1933 – Movies and Conduct Study

During the three past decades Motion Pictures have become one of the chief forms of amusement in the lives of the American people and have given birth to a giant industry with a formidable financial structure. Motion pictures inspire day-dreaming and fantasy. The writers of motion pictures expressly point out to motion pictures as an influence in some way or other on their fantasy life. This study details the accounts of thoughts collected from young women on motion pictures. The high school or college student may just easily picture herself, in her imagination as the much sought-after heroine.

The movies a source of information on love behavior
Motion pictures with their vivid display of love-techniques offer a means of gaining knowledge. The possibilities of motion pictures in providing such instruction suggested in account the accounts listed:

As I progressed in years, I became interested in the girls about me at school and at play. I had a sweetheart whom I admired from afar, for as yet I was so bashful I became tongue-tied in her presence. I recall how I wished that I could be as free and easy in their presence as Rudolph Valentino was, and I watched for his pictures with special interest for I thought that I might be able to assimilate some of his ability or technique, if you wish to call it that, and would be able to use it on my girl               – Male, 20, College Sophmore.

When only 14 years of age, I fell in love with one of my classmates; and I can remember that after seeing Rudolph Valentino in “The Sheik” I would try to make love to my girl as he did to the heroine, but I guess I was a miserable failure – Male, 19, College Sophomore

Day-Dream and Fantasy
Day-dreaming is something every woman does. I still day-dream about my favorite movie star or a fated romance. I recall Rudolph Valentino who impressed himself in my mind as though no other movie character has done. Whenever I saw desert pictures, I thought it would be thrilling to live in a tent like an Arab and travel from place to place. I thought it would be wonderful to be captured by some strong brave man like Rudolph Valentino. His pictures impressed me so much that I used to dream about them at night. I loved the beautiful scenery in the day and night. I hoped that someday I would be able to visit the desert land and ride a camel. Rudolph Valentino and Vilma Banky were my favorite desert stars. I always thought of Rudolph Valentino as a typical desert hero and Vilma Banky as a beautiful angel of the desert – Female 20, College Junior.

Rudolph Valentino was quite my ideal when I was at this age. My mother did not approve of my going to see these pictures, but what did a little thing like that matter to me? His pictures more than any of the others, I believe, carried me over into a fancy-life. His leading ladies I always resented. I repeatedly tossed them aside and put myself in their place. After seeing “The Sheik” I was in a daze for a week. Female, 18, HS Senior

I fell in love with Rudolph Valentino and Warner Baxter. Rudy was such a perfect lover and he kissed divinely. I could imagine myself being in his leading woman’s place when he prostrated her with a kiss, and I even thrilled at the thought – Female, 16, HS junior

Vivid in my memory is the image of Rudy in “The Sheik” his passionate lovemaking stirred me as I was never before. For many days, I pictured myself as his desert companion in the most entrancing scenes that my imagination could build – Female, 19, HS Senior

The first picture which stands out in my memory is “The Sheik”, featuring Rudolph Valentino. I was at the impressionable and romantic age of 12 or 13 when I saw it. I recall coming home that night and dreaming the entire picture over again; myself as the heroine, being carried over the burning sands by an equally burning lover. I could feel myself being kissed in the way the Sheik had kissed the girl. I wanted to see it again but it was forbidden – Female, 20, College Junior

After seeing every picture of Rudolph Valentino, I would go home and day-dream because that was all that I had to look forward to. My dreams of him made me realize that one day a tall and thoughtful man such as Rudy was would truly love and understand me. Without thoughts or words we simply knew one another and would grow old together the romance we seen on the screen was our romance in real life – Female, Jewish, 23, College Senior

Some publicists and editorial writers expressed amazement at the overwhelming popular interest displayed in Valentino at the time of his death. If American girls were affected to the extent to with many of the high school and college girls who have contributed to this study seemed to have been, there is little occasion for bewilderment over the incident.

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