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Headscratchers / The Artist

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  • How tolerated was left-handedness in the 1920s? Clifton and Doris were both lefties.
  • It's a bit surprising George Valentin career faltered so much with the arrival of talking pictures. Sure, it's Truth in Television, and he did initially refuse to go into talkies, but with the kind of characters he played, one would think that his French accent would have played very well. Wouldn't they have tried to approach him after was forced to swallow some of his pride?
    • No one would talk to him because people were too connected to him with his failures, regardless of his positive attributes. Also, George was too depressed to accept anything in the first place.
    • Historically, having a "foreign" accent tended to limit one's options in terms of casting, but not always as with Greta Garbo and her Swedish accent. It is possible that George's particular accent might not be as big of a bar as some other cases, but he'd probably be looking at getting typecast as a French Jerk, Funny Foreigner, or something like that. During that era, being a "leading man" generally required being a W.A.S.P or at least being able to pretend to be one.
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    • Claude Raines played Captain Renault in Casablanca. That is all.
    • Claude Raines was British, not French (unless that was your point, in which case carry on).
  • How come some of people still wore 1920s clothing in 1932?
    • It was the Great Depression, some people couldn't afford new clothes.
      • Maybe, but still, one would wonder that even the richer and fashion-wise women like Peppy still wore them, despite the silhouette changing from higher waists and longer skirts.
      • The central conceit of the movie is that it's made as if it was an actual silent picture from the 1920s. Ergo, the fashions remain kind of locked into those of the '20s, despite the events of the film moving into a different decade with different fashion tastes, because it's generally acting as if it were actually being made in, say, 1929 (like how many movies made in the late 1980s but set in the 1990s tend to assume that fashions would stay more or less the same, just because they're working with what they've got). It's not a perfect facsimile (for one, the filmmakers draw on hindsight by referencing events that occurred after the 1920s than an actual 1920s filmmaker would have no foreknowledge of), but essentially it's an artistic choice.

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