THE Moore KING back Steps to the Out” screen brings in Grace high spirits and fine voice; and with her Franchot Tone, very handsome in an Imperial uniform, with his hair becomingly waved and windblown. Miss Moore plays the part of Princess Elizabeth of Bavaria and Franchot Tone that of the Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria, and the picture shows them in their early romantic youth. In outline the film follows the actual historical events. Franz Joseph was, in fact, engaged to Elizabeth's sister and did fall in love and eventually marry Elizabeth instead.
The authors, however, have given a musical comedy turn to events by having Elizabeth appear as a dressmaker, her father, the Prince, as a woodcutter, and Franz Joseph himself as an adjutant. So the picture is all a flutter of mistaken identities, disclosures, apologies, and the simple excitements that rise when common folk fail to recognize their superiors. Pictorially “The King Steps Out” is charming. The Fritz Kreisler music tlt;xgt;, as sung by Miss M(xgt;re, is both fresh and familiar. The plot, I’m afraid, is just familiar. It’s a g(x>d picture in fact to look at and listen tlt;), but it won’t leave you breathless with excitement.
T30LLING ALONG” first reached the ^ screen as “The Music Goes Round,” having been named after the lunatic little song popular last winter. The song promptly died and the picture was hastily rechristened. The original lyric is still present in the current version, however, having got wedged so tightly into the plot that the producers apparently couldn’t get it out.
It’s a whole musical sequence in a revue which also features an old-fashioned melodrama brought to Broadway to amuse the sophisticated. So we see the sophisticated laughing their heads off over the troubles of an old-fashioned heroine and swept away with enthusiasm for “The Music Goes Round and Around.” It all goes to show that you never know what the public will like and, least of all, when they will like it. Rochelle Hudson and Harry Richman are the featured players.
The Unguarded Hour
rT'HE UNGUARDED HOUR” is a tale of blackmail and murder in the best London society, and while fairly interesting, leaves you too much time for wondering why the victims (Loretta Young and
Franchot Tone) didn’t use the very small amount of judgment necessary to prevent all the trouble from happening.
When the blackmailer threatens Lady Deardon (D)retta Young) she behaves very much as you would expect Zasu Pitts to behave under the same circumstances— gets all excited and worried and hurries out to throw $2,000 in bank notes over a cliff. And then there is Sir Alan (Franchot Jone) who is so impulsive as a letter writer that he gets involved in blackmail, and so secretive about everything else that he almost gets himself hanged for murder. The picture as a whole is rather unbelievable, but it has an ingenious and rapidly worked out conclusion that is worth waiting for. Henry Daniell is the villain and an impressive one. Keep your eye on Mr. Daniell after this whenever the circumstances in the picture point to foul play.
C HOWBOAT” is the very best of the ^ summer shows. It’s breezy and entertaining, the Jerome Kern music, some familiar and some new, is airy and tuneful, and there are no hot passions or dizzy pursuits to get you excited and overheated on a warm afternoon. J'he cast, too, is the best all-star group to be assembled in months—Irene Dunne and Allan Jones, Paul Robeson and Helen Morgan, Charles Winninger and Helen Westley.
Thanks to Director James Whale, all these talented people move quite naturally within the story, and don’t give you the feeling that they are merely specialty performers waiting to jump into their acts. Paul Robeson rolls out his “01’ Man River,” Helen Morgan croons sadly about her lost man. Irene Dunne and Allan Jones flute away at their love duets, and the Mississippi rolls them all along. Some go up and some down, and the older they grow the handsomer they get and the better they sing. J'hat’s life on the Missis-
sippi—or maybe it isn’t. Anyway, it’s very pleasant to watch and agreeable to listen to.
One Rainy Afternoon
r^NE RAINY AFTERNOON” is a gay little whipped-up concoction about a young Frenchman (Francis Lederer) who went to the movies on a rainy afternoon, got into the wrong seat and, carried away by the love-making on the screen, kissed his next-door neighbor (Ida Lupino) in mistake for his sweetheart. J'his brought on an arrest, a scandal and a trial, with everybody in a great state of emotion and nobody able to look on the practical side except Hugh Herbert, who trots about dementedly with a small basket of sandwiches for the accused to help him through his prison term.
“One Rainy Afternoon” is the sort of thing that has to be handled as airily and expertly as possible; it can’t afford to flop, even in places, any more than an omelet can. Fortunately the producers (Mary Pickford and Jesse Lasky) have seen to it that it is kept light and frothy from start to finish. Thanks to them and to the principals, it’s well worth seeing. And thanks to Hugh Herbert, it’s worth seeing twice.
"DLORIDA SPECIAL” is patterned a little too closely on “Rome Express” to be exactly original. Still, even if it doesn’t offer much variety it has the excitement and speed that belong to trains and to pictures about trains. The Florida Special had the usual curious assortment of passengers—the gangster and his henchmen, the newspaper man, the drunk, the beautiful girl, the multimillionaire, etc.—all the people who go about so incessantly in buses, planes and trains in the movies, and who behave with such odd unconventionality— probably the broadening effect of travel.
The millionaire (Claude Gillingwater)
in this case has put all his riches into diamonds and all his diamonds into a little box which he carries about with him: so he is naturally an object of passionate interest to all the suspicious characters on board— and practically everyone is under suspicion before the journey is ended. Jack Oakie, Kent Taylor and Sally Eilers are all present, and all behave in the ways we have come to expect from them. “Florida Special” will entertain you and once or twice may even surprise you.
The Sign Post
Things To Come.—The future of the race as conceived by H. G. Wells and assembled by Alexander Korda. The season’s most fantastic and lavish spectacle. With Raymond Massey. A family picture and recommended.
Small Town Girl.—Cinderella (Janet Gaynor) goes to town. With Robert Taylor. ’Teenage girls will enjoy it most.
The Farmer In The Dell.—A farmer (Fred Stonel goes to Hollywood, where anything can happen, even to a farmer. Good family entertainment.
A Message To Garcia—-An actual American historical episode, dressed up a good deal for the movies and embellished with John Boles and Barbara Stanwyck. Fair.
The Prisoner Of Shark Island.—Another historical episode — the imprisonment of the famous Dr. Mudd—handled, especially in the early parts, with deep sincerity and feeling. With Warner Baxter. Recommended.
Thirteen Hours By Air.—Hazards of transcontinental plane travel, including a killer, a demon child, a foreigner with a gun, and all kinds of bad weather. With Joan Bennett, Fred MacMurray. Routine material fairly excitingly handled.
Mr. Deeds Goes To Town.—The Frank Capra film starring Gary Cooper as the small-town poet who inherits a fortune. Lots of sentiment, lots of comedy and lots of surprise. A family film and recommended.
The Moon's Our Home—Rough-and-tumble romance of a movie star (Margaret Sulla van) and a popular author (Henry Fonda). Amusing, but the scuffling is a little overdone.
These Three. — “The Children’s Hour,” Broadway success, much adapted for the screen but still intelligent and effective drama. With Merle Oberon, Miriam Hopkins, Joel McCréa. For adults, and recommended.
Petticoat Fever. — Romance of a Labrador wireless operator starved for love and a beautiful girl who drops out of the sky. With Robert Montgomery and Myrna Loy. It’s all easily figured out in advance, but still amusing to
Little Lord Fauntleroy. — The childhood classic handsomely turned out by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. With Freddie Bartholemew as Cedric. For the very young of all ages.
Under Two Flags. — Screen version of the Ouida romance of burning love and burning sands. With Claudette Colbert, Ronald Colman. Good entertainment.
The Ghost Goes West. — Fantastic comedy about a ghost who was shipped to Florida from Scotland, along with the family castle. Ingenious and amusing. With Robert Donat. Recommended.
Wife vs. Secretary.—Myrna Loy, the wife, and Jean Harlow, the secretary, in a battle over Clark Gable, the cause of all the trouble. In spite of its dazzling principals, the story manages to be pretty routine.
The Life Of Louis Pasteur.—An honest, believable and deeply exciting account of the life of the great French chemist. With Paul Muni. Highly recommended.
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