Why Be Good?
In her final silent film, Colleen Moore plays a wild flapper with a dubious reputation, who, after a vivacious night of dancing, finds herself romantically linked to her boss's son. Why Be Good? contains a Vitaphone soundtrack with sound effects and synchronized music, chiefly hot jazz and 1920s dance music played by such period greats as Jimmy Dorsey, Phil Napoleon, Joe Venuti, and Eddie Lang. The big-budgeted film, filled with beautiful art deco sets, features a young Jean Harlow as a prominent dress extra. Long believed to be a lost film, it was rediscovered though the perseverance of film historian Joseph Yranski and Ron Hutchinson, the founder of the Vitaphone Project. The search began when Yranski interviewed Moore, who told him that a copy of the film survived in an Italian film archive. Hutchinson was able to find the 16" Vitaphone discs containing the soundtrack, and the task of locating the missing picture began. Gian Luca Farinelli of Cineteca di Bologna contacted Matteo Pavesi of Cineteca Italiana di Milano, who graciously allowed access to the 35mm nitrate dupe negative for the restoration at L’Immagine Ritrovata in conjunction with Warner Bros.
Presented as part of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' ongoing series at LACMA.