This piece was written at the time of the transition from the silent movie to the ‘talkie’. It describes the difficulties faced by actors who had been stars by virtue of their acting ability and their looks, when suddenly their vocal attributes are, if anything, even more important. Some did not make the transition well!
It is widely believed that John Gilbert was one of these, though other reports deny this and cite quite successful talking pictures made by him. The alternative suggestion is that his fall from stardom was more political than otherwise.
The 1928 movie The Jazz Singer was the first featurel-length motion picture with synchronised dialogue and showed the potential of talking picture