ACCENT on Youth” from the recent Broadway success, is the story of a young girl who loves a middleaged dramatist but marries a Princeton youth, largely on her dramatist’s advice—he loves her but believes that youth must be served, even though served badly. So she marries her bouncingly athletic Princetonian but in the end comes back, with her unsatisfied heart and her aching muscles, to her selfsacrificing and sedentary playwright.
Herbert Marshall, made up with powdered temples and a slightly crêpey look of middleage, is the dramatist, and Sylvia Sidney, the only actress on the screen who can look sulky and attractive at the same time, is the young girl of the piece. It. takes a lot of dialogue to make it all convincing, but it is witty dialogue and the comedy situations are entertainingly handled. If you just go to the movies to be amused— and I can’t think of a more sensible reason •—"Accent on Youth” is the picture to sec.
ADMIRERS of Shirley Temple will be “ not merely satisfied but positively gorged by her latest performance. Shirley sings, dances (tap and hula), recites, impersonates Whistler’s mother, takes a Shetland pony to bed, and is on the screen practically every second. She is an orphan in this picture, but shortly after the story opens she arranges to have herself and her sister, Mary (Rochelle Hudson\ adopted by a rich romantic bachelor (John Boles). Taken to his summer residence, she arranges a benefit performance for less talented orphans, and carries it through practically single-handed. Later she arranges a love match between Mary and her bachelor guardian. Mr. Boles and Miss Hudson fill in with a song apiece while Shirley is changing.
Admirers of the screen’s first child wonder will dote on "Curly Top.” People who find that all child performances on the screen, even Temple performances, stir up the wicked old Herod in them, had better stay away.
THIS PICTURE brings us our customary hour with the underworld. Maureen O’Sullivan is the heroine—a convicted murderess when the story ojiens, and outward bound. En route to the women’s jail she escapes during a car crash and attaches herself to a young attorney (Joel McCrae)
fetch him to sit beside him, remarking that now Arthur was the youngest magistrate in the Empire.
But the boy, still nervous, seeing all eyes fixed upon him, began to cry. Even when Superintendent Hussey offered his watch, he was only entertained for a moment. Finally Constable Hutchinson was asked to question him. and he was more successful, eliciting startling information.
“What is your name?”
“My name is Arthur.”
“No.” Perhaps he caught Bellinger’s eye then, for his lips trembled and he could not be induced to continue for some minutes. But at length he said loud enough for the whole court to hear:
"Bellinger is not my name. I am Arthur Lamour.”
Result of the Trial
FOR A MOMENT the magistrate’s command for order could not be heard. The case was one of the most sensational ever heard in Victoria, having no parallel in the police annals. The frightened child presented a pitiable spectacle, and now, from his own lips to learn that he was the long-lost son of Lamour was more than the assembly could bear in silence. Sobs were audible, and there were threatening gestures and looks toward Bellinger. The confusion enhanced Arthur’s
who happens by in his roadster. He befriends her, even after his discovery that she has just been convicted for murder—he is kind-hearted and eccentric and likes girls that are different.
The gang who framed her want her back, the District Attorney wants her, her young man wants her badly—never was a girl more in demand. And so Miss O’Sullivan is snatched this way and that, never losing her strictly tailored composure. It all works out finally after considerable shooting and much milling about of G-men. “Woman Wanted,” though a programme picture with no particular build-up, is much livelier entertainment than many more pretentious films.
TF YOU remember “She” from the *■ Haggard novel or from an earlier screen version, it is about a beautiful, mysterious woman who has lived for 500 years in the heart of Africa. (In the latest transcription she has moved and lives in the heart of the ice region north of Muscovy. ) Periodically she renews her youth by entering the Fire of Life, coming out each time more fascinating and ageless than ever. At a critical point, however, something goes wrong, the process goes into reverse and her true awful age becomes apparent.
Something rather like this seems to have happened to the latest screen version of the story: apparently it also has taken the rejuvenation treatment once too often. The settings are stagey and unconvincing. Miss Gahagan’s “She” seemed much too mild and reasonable for a lady who had been kept waiting for her lover 500 years, and Helen Mack and Randolph Scott as the young lovers appeared matter-of-fact in the last degree; no more scared—really scared, that is—bv the Caves of Kor than a pair of
Saturday afternoon lovers going through the Tunnel of Love. It was difficult to get much excited about adventures that seemed to make so little impression on the participants. As far as we are concerned, "She” can wait another 500 years for her next rejuvenation.
ALICE ADAMS” as a screen transcription—it’s from Booth Tarkington’s Pulitzer Prize novel—turned out much better. It is the romance of a small-town girl, a much more complex character than the movies usually attempt. Alice is a nice girl, kind to her father and pleasant about the house. She is also a snob, a fluent liar and at times an awful little fool.
Katharine Hepburn plays the rôle of Alice, and does it so unsparingly that it seemed as though her young man, if he had had any sense at all, would have walked out of her life at the second meeting, leaving her stranded for ever on the wrong side of the tracks. Miss Hepburn’s performance is brilliant though uneven; a little overwrought at times, but so penetrating at others that every third woman, perhaps even every second one, in the audience will recognize herself in some aspect of Alice. Recommended.
The Farmer Takes a Wife
A ROMANCE of the Erie Canal in early days, this is a carefully detailed portrait of a place and period. It is charmingly photographed, it contains any number of quaint, unusual characters, and altogether I should have found it a lot more interesting than I did. For one thing, I couldn’t see Janet Gaynor as a canal-barge cook, travelling about the canal zone first wilh this man, then with that, retaining, with nothing really to show for it, both her reputation as a
cook and her character as a lady. The dramatic climax, too, of having the heroine’s homemade preserves refused entry at the Oneida PNir, didn’t clutch me in the way it should have.
There’s a fine mix-up in the end between Charles Bickford, the canal bully, and Henry Fonda, the brooding young farmer of the piece. But the story in general noses along at canal-barge pace, leaving you al! the time in the world to take a rest and enjoy the scenery.
The Sign Post
Love Me For Ever.—Grace Moore and plenty of Puccini music, both as fine as possible. Recommended.
Sanders Of The River.—Tale of Empire-making in Africa. Some fine photography and some magnificent singing by Paul Robeson. It may seem a little long, but the British Empire wasn’t made in a day and the picture corresponds to the stateliness and pace of its subject.
Air Hawks. — Story of a private war in the air between two air transportation services, with a maniac inventor figuring prominently. Preposterous, but exciting.
Murder In The Fleet.—One-third of this picture is devoted to routine comedy, one-third to lining up suspects. The remaining third is fairly exciting, but hardly worth waiting for.
Murder Man.—Newspaper story about a reporter (Spencer Tracy) who always got the murders in the assignment book. A fair story and an excellent star, both notably mishandled.
Becky Sharp.—Miriam Hopkins, Robert Edmond Jones. Rouben Mamoulian and Thackeray all contribute to the success of Hollywood’s first large-scale technicolor achievement. A family film and highly recommended.
No More Ladies.—Love, cocktails and infidelity among the very rich. With Robert Montgomery in several changes of heart, and Joan Crawford in eleven changes of costume. Fair entertainment, but not for children.'
The Scoundrel. — The Hecht-Macarthur film which, dealing with some curious aspects of this world and the next, delighted some people, offended others, and surprised practically everybody. Introduces Noel Coward to the screen.
The Glass Key.—Political underworld picture, handled with pace and style. With George Raft. Recommended, though not for children.
The Informer.—A magnificent picture of Dublin and the Sinn Fein rebellion. With Victor McLaglen in his finest rôle. The season’s best picture.
Goin’ To Town.—Mae West decides to become a lady and finds it a tough racket. For West admirers only.
Drake Of England.—Pageant of Elizabethan times, with Matheson Lang, very sturdy and British, as the Plunderer of the Main. The story tends to fade into the historical background.
The Flame Within.—A woman psychiatrist discovers that what she took for a clinical interest in love is the Real Thing; i.e., The Flame Within. With Ann Harding in one of her more austere moods. Not recommended.
Escape Me Never.—Elizabeth Bergner as Gemma Jones, the waif who married a trying young genius, gives the most beautiful screen performance of the year.
Our Little Girl. — Shirley Temple, hardestworking child in the United States, turns out another study in parent education. For Temple admirers.
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