REVIEW of REVIEWS

Talkies Demand “Noiseless” Gowns

Certain Types of Fabrics Taboo in Sound Pictures Because Their Swish Affects Microphone.

COMOEDIA (Paris) September 15 1930
REVIEW of REVIEWS

Talkies Demand “Noiseless” Gowns

Certain Types of Fabrics Taboo in Sound Pictures Because Their Swish Affects Microphone.

COMOEDIA (Paris) September 15 1930

Talkies Demand “Noiseless” Gowns

Certain Types of Fabrics Taboo in Sound Pictures Because Their Swish Affects Microphone.

COMOEDIA (Paris)

IT IS well known that the influence of the talkies upon their millions of devotees is tremendous. When, therefore, it becomes necessary for the motionpicture industry to declare a ban on gowns of a certain type, one may well wonder if such gowns will retain their popularity for long in any circle of society. In Comoedia (Paris), Lillian Harvey, the actress, says:

“In my first talking film it was not very important how I dressed as a whole series of scenes were silent.

“What is more, my clothes were simple and in some cases very masculine.

“In my second film this was not the case.

“Before any of the scenes were actually taken, a number of different costumes were tried out, for we knew that the microphone would register the slightest sound made by the dress. For this reason I was forced to give up a number of different silk dresses which pleased me particularly. The hardest problem we had to solve in these dressmaking rehearsals was that of finding gowns which did not make the slightest noise.

“At first I refused to believe that the swish of a dress could in any way affect the talking film.

“Wearing a gown which I liked very much, the microphone demonstrated that I made just as much noise as if I were wearing a coat of mail.

“To convince myself, I had one of my

understudies wear the gown while I took up my position in the booth which contained the microphone. At first I heard nothing, but the nearer the actress and the gown approached the apparatus, the louder the noise became.

“After many attempts, we finally found the proper clothes, which were, to all appearances, noiseless.

“All went well until about the tenth day.

“Julie Serda, who played the rôle of my mother in the piece, entered the room. Suddenly the director burst out into torrents of complaints. He demanded to know’ what we were doing, claiming that the sounds reproduced in the booth w'ere as if firemen were playing a hose against a stone wall. All of our protests that we w’ere not at fault, were in vain. The machines were tested and found to be in perfect order.

“Not an unusual sound could be discovered.

“The scene was taken a second time with the same result. At last the mystery was solved. The train of Madame Serda had caused the noise! And that is why, when the film is released, you will see both Madame Serda and myself defying all rules of etiquette demanded by court in appearing without trains. That is why all long dresses are taboo in the talking film. The wedding veil also has been banished despite the fact that it was always so effective upon the screen.”