was “baffled.” Movie fan Dorothy Martin echoed Robinson. Presenting herself as a representative of young people, Martin wrote to Motion Picture magazine in 1928 that, “We’re not jazz-mad as people say we are, we’re just chock-full of the joy of living.” In My Lady of Whims, Prue similarly tells Greer that Greenwich Village with its jazz scene primarily represented the chance to live her life her own way. In fact, some jazz exponents would even have argued that Prue’s foray into jazz madness made her a better person than she otherwise would have been. According to Professor Forrest Cheney, described in the press as a “musician, inventor, and philosopher,” the modern, jazz-influenced woman had lost nothing and gained much by her commitment to jazz. She was “just as healthy minded—if not more so—than the gal of past generations;” she “thinks coherently and clearly” and “knows how to stand on her own feet.” Lorelei, the jazz-mad heroine in Anita Loos’ 1925 novel Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, added that “a girl was really more reformed if she knew what it was like to be unreformed than if she was born reformed and never really knew what was the matter with her.” Real life “jazz girl” Dorothy Ellingson reached a comparable conclusion. In the days before her manslaughter trial, she told reporters that she had given up jazz and learned to appreciate the virtues of normal family life: “From jail I have learned that home with its sewing, its meals, its housekeeping must give the greatest joy in life.”
Fortunately for Prudence Severn, her family and Greer rescue her short of jail, and despite her commitment to jazz, Prue then makes the right choice from a cultural perspective. At the end of My Lady of Whims, she elects a normal life of marriage and family and chooses to make that life with Greer rather than Rolf. However, the transition to a normal life would not be easy for Prue. Like returned soldiers, jazz devotees required rehabilitation.
Rehabilitation emerged during and after World War I, according to French disability scholar Henri-Jacques Stiker, as a “new way, both cultural and social, of addressing disability.” Originally referring only to programs “for giving a normal wage-earning life to [the nation’s] disabled citizens,” as a writer in Century magazine put it in 1926, the term “rehabilitation” caught on quickly and was soon to describe developments in a wide range of areas. Rehabilitation became an especially popular metaphor in discussions of economic recovery—particularly that of Europe—after the war. It also was applied during the 1920s to things as varied as, among others, the results of Prohibition, the future of the national Democratic Party, and the redevelopment of the Mississippi River valley in the wake of disastrous floods in 1927. In each instance, the goal of rehabilitation was said to be, as in the case of disability, to restore a “normal” state: making whisky as acceptable as it had been in the early years of the nation, reviving a vigorous two-party political system on the national level, and returning to self-sufficient farming as opposed to cash crop production in the Mississippi valley.
Rehabilitation also represents a good way to understand My Lady of Whims and the resolution of the issues of normalcy its plot raises. The first element of the rehabilitation of soldiers Bartley Greer and Dick Flynn is their willingness to take whatever jobs come their way. As U.S. army doctor Harry E. Mock put it in 1918, one key in the readjustment of veterans to civilian life, whether disabled or not, was the ability “to persevere in effort,” or “stick-to-it-iveness.” To be self-supporting, to work, according to the rhetoric surrounding rehabilitation, defined one as a real—or normal—man. For his part, Greer further demonstrates his manhood throughout the film by acting decisively, if often wrong-headedly, and by persisting in his assertions of mastery over Prue, even when she rejects his control. “That Bart Greer is trying to boss me around like I was his wife,” Prue disgustedly complains to Wayne Leigh after Greer spoils her good time at the costume party. She also rages to Rolf: “If you were a man you’d protect me from that uptown sap.” In the end, Greer’s persistence pays off. Prue recognizes him as a “real man,” and he replaces Rolf, who never does act to protect her, in her affections.
Greer’s budding relationship with Prue was another important step for his rehabilitation. Professionals who worked with returning veterans stressed the importance of family in helping veterans break out of their “mental internment camps” and return from the war to civilian life. Flynn likewise ends the film with new friends and an emerging relationship with a woman. While Prue and Greer sort out their feelings for each other, Flynn gets closer to Prue’s roommate, Wayne Leigh. Indeed Flynn and Leigh become allies of a sort, aiding their old friends’ schemes—Flynn recruits the men Greer needs to kidnap Rolf, while Leigh helps foil that plan and is the first to suggest that Prue and Rolf elope—but able to laugh at their follies in private. The two even seal their relationship with a kiss before Greer and Prue admit their true feelings for each other.
My Lady of Whims similarly rehabilitates two of its jazz devotees, Prue and Leigh. In the final analysis, the film presents both women as basically normal young women who fell temporarily under the evil influence of jazz. As Greer tells Flynn after he meets Prue for the first time, she is “a sweet kid” without “a wild thought in her head.” Though Flynn disagrees, calling Greer a “loose nut,” the film sustains Greer’s view: Prue just needs the controlling hand of a real man. For her part, Leigh always seems less infected with jazz—less “jazz mad”—than Prue. She shows no interest in attending the costume party with Prue and Rolf, for instance, and stays home instead. In the end, by accepting relationships with Greer and Flynn, both Prue and Leigh move further toward normal—or true—womanhood, though not without complications. Flynn’s shell-shock, for example, defines him as still something less than a normal—or real—man, leaving plenty of work for Leigh in his continuing rehabilitation. In Prue’s case, her insistence that she and Greer will live in Greenwich Village after they marry leaves them in the midst of a dangerously infected jazz district. By the same token, however, this decision allows the film to recognize that, as even some critics of jazz lifestyles acknowledged, in certain respects the modern woman, with her “short skirts,” “sensible shoes,” and waist free of corsets, was an “improvement” on earlier generations. Moreover, by suggesting that normal family life is possible in Greenwich Village, the film on some level normalizes the Village as well.
Only the feckless Rolf seems incapable of rehabilitation and normalization. At end of the film, Rolf finally does confront Greer. After Greer delivers Prue to her family, resigns his job, and is heading out the door, Rolf grabs his lapel and warns him: “don’t let me catch you speaking to my fiancée again.” Since Rolf believes he has seen the last of Greer, the threat is obviously empty and comes much too late to do him any good. Rolf can only stand by helplessly as Prue ends their relationship and makes clear her preference for Greer. Ultimately, then, with Greer dominating him and Prue rejecting him, Rolf is effectively feminized. Not a “real man,” no real woman would want him, and Rolf ends the film as he began it—weak and hopelessly addicted to jazz—only now he has no one to help in his rehabilitation.
In contrast, the other main figures in My Lady of Whims—Prudence Severn, Bartley Greer, Dick Flynn, and Wayne Leigh—emerge from the film as true women and men, having displayed perseverance in many ways, their nerves and willpower intact or being restored, and with new relationship ties to assist them. For all four of these individuals, however, rehabilitation and the return to normalcy—whether from jazz madness, military service, or shell-shock—continues after the motion picture ends.
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Scotch, Richard K. “American Disability Policy in the Twentieth Century.” In The New Disability History: American Perspectives, edited by Paul K. Longmore and Lauri Umansky, 375-392. New York: New York University Press, 2001.
Seldes, Gilbert. “Toujours Jazz” (1923). In Seldes, The Seven Lively Arts, 83-108. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, Inc., 2001 (1924).
Shepard, William G. “What’s Wrong with Our Children.” Collier’s Weekly, 20 Sep. 1924, pp. 17, 33.
Simmons, Christina. Making Marriage Modern: Women’s Sexuality from the Progressive Era to World War II. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009.
Slosson, Preston William. The Great Crusade and After, 1914-1928. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1930.
Staiger, Janet. “Hybrid or Inbred: The Purity Hypothesis and Hollywood Genre History.” Film Criticism 22 (Fall 1997): 5-20.
———-. Interpreting Films: Studies in the Historical Reception of American Cinema. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1992.
Stiker, Henri-Jacques. A History of Disability. Translated by William Sayers. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1999.
Stoddard, Lothrop. The Revolt against Civilization: The Menace of the Under Man. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1922.
Sullivan, Oscar M. “Luck for the Luckless: A Normal Wage-Earning Life for the Disabled Citizen.” Century 111 (Mar. 1926): 628-634.
Swinscow, T.D.V. “III: Standard Deviation.” British Medical Journal 1 (5 June 1976): 1393-1394.
Thomson, Rosemarie Garland. Extraordinary Bodies: Figuring Disability in American Culture and Literature. New York: Columbia University Press, 1997.
Thomson, Virgil. “Jazz.” American Mercury 2 (Aug. 1924): 465-467.
Thurber, James and E.B. White. Is Sex Necessary? or Why You Feel the Way You Do. New York: HarperCollins, 2004 (1929).
Torrey, E. Fuller and Judy Miller. The Invisible Plague: The Rise of Mental Illness from 1750 to the Present. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2001.
Towner, R.H. “The Rehabilitation of Whiskey.” American Mercury 14 (May 1928): 44-51.
Welter, Barbara. “The Cult of True Womanhood: 1820-1860.” American Quarterly 18 (Summer 1966): 151-174.
West, James L.W., III. “Tender Is the Night, ‘Jazzmania,’ and the Ellingson Matricide.” In Twenty-First Century Readings of Tender Is the Night, edited by William Blazek and Laura Rattray, 34-49. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2007.
White, Ernest W. “Observations on Shell Shock and Neurasthenia in the Hospitals of the Western Command.” British Medical Journal no. 2989 (13 Apr. 1918): 421-422.
White, William Allen. “What’s the Matter with America.” Collier’s Weekly, 1 July 1922, p. 3-4, 18.
Wierzbicki, James. Film Music: A History. New York: Routledge, 2009.
Wiggam, Albert Edward. The Fruit of the Family Tree. Indianapolis: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, 1924.
Winzer, Margret. The History of Special Education: From Isolation to Integration. Washington, DC: Gallaudet University Press, 1993.
Wood, Michael. America in the Movies, or “Santa Maria, It Had Slipped My Mind.” New York: Basic Books, Inc., 1975.
Yerkes, Robert M. Memoirs of the National Academy of Sciences, volume 15: Psychological Examining in the United States Army. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1921.
———-. “Testing the Human Mind.” Atlantic Monthly 131 (Mar. 1923): 358-370.
 Harding quoted from Francis Russell, Shadow of Blooming Grove; Warren G. Harding in His Times (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1968), 347. Throughout the notes, I try as much as possible to combine citations in order to limit the number of notes per paragraph.
 My Lady of Whims, dir. Dallas M. Fitzgerald (Dallas M. Fitzgerald Productions, 1926), quotes in this paragraph come from the film’s intertitles; hereafter cited as MLoW.
 MLoW, intertitles, except for “the eyes of every flapper” which is from “Gay Clara Bow in New Offering at the Palace,” Cedar Rapids (IA) Tribune, 13 Apr. 1928, p. 2.
 Photo caption, Kansas City (MO) Star, 2 Aug. 1925, sec. D, p. 16 [“probably”]; advertisement for MLoW in Oakland (CA) Tribune, 14 Aug. 1928, p. 30 [“flappiest”]; advert. for The Plastic Age in Kansas City Star, 11 July 1926, sec. C, p. 20 [“flapperiest”].
 And, like romantic comedy partnerships more familiar to twenty-first century readers—Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn, or Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan—Clara Bow and Donald Keith collaborated in a series of films. MLoW was actually their last film together, following Parisian Love, dir. Louis Gasnier (B.P. Schulberg Productions, 1925); Free to Love, dir. Frank O’Connor (B.P. Schulberg Productions, 1925); The Plastic Age, dir. Wesley Ruggles (B.P. Schulberg Productions, 1925); and Dancing Mothers, dir. Herbert Brenon (Famous Players-Lasky, 1926). Of these five films only MLoW and The Plastic Age really fit the romantic comedy genre; Parisian Love and Free to Love are crime/underworld dramas, and Dancing Mothers is a society melodrama. Nevertheless, four of the five ended with Bow and Keith’s characters heading to the altar; the exception is Dancing Mothers in which Keith has a relatively minor role as Bow’s jilted suitor.
 Northrop Frye, “Archetypal Criticism: A Theory of Myths” in Frye, Anatomy of Criticism: Four Essays (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1957), esp. 171-176; George T. Purdy, MLoW [review], Motion Picture News 33 (23 Jan. 1926): 488. Genre analysis goes beyond the scope of this essay, but for more on the romantic comedy genre see, e.g., Thomas Schatz, Hollywood Genres: Formulas, Filmmaking, and the Studio System (New York: Random House, 1981), esp. 20-41 and 150-185; Elizabeth Kendall, The Runaway Bride: Hollywood Romantic Comedy of the 1930s (New York: Cooper Square Press, 2002); and, for discussion of the difficulties of genre analysis, see, e.g., Janet Staiger, “Hybrid or Inbred: The Purity Hypothesis and Hollywood Genre History,” Film Criticism 22 (Fall 1997): 5-20.
 Barbara Welter, “The Cult of True Womanhood: 1820-1860,” American Quarterly 18 (Summer 1966): 151-174; and Glenna Matthews, “Just a Housewife”: The Rise and Fall of Domesticity in America (New York: Oxford University Press, 1987), 3-65, for women’s traditional—or normal—sphere. For changes in the 1920s, see e.g., Lynn Dumenil, The Modern Temper: American Culture and Society in the 1920s (New York: Hill and Wang, 1995), 111-127; Glenda Riley, Inventing the American Woman: An Inclusive History, Volume 2: Since 1877, 3rd edition (Wheeling, IL: Harlan Davidson, Inc., 2001), 341-383; and Estelle B. Freedman, “The New Woman: Changing Views of Women in the 1920s,” Journal of American History 61 (Sep. 1974): 372-393.
 Dumenil, Modern Temper, 127-143; Matthews, “Just a Housewife,” 172-193; Kristin Celello, Making Marriage Work: A History of Marriage and Divorce in the Twentieth-Century United States (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2009), 17-43; also Christina Simmons, Making Marriage Modern: Women’s Sexuality from the Progressive Era to World War II (New York: Oxford University Press, 2009), esp. 121-129, on companionate marriage. And see James Thurber and E.B. White, Is Sex Necessary? or Why You Feel the Way You Do (1929; New York: HarperCollins, 2004), a witty satire of the many “deep and lugubrious books on sex and marriage” (4) published in the 1920s.
 For disability see, e.g., Claire H. Liachowitz, Disability as a Social Construct: Legislative Roots (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1988), 19-85; E. Fuller Torrey and Judy Miller, The Invisible Plague: The Rise of Mental Illness from 1750 to the Present (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2001), 193-292; Rachel Adams, Sideshow U.S.A.: Freaks and the American Cultural Imagination (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001), 4-16; Richard K. Scotch, “American Disability Policy in the Twentieth Century” in The New Disability History: American Perspectives, eds. Paul K. Longmore and Lauri Umansky (New York: New York University Press, 2001), 375-379; and Henri-Jacques Stiker, A History of Disability, trans. William Sayers (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1999), 121-150.
 The 1920 presidential election was also the first in which women voters participated on an equal basis with men. Russell, Shadow of Blooming Grove, 347 [“normalcy”]; Robert K. Murray, The Politics of Normalcy: Governmental Theory and Practice in the Harding-Coolidge Era (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1973), 1-2, for Harding’s unprecedented majority.
 For normal and stigma see, e.g., Lennard J. Davis, “Constructing Normalcy: The Bell Curve, the Novel, and the Invention of the Disabled Body in the Nineteenth Century” in The Disability Studies Reader, 1st edition, ed. Lennard J. Davis (New York: Routledge, 1997), 9-28 [“ideal” quote from 12]; Erving Goffman, Stigma: Notes on the Management of Spoiled Identity (1963; New York: Penguin Books, 1990), 11-31; Julian B. Carter, The Heart of Whiteness: Normal Sexuality and Race in America, 1880-1940 (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2007), esp. 20-30; Michel Foucault, Abnormal: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1974-1975, eds. Valerio Marchetti and Antonella Salomoni, trans. Graham Burchell (New York: Picador, 2003), 48-52.
 Janet Staiger, Interpreting Films: Studies in the Historical Reception of American Cinema (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1992), esp. 34-48, 89-95, and 120-121; Miriam Hansen, Babel & Babylon: Spectatorship in American Silent Films (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1991), esp. 114-125; Martin F. Norden, The Cinema of Isolation: A History of Physical Disability in the Movies (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1994), esp. 74-108 [quote from 107]. For more on the context of hiding disability, see Susan M. Schweik, The Ugly Laws: Disability in Public (New York: New York University Press, 2009).
 Norden, Cinema of Isolation, x [“mutually reflective” and “mutually causal”]; Michael Wood, America in the Movies, or “Santa Maria, It Had Slipped My Mind” (New York: Basic Books, Inc., 1975), 16 [“escapist”] and 18 [“problems”].
 For references to “jazz madness” gripping the nation in the 1920s see, e.g., “Causes Blamed for Wild Youth,” Davenport (IA) Democrat and Leader, 19 Mar. 1926, p. 30; Julia Blanshard, “Revive Middle-Aged Behavior for Mothers and Youth’s Jazz Age Will Pass,” Modesto (CA) News-Herald, 2 June 1927, p. 7; “America Pictured as Jazz Mad at League O’Nations,” Fresno (CA) Bee, 17 Apr. 1930, p. 12.
 “Clara Bow—En Plein Air,” Vanity Fair 30 (July 1928): 59 [“hyper-reality”]; MLoW, intertitles.
 Curtis E. Lakeman, “The After-Care of Our Disabled Soldiers and Sailors,” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences [AAAPSS] 79 (Sep. 1918): 119; British Great War veteran Charles Carrington quoted in Eric Leed, “Fateful Memories: Industrialized War and Traumatic Neuroses,” Journal of Contemporary History 35 (Jan. 2000): 87; Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front (1929; New York: Fawcett Crest Books, 1975), 29.
 Leed, “Fateful Memories” explores the difficulties veterans of modern, industrialized wars face, being unable to forget but not allowed to remember their experiences. For the American Legion and Disabled American Veterans: “History | The American Legion | Veterans Serving Veterans,” <http://www.legion.org/history> and “Disabled American Veterans – About Us,” <http://www.dav.org/about/Default.aspx> (both 18 Mar. 2010).
 In 1922, the U.S. military estimated 645,000 disabled veterans from World War I. Joe Nickell, “A Helping Hand for the Second Chance,” American Legion Weekly [ALW], 12 Sep. 1924, p. 12; “The Problem of the Jobless Veteran,” ALW, 16 Sep. 1921, p. 3 [“economic casualties”]; “Permanent Billets for the Jobless,” ALW, 26 May 1922, p. 6 [one million unemployed vets]; “First Aid to the Jobless Veteran,” ALW, 23 Sep. 1921, p. 8 [“emergency”]; and “The Charitable General Sawyer,” ALW, 14 July 1922, p. 12 [cites military estimates of numbers of disabled]. Remarque, All Quiet, 80-83, ponders the similar question of what young men, trained only “to play cards, to swear, and to fight” (83), will do after the war.
 Classified ads, Bradford Era, 21 Feb. 1921, p. 6; classified ads, Oakland Tribune, 24 June 1929, p. 35; classified ads, Oakland Tribune, 3 Feb. 1919, p. 11; see also “Situations Wanted—Male,” ALW, 16 Sep. 1921, p. 10.
 The short story on which the film was based fills in more of the men’s back story. In the years between the end of the war and the summons to the Severn mansion, Greer and Flynn had organized and trained rebel armies to overthrow governments, smuggled machine guns, and carried out other (unspecified) activities of questionable legality in Central and South America and in northern Africa, often working for a shady character called “Mr. Mellifer.” Mellifer does not figure in the movie at all, but in the short story, the Severns locate Greer through Mellifer, not through the “Situations Wanted” section. For longer Greer/Flynn back story see Edgar Franklin, “Protecting Prue,” part one, Argosy Allstory Weekly 162 (16 Aug. 1924): 322-330; the entire story appeared in six parts, Argosy Allstory Weekly 162-163 (16 Aug.-20 Sep. 1924).
 Nickell, “Helping Hand,” 12; Frederick Dillon, “Neuroses among Combatant Troops in the Great War,” British Medical Journal no. 4096 (8 July 1939): 63 [shell-shock as catch-all term] and 65 [frequent absence of concussive events and quotes]; George L. Mosse, “Shell-Shock as a Social Disease,” Journal of Contemporary History 35 (Jan. 2000): 102.
 “Liberty Books Clara Bow Film,” Billings (MT) Gazette, 29 Oct. 1928, p. 22 [“trick clothes”]; MLoW, intertitles; Joanna Bourke, Dismembering the Male: Men’s Bodies, Britain and the Great War (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996), 108-109 [bulging eyes of men with shell-shock]. For comic uses of disability, see Norden, Cinema of Isolation, esp. 20; and for the buffoon character, or bomolochoi, see Frye, “Archetypal Criticism,” 172, 175—though Flynn differs from Frye’s buffoon in that he is more than just comic relief; he contributes significantly to the plot.
 Ernest W. White, “Observations on Shell Shock and Neurasthenia in the Hospitals of the Western Command,” British Medical Journal no. 2989 (13 Apr. 1918): 422 [quotes British “Rules of Health to be Observed by Shell Shock and Neurasthenic Patients,” adopted in 1917]; MLoW, intertitles.
 MLoW, intertitles; for “retardation” among shell-shock patients see, e.g., R. Eager, “War Psychoses Occurring in Cases with a Definite History of Shell Shock,” British Medical Journal no. 2989 (13 Apr. 1918): 422. Also note in this context Charles Carrington’s use of “retarded” as part of his description of his own “mental internment camp” after the war; quoted from Leed, “Fateful Memories,” 87.
 Daniel J. Kevles, In the Name of Eugenics: Genetics and the Uses of Human Heredity (1985; Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1995), 79-83 [numbers of men tested from 81]; Robert M. Yerkes, Memoirs of the National Academy of Sciences, volume 15: Psychological Examining in the United States Army (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1921), 791 [47 percent of whites and 89 percent of blacks below the thirteen-year-old threshold]. For definitions of feeblemindedness see, e.g., Paul Popenoe and Roswell Hill Johnson, Applied Eugenics (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1918), 439-440; and Henry H. Goddard, “Who Is a Moron?” Scientific Monthly 24 (Jan. 1927): 41-42 [definition of “moron”].
 It is, of course, a statistical absurdity to say that half of the soldiers, much less half of the nation, had subnormal intelligence. Assuming that intelligence can be represented by a “normal” or “bell” curve, then by definition the range defining “normal” intelligence should have included two-thirds of the men who took the tests, with the remaining one-third divided between the sub- and supernormal. The anomalous World War I results occurred for several reasons, including most importantly: defining “normal” intelligence based on test results from a few thousand white public school pupils from the states of New Jersey and California, not the men actually taking the tests; and cultural biases in the tests which “confused innate intelligence with an appreciation of bourgeois values.” Over-simplified reporting of the tests in popular media contributed to faulty perceptions of the results. Many scholars have discussed the various problems surrounding the tests; for one example see Margret Winzer, The History of Special Education: From Isolation to Integration (Washington, DC: Gallaudet University Press, 1993), 266-275 [“confused” quote from 271]. For a discussion of “normal intelligence,” P.V. Davis and J.G. Bradley, “The Meaning of Normal,” Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 40 (Autumn 1996): 70; and for an introduction to the “normal curve” in lay terms see, e.g., T.D.V. Swinscow, “III: Standard Deviation,” British Medical Journal 1 (5 June 1976): 1393-1394.
 William Allen White, “What’s the Matter with America,” Collier’s Weekly, 1 July 1922, p. 3 [“moron majority”]; also Irving Bacheller, “The Idiotic Era,” Review of Reviews 85 (May 1932): 20-21; H.L. Mencken, “The Commonwealth of Morons” (1922) in Mencken, A Second Mencken Chrestomathy, ed. Terry Teachout (New York Alfred A. Knopf, 1995), 3-9; and Bruce Catton, “Do We Need Morons?” Wisconsin Rapids Tribune, 5 Oct. 1928, p. 4. The data were made public in many forums, but see especially Robert M. Yerkes, “Testing the Human Mind,” Atlantic Monthly 131 (Mar. 1923): 358-370; and Carl C. Brigham, A Study of American Intelligence (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1923). A few examples of uses of the tests from the 1920s include: Albert Edward Wiggam, The Fruit of the Family Tree (Indianapolis: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, 1924), 178-189, 288-291 [eugenics]; Roy L. Garis, Immigration Restriction: A Study of the Opposition to and Regulation of Immigration into the United States (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1927), 229-239 [immigration restriction]; Lothrop Stoddard, The Revolt against Civilization: The Menace of the Under Man (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1922), 56-58, 66-72 [racial purity].
 The army dismissed less than one-half of one percent of the low-scoring recruits; see Yerkes, Psychological Examining, 99-101. Winslow quoted in Catton, “Do We Need Morons,” 4; Goddard, “Who Is a Moron,” 44 [emphasis in original]; for a similar view, see William Brady, “Personal Health Service,” Oakland Tribune, 13 Oct. 1925, p. 20. Critical perspectives on the tests from the 1920s include: Horace B. English, “Is America Feeble-Minded?” The Survey, 15 October 1922, on-line at Disability History Museum [DHM], <http://www.disabilitymuseum.org/lib/docs/1779.htm> (12 June 2007); Percy E. Davidson, “The Social Significance of the Army Intelligence Findings,” Scientific Monthly 16 (Feb. 1923): 184-193; and Walter Lippmann, “A Defense of Education,” Century (May 1923), on-line at DHM, <http://www.disabilitymuseum.org/lib/docs/1735.htm> (29 June 2007). And for Goddard’s role in the testing movement, see Kevles, In the Name of Eugenics, 77-79.
 Reinforcing the point from the previous paragraph, note the percentages of rejection: one-third for physical unfitness; less than one-half of one percent for low intelligence. For physical rejections, see Wilmer Krusen, “National Efficiency Through Health,” AAAPSS 78 (July 1918): 58-60 [numbers from 60].
 MLoW, intertitles. Although the numbers of physically unfit recruits seemed to attract less attention than the intelligence test results, the data were out there for public consumption; see, e.g., C.B. Davenport and Albert G. Love, “Defects Found in Drafted Men,” Scientific Monthly 10 (Jan. 1920): 5-25; and Davenport and Love, “Defects Found in Drafted Men, II,” Scientific Monthly 10 (Feb. 1920): 125-141. And for sample uses of the data see, e.g., Margaret Sanger, The Pivot of Civilization (New York: Bretano’s, 1922), esp. 55-56; Martin G. Brumbaugh, “Education for the Next War,” ALW, 17 Nov. 1922, p. 6 [promoting physical education programs in schools]; and Herbert Hoover, “May Day Belongs to the Children,” Collier’s Weekly, 2 May 1925, p. 23.
 MLoW, intertitles; It, dir. Clarence Badger (Famous Players-Lasky, 1927); Marsha Orgeron, “Making It in Hollywood: Clara Bow, Fandom, and Consumer Culture,” Cinema Journal 42 (Summer 2003): 76-97 [quotes from 87]; and see Northrop Frye’s description of alazon characters in Frye, “Archetypal Criticism,” 39-40, 172, 226-228. All of the other Bow-Keith collaborations cited earlier—Parisian Love, Free to Love, Plastic Age, and Dancing Mothers—contain characters comparable to Rolf; in Dancing Mothers, Keith’s character is Rolf-like.
 MLoW, intertitles; “Dr. Brady’s Health Talks,” Nebraska State Journal (Lincoln), 8 Jan. 1925, p. 6. And for the association of disability with femininity see, e.g., Rosemarie Garland Thomson, Extraordinary Bodies: Figuring Disability in American Culture and Literature (New York: Columbia University Press, 1997), esp. 19-41.
 Roderick W. Nash, The Nervous Generation: American Thought, 1917-1930 (1970; Chicago: Elephant Paperbacks, 1990), 162 [quotes Ford].
 For 1920s historiography, see Nash, Nervous Generation, 21-32, which covers 1920s historiography into the late-1960s; and supra notes 5-7, for more recent secondary interpretations.
 “See Jazz-Mad Age Skidding Toward Doom,” Hammond (IN) Times, 3 Dec. 1926, p. 22 [quotes bishops]. For some examples connecting jazz to social problems, see “Morale among Homes Is Now in Jazz State,” Muskogee (OK) Times-Democrat, 19 May 1923, p. 1 [divorce]; “Murders and Suicides Increase,” World’s Work 48 (Aug. 1924): 362-363 [suicide]; William G. Shepard, “What’s Wrong with Our Children,” Collier’s Weekly, 20 Sep. 1924, p. 17 [crime]; see also Frederick Palmer, “A Personal Page,” ALW, 29 Jan. 1926, p. 11, which blames jazz for a range of criminal and social problems, nationally and internationally.
 For some examples see, e.g., Kathy J. Ogren, The Jazz Revolution: Twenties America and the Meaning of Jazz (New York: Oxford University Press, 1989), 124 [“epidemic,” quoting Alain Locke]; Joel Augustus [J.A.] Rogers, “Jazz at Home,” Survey Graphic—Harlem: Mecca of the New Negro (Mar. 1925): 665-667, 712, on-line at University of Virginia, Electronic Text Center <http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/harlem/RogJazzF.html> (9 Sep. 2006), 665 [“epidemic”]; Henry Osbourne Osgood, So This Is Jazz! (Boston: Little, Brown, 1926), 11 [“virus,” quoting journalist Walter Kingsley]; Neil Leonard, “Traditionalist Opposition to Jazz” in The Social and Cultural Life of the 1920s, ed. Ronald L. Davis (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1972), 91 [“cancer,” quoting the Federal Social Hygiene Board]; “Where Is Jazz Leading America?” The Etude 42 (Aug. 1924): 518 [“infectious,” quoting violinist and composer Franz Drdla].
 Advert. for MLoW, Galveston (TX) Daily News, 4 Sep. 1927, p. 2; for the significance of Greenwich Village as a cultural marker during the early-twentieth century see, e.g., Henry F. May, The End of American Innocence: A Study of the First Years of Our Own Time, 1912-1917 (New York: Knopf, 1959), x, 283-285; and George Chauncey, Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture, and the Making of the Gay Male World, 1890-1940 (New York: Basic Books, 1994), esp. 228-237.
 MLoW, intertitles. The short story on which the film is based makes the contrast between the Village and normal life clearer. At the end of the story, just when Prue seems to have won his heart, Greer rejects her and proposes marriage to her stay-at-home sister (who features much more prominently in the story than in the film). Of course, the change was necessary in the film because Clara Bow was compared at the time to “the Northwestern Mounted Police”—i.e., the Canadian Mounties—“she always ‘gets her man.’” Edgar Franklin, “Protecting Prue,” part 6, Argosy Allstory Weekly 163 (20 Sep. 1924): 301-302; comparison to Mounties from “Picture at the Colonial Sure to Chase the Blues,” Hagerstown (MD) Morning Herald, 26 Dec. 1928, p. 3.
 Preston William Slosson, The Great Crusade and After, 1914-1928 (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1930), esp. 142-157; Frederick Lewis Allen, Only Yesterday: An Informal History of the 1920s (1931; New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1997), esp. 71-92.
 Chadwick Hansen, “Social Influences on Jazz Style: Chicago, 1920-30,” American Quarterly 12 (Winter 1960): 504, notes the achievement of a national audience for jazz in the 1920s. For an example of each of the terms quoted in the text used in reference to jazz see, e.g., advert. for Lillian Eichler, The Customs of Mankind (book) in ALW, 27 Mar. 1925, p. 15 [“primitive”]; Daniel Gregory Mason, “Satan in the Dance-Hall,” American Mercury, 2 (June 1924): 181 [“vulgar”]; “A Doctor on Jazz,” Helena (MT) Daily Independent, 8 Sept. 1927, p. 4 [“savage”]; and “America Dancing Straight to Perdition, Says Evangelist,” Kingsport (TN) Times, 31 Oct. 1924, p. 1 [“demoralizing”].
 “‘Jazz Goes back to the Jungle,’” New Castle (PA) News, 9 Feb. 1922, p. 11 [“Jazz goes”]; “Mayor of Wilkes-Barre Would Put Ban on Jazz,” Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune, 27 Aug. 1924, p. 8 [including text of the proposed ordinance]; also “Less Legislation,” Billings Gazette, 30 Sep. 1924, p. 4, for failure of ban idea in Wilkes-Barre. Communities and schools around the country did implement bans on jazz in dance halls and at school dances. For instance, Mason, “Satan in the Dance-Hall,” 181-182, cites bans in Cleveland, San Francisco, Chicago, New York, Rochester [it is not clear which Rochester], and Oshkosh, Wisconsin. None of these bans were as comprehensive as the one attempted in Wilkes-Barre, which would have banned jazz in all public places.
 Ogren, Jazz Revolution, 115-125, covers the opinions of Du Bois, Johnson, and Peyton. For other analyses of African American criticism of jazz in the 1920s see, e.g., Morroe Berger, “Jazz: Resistance to the Diffusion of a Culture-Pattern,” Journal of Negro History 32 (Oct. 1947): 464-467, 479-484; and Nicholas M. Evans, Writing Jazz: Race, Nationalism, and Modern Culture in the 1920s (New York: Garland Publishing, 2000), 98-129.
 For definitions of playing jazz see, e.g.: Gilbert Seldes, “Toujours Jazz” (1923), in The Seven Lively Arts (1924; Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, Inc., 2001), 84-85 [“anywhere” p. 85]; Slosson, Great Crusade, 283 [“superimposed”]; Don Knowlton, “The Anatomy of Jazz” (orig. 1926) in Contemporary Thought, eds. Kendall B. Taft, John Francis McDermott, and Dana O. Jensen (Cambridge, MA: The Riverside Press, 1929), esp. 482-486 [“one … underlying tempo” from 484; emphasis in original]. For a useful look at jazz as music in the secondary literature, see Gunther Schuller, Early Jazz: Its Roots and Musical Development (New York: Oxford University Press, 1968), 6-62 [esp. 13-16 for “syncopation”].
 Anne Shaw Faulkner, “Does Jazz Put the Sin in Syncopation?” Ladies’ Home Journal, August 1921, pp. 16, 34, on-line at <http://faculty.pittstate.edu/~knichols/syncopate.html> (12 June 2007), [no specific page numbers] [“out of tune” and “disorganizes”]; “No—And Then Again Yes,” Sheboygan (WI) Press, 7 Jan. 1926, p. 6 [Mrs. Keep]. See also “Noted Soprano Fails to See Possibilities of Jazz Opera,” Galveston Daily News, 6 Feb. 1922, p. 1; “Real Music,” Reno (NV) Evening Gazette, 25 Feb. 1925, p. 4; and Bert Moses, “Sap and Salt,” Rushville (IN) Daily Republican, 29 Mar. 1929, p. 3—for comments denying that jazz was “real” music; and, for similar comments with respect to jazz dancing, “Sees End of Real Dancing,” Olean (NY) Evening Times, 30 Dec. 1924, p. 11; Carl Engel, “Views and Reviews,” Musical Quarterly 8 (Oct. 1922): 626; Ernest Newman, “Summing Up Music’s Case Against Jazz,” New York Times, 6 Mar. 1927, sect. 4, pp. 3, 22.
 “Peril for Daughters in Modern Jazz Craze, Says Famous Writer,” Joplin (MO) Globe, 11 Dec. 1921, p. 16 [for Stratton-Porter; excerpts from an article which originally appeared in McCall’s magazine]. For Stratton-Porter’s popularity, see e.g., Nash, Nervous Generation, 137, which notes that books by Stratton-Porter occupied the top four spots in a 1932 Publisher’s Weekly survey of the best-selling novels of the twentieth century.
 For Ellingson case see, e.g., “The Dorothy Ellingson Case,” Kingsport Times, 18 Jan. 1925, p. 4 [on the nationwide coverage of the case]; “Ellingson Case Stirs the Public,” Helena Daily Independent, 19 Jan. 1925, p. 1 [“jazz murder girl”]; “‘Jazz Girl’ Is Declared Sane,” Bismarck (ND) Tribune, 21 May 1925, p. 1 [“jazz-mad” and “jazz girl”]; “Ghost Sends Kin to Girl Slayer’s Aid,” Oakland Tribune, 18 Jan. 1925, p. 1 [“red-headed”]; “Fool’s Day for Me Says Dorothy,” Fresno Bee, 1 Apr. 1925, p. 1 [“jazz girl”]; “Dorothy Ellingson Found Insane,” Bismarck Tribune, 9 Apr. 1925, p. 1 [insanity ruling]; “Dorothy Ellingson Is Found Guilty of Manslaughter,” Zanesville (OH) Times Recorder, 24 Aug. 1925, p. 1 [conviction]. For a secondary source on the case, see James L.W. West, III, “Tender Is the Night, ‘Jazzmania,’ and the Ellingson Matricide” in Twenty-First Century Readings of Tender Is the Night, eds. William Blazek and Laura Rattray (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2007), 34-49.
 MLoW, intertitles.
 “Kenosha County Bans Charleston,” Sheboygan Press, 13 Apr. 1926, p. 17—Kenosha also banned cheek-to-cheek, “bunny hug” dancing.
 “Too Much Dancing May Be Hard on Nerves,” Monessen (PA) Independent, 5 July 1929, p. 4 [Elliott]. For other comments on the jerky, spasmodic motions of jazz dancing see, e.g., Eugene Lyman Fisk, “College Girl, 1922 Model, Improvement on 1890,” Lima News, 7 May 1922, p. 32; Virgil Thomson, “Jazz,” American Mercury 2 (Aug. 1924): 466; Slosson, Great Crusade, 282; and Osgood, So This Is Jazz, 11.
 Quotes from: “What’s the Matter with Jazz?” The Etude 41 (Jan. 1924): 6 [“riot” and “noise”]; “Jazz Music Now Is Passing, Wisconsin Music Expert Says,” Capital Times (Madison, WI), 16 Feb. 1923, p. 11 [“weird” and “noise”]; “Now We Like Hawaii,” Lima (OH) News, 30 July 1925, p. 6 [“noise”]; battlefield noises from Remarque, All Quiet, in order, 57, 58, 100, 59.
 Leonard, “Traditionalist Opposition,” 90 [quotes Milwaukee health commissioner]; and Paul Fritz Laubenstein, “Jazz—Debit and Credit,” Musical Quarterly 15 (Oct. 1929): 614 [“kill men’s bodies”].
 Rick Altman, Silent Film Sound (New York: Columbia University Press, 2004), 77-93; also Richard Koszarski, An Evening’s Entertainment: The Age of the Silent Feature Picture, 1915-1928 (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1990), 30-31, noting the importance of music to audiences, and 41, citing a 1922 Motion Picture News (MPN) survey indicating that among responding theaters 25 percent used a piano to accompany films, 45 percent had an organ, and 30 percent employed an orchestra (usually with ten or fewer musicians, but in a few cases with more—as many as fifty); 15 percent of theaters failed to respond to the survey, leading MPN to assume they had no live musical accompaniment.
 For discussions of silent film music, see e.g., Altman, Silent Film Sound, 344-365, but esp. 344 and 348-350 [some examples of cue sheets and scores]; Koszarski, Evening’s Entertainment, 41-45; also James Wierzbicki, Film Music: A History (New York: Routledge, 2009), esp. 48 and 116-120.
 The print of MLoW which I have seen has a very jazzy score (heavy on clarinet and banjo), but I do not know the source of that score nor whether it conforms to what an audience would have heard in the mid-to-late-1920s. Harry Alan Potamkin, “Music and the Movies,” Musical Quarterly 15 (Apr. 1929): 281-296 [292 for “symphonic music” and “jazz converters”]; also Wierzbicki, Film Music, 56, noting the modification of classical music for film. For criticisms of jazzing the classics see, e.g., Laubenstein, “Jazz—Debit and Credit,” 615-620; “Why Mongrelize?” Decatur (IL) Review, 23 Aug. 1925, p. 6.
 For discussions of the elements of a full movie program, see Koszarski, Evening’s Entertainment, 163-190; Altman, Silent Film Sound, 379-388; and, for more on other kinds of acts, see discussion in Gregg Bachman, “Still in the Dark—Silent Film Audiences,” Film History 9 (1997): 32-34.
 Advert. for Majestic Theater, Sheboygan Press, 16 Mar. 1926, p. 12; also advert. for Majestic Theater, Sheboygan Press, 8 Mar. 1926, p. 12, for beginning of Charleston lessons and Arthur Murray’s involvement; advert. for Majestic Theater, La Crosse Tribune and Leader-Press, 7 May 1926, p. 14. See also any number of other advertisements from the 1920s—e.g., advert. for My Lady’s Lips [a Clara Bow movie released in 1925], Appleton (WI) Post-Crescent, 9 Jan. 1926, p. 7; and advert. for “Greater Movie Season,” Marshalltown (IA) Times-Republican, 31 July 1926, p. 7.
 Quotes re: Cincinnati case from: “Newborn Spared ‘Jazz Emotion,’” Ogden (UT) Standard-Examiner, 4 Feb. 1926, p. 4 [“jazz palace”]; “Oppose Jazz Near Hospital,” Portsmouth (OH) Daily Times, 5 Feb. 1926, p. 18 [“living in a jazz age”]. For notice of the case in different parts of the country, see e.g., “Salvation Army Wins Suit Against Movies,” Bradford Era, 4 Feb. 1926, p. 1; [no title] Manitowoc (WI) Herald-News, 4 Feb. 1926, p. 2; “No ‘Jazz Babies’ Are Desired in Cincinnati Salvation Army Home,” Galveston Daily News, 4 Feb. 1926, p. 1; M.F. Dacey, “Spare the Baby from Jazz Music, Doctor’s Warning,” Danville (VA) Bee, 19 Mar. 1926, p. 20; and Berger, “Jazz: Resistance,” 463-464 [citing New York Times, 4 Feb. 1926, p. 4]. Various newspaper accounts quoted the plaintiffs’ brief using slightly different language.
 For Whiteman and Lopez see, e.g., “Jazz Not Monster, Says Paul Whiteman,” Kingsport Times, 27 Aug. 1925, p. 6; and “Music that Creates Moods Hope of Radio Band Pioneer,” Fairbanks (AK) Daily News-Miner, 16 Jan. 1930, p. 6. Kahn quoted from “Why Mongrelize?” Decatur Review, 23 Aug. 1925, p. 6; Stokowski from “Why They Say Jazz Is Here to Stay,” Atchison (KS) Daily Globe, 18 May 1924, p. 8.
 Reeve quoted in “The Usefulness of Jazz,” Hamilton (OH) Evening Journal, 31 Dec. 1926, p. 6; Rogers, “Jazz at Home,” 712 [“morally anarchic”]; “Jazz—Keynote of the Century,” Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune, 3 Mar. 1925, p. 7 [“first principles”]; “Why They Say Jazz Is Here to Stay,” Atchison (KS) Daily Globe, 18 May 1924, p. 8 [Stokowski]. Another prominent defender of jazz in the context of modern life was anthropologist Franz Boas: see e.g., Boas, “The Question of Racial Purity,” American Mercury 3 (Oct. 1924): 167.
 Elsie Robinson, “Listen World,” Davenport Democrat and Leader, 22 May 1922, p. 3; Dorothy Martin to editor, Motion Picture 35 (Nov. 1928): 114; MLoW, intertitles.
 “At 60 Starts Life” and “Jazz—Keynote of the Century,” both in Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune, 3 Mar. 1925, p. 7 [Cheney description and quotes]; Anita Loos, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and But Gentlemen Marry Brunettes (1925; 1927; New York: Penguin Books, 1998), 93; “‘I’m Sick of Jazz,’ Cries Dorothy Ellingson; ‘Let Me Go Home,’” Sheboygan Press, 24 Aug. 1925, p. 4 [“From jail”].
 Stiker, History of Disability, 121 [“new way”]; Oscar M. Sullivan, “Luck for the Luckless: A Normal Wage-Earning Life for the Disabled Citizen,” Century 111 (Mar. 1926): 628 [“normal wage-earning life”]. See also C. Esco Obermann, A History of Vocational Rehabilitation in America (Minneapolis: T.S. Denison and Co., 1965), esp. 147-174 and 211-269, for rehabilitation legislation and programs in the United States during and after WWI.
 For national economic rehabilitation see, e.g., “Cancellation and the Reduction of Armament,” World’s Work 44 (Oct. 1922): 573-574; Heinrich Kanner, “Is Austria Rehabilitated?” Nation, 2 July 1924, pp. 24-26; [untitled editorial] American Mercury 6 (Dec. 1925): 422-424; Arthur Feiler, “Germany’s Rehabilitation,” Nation, 7 Nov. 1928, pp. 484-485; and various articles in the volume of the AAAPSS on “America and the Rehabilitation of Europe,” AAAPSS 102 (July 1922): 1-217.
 R.H. Towner, “The Rehabilitation of Whiskey,” American Mercury 14 (May 1928): 44-51; “The Rehabilitation of National Democracy,” New Republic, 26 Sep. 1926, pp. 136-138; and Harris Dickson, “Optimism and the Truck Patch,” Saturday Evening Post, 17 Sep. 1927, pp. 19, 194-202.
 Harry E. Mock, “Reclamation of the Disabled from the Industrial Army,” AAAPSS 80 (Nov. 1918): 30 [“persevere” and “stick-to-it-iveness”]; MLoW, intertitles. See also Ana Carden-Coyne, “Ungrateful Bodies: Rehabilitation, Resistance and Disabled American Veterans of the First World War,” European Review of History: Revue Europeenne d’Histoire 14 (Dec. 2007): 543-565, which stresses the economic emphasis in rehabilitation programs for veterans.
 Lakeman, “After-Care,” esp. 119-121 [section on the psychological factors in readjustment] and 121-123 [for emphasis on the importance of family]; Leed, “Fateful Memories,” 87 [“internment camp”].
 MLoW, intertitles. For shell-shock defining its victims in contrast to normal men, see Mosse, “Shell-Shock as a Social Disease,” 102—though Mosse uses “ideal” rather than “normal,” he clearly means ideal in the sense that “normality” became the ideal in American society; compare to Davis, “Constructing Normalcy,” 12. Quotes on modern woman from Fisk, “College Girl;” see also Blanshard, “Revive Middle-Aged Behavior.”
 MLoW, intertitles.