Body language secrets a guide during courtship and dating
Algernon (Billy Quirk) is an effete city boy who is required to go West and develop some virility before he can have the hand of his girlfriend in marriage. This was 1912 and, even in the most forward-thinking film, some sexual orientations dared not speak their names.That a film could develop a relationship so complex, poignant and utterly unconventional in a scant ten minutes is a testament to the talents of director Alice Guy-Blaché. In conceiving the story of Algernon Allmore (the film has no credited writer, so we can fairly credit Blache with at least partial authorship), the director was probably influenced by the stories of Bret Harte.Greatly influenced by Charles Dickens, Harte wrote tales of rugged Westerners, and the stories were uncommonly tender -- often overlaid with shameless sentimentality.Instead, Algie's character is defined as gay through certain visual indicators of behavior and dress: his tendency to give cowboys kisses on the lips rather than slaps on the back, his bright and flamboyant Western wear, and a penchant for lace hankies and lip rouge.
In one of the film's more inventive uses of visual metaphor, Algie's masculinity is represented by the size of his firearm.
His short story "The Luck of Roaring Camp," for example, tells of a mining community's efforts to care for a foundling.
Body language secrets a guide during courtship and dating comments