WAKE UP AND LIVE” is taken from the book of that title—or rather from the title of the book. The story itself doesn't seem to have any literary source; it’s just an ingenious linking up of some of the sounds, songs and personalities that come over the air. The personalities are exchanged by Band Leader Ben Bernie and Columnist Walter Winchell, the songs are by Gordon and Revel, and the sounds include the agonized bleats of radio entertainers suffering from “mike fright.”
Mike fright is one of the themes of “Wake Up and Live,” the current feud between Ben Bernie and Walter Winchell is another, the quest of a phantom crooner (Jack Haley) is a third, and love, of course, is a fourth. So that the picture covers quite a lot of ground. It is expertly put together, however, sharply timed and brilliantly performed, especially by Jack Haley, whose comedy characterization as the Phantom Troubadour holds the whole thing together. The cast includes Alice Faye. Patsy Kelly, Ned Sparks and any number of specialty performers—all topof-the-town talent and none of it wasted.
Her Husband Lies
DIG-TIME GAMBLING is the theme of “Her Husband Lies,” with Ricardo Cortez as the gambler and Gail Patrick as the wife who finally gets tired of waiting for her husband to come home nights. They quarrel, but make up when “Spade” promises to reform. Then on the night of the reconciliation he slips away to town for a last round of stud poker. His motives are blameless—he wants to cure his young brother (Tom Brown) of his addiction to gambling by taking away his bankroll. As it turns out, however, he might just as well have gone back for the fun of it. His brother insults him, his wife leaves him, and finally his associates shoot him. “Her Husband Lies” is good, smoothly turned out melodrama and the acting is competent, though not poignant enough to make the sad ending important one way or the other.
Fifty Roads to Town
DLEEING heiresses seem to be the fashion on the screen these days. In “Fifty Roads to Town” Ann Sothern is the heiress who runs away. She escapes in a lace nightgown and a mink coat, and goes roaring down the highway in an enormous
roadster at ninety-five miles an hour -which seems to be a movie heiress’s notion of eluding public attention. It isn’t long before she meets the hero (Don Ameche) and presently the two young people find themselves alone in a deserted summer cottage. Love soon comes to them there. So does a roving gangster. So does Slim Summerville, arriving in a movie blizzard carrying a live rabbit.
All these varied elements are taken care of, and everything ends happily. Most of the situations and all the characters in “Fifty Roads to Town” have been seen before on the screen, but the director has recombined them with a speed and variety that helps to make up for their lack of originality.
^AFE METROPOLE” also presents the moneyed heroine, this time enjoying herself abroad. She is Loretta Young and she is teamed once more with Tyrone Power. When the hero contracts a gambling debt with the Cafe Metropole proprietor (Adolphe Mcnjou), the latter schemes to marry him off to the heiress in order to collect her pocket money.
It’s an old-fashioned plot, but Actor Gregory Ratoff, who wrote the story, has brightened it up with amusing situations and funny lines, a great many of which he allots to himself. Adolphe Menjou, Charles Winninger and Helen Westley also come in for good parts. Mr. Ratoff having decided apparently that for once the grownups should have the first helping.
Thanks to the older hands, the picture runs smoothly and fast, and is, altogether, much better entertainment than the former Loretta Young-Tyrone Power collaboration “Love is News.” Tyrone Power is ingratiating as usual, and Loretta Young high-spirited and a pleasure to look at in spite of her eccentric
wardrobe, selected apparently on the principle that a girl as good-looking as that can wear anything that’s put on her.
The Man in the Mirror
^LTHEN "The Man in the Mirror” * * opens, Jeremy Dilke (Edward Everett Horton) is a rather dim-witted office drudge, bullied by his partner and his stenographer in the office and by his wife and mother-in-law at home. Then his own reflection steps out of the mirror, gives him a good lecture, takes over his affairs, and leaves him in the end with his business straightened out and all his ambitions and endocrines in fine working order.
Along with Edward Everett Horton’s versatile description of Mr. Dilke’s split personality goes a lively performance by Ursula Jeans as a suburban matron who goes to town. “The Man in the Mirror” is an amusing little parable—or possibly parody—based on the how-to-win-friendsand-infiuence-people school of thought. Good light entertainment.
This’ll Make You Whistle
'T'HIS IS the screen version of Jack Buchanan’s current stage success. It contains a great deal of clowning, some good songs, and a few dancing sequences, all these elements being held together loosely by a plot involving a playboy (Jack Buchanan) more or less engaged to two girls at once, and another playboy whose chief claim to affection is that he supplies his friends with explosive cigarettes and dental cement disguised as candy.
Apart from the lyrics, which are tuneful and fresh, “This’ll Make You Whistle” seems to depend for its comedy mostly on violence, exaggeration and the impact of practical jokes. But it’s been running on the London stage for almost a year, so
there must be something about it the reviewer missed. Or else the camera. Maybe it just doesn’t take a good photograph.
The Sign Post
The Prince and the Pauper.—Screen version of Mark Twain’s favorite story. Lots of excitement for the younger members of the family. With the Mauch twins (Billy and Bobby) and Errol Flynn.
Romeo and Juliet.—Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s magnificent screening of the Shakespeare classic. With Norma Shearer, Leslie Howard, John Barrymore. Highly recommended.
History is Made at Night.—Love, jealousy, divorce, murder and the greatest ship disaster in history. With Charles Boyer, Jean Arthur. Any adult’s money’s worth.
When Love is Young.—Cinderella tale about a small-town wallflower (Virginia Bruce) who went to New York and became a Broadway success, making the young people at home look pretty small. Comforting to small-town wallflowers.
A Star is Born.—A picture about private life in Hollywood that is moving, honest, and beautifully acted by Janet Gaynor and Fredric March. Recommended.
Shall We Dance?—Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers dancing to Gershwin music. Eric Blore and Edward Everett Horton are also involved. The best Astaire-Rogers picture since “Top Hat” and highly recommended.
Top of the Town.—Doris Nolan, George Murphy, Hugh Herbert and several hundred other people in another of the pictures about entertainment, for entertainment. Entertaining.
When’s Your Birthday?—Astrology, pugilism and Joe E. Brown. The events and characters are entirely fictitious. For Joe E. Brown fans.
The Man Who Could Work Miracles.—
Screen version of the H. G. Wells fantasy about the dry-goods clerk (Roland Young) who was given the management of the universe. A family film and recommended.
Wings of the Morning.—Romance, gypsies, horse-racing, the lakes of Killarney, and the beautiful new star Annabella, all in technicolor. A family film and recommended.
Camille.—Garbo, wan but beautiful, in a fine, thorough renovation of the Dumas classic. With Robert Taylor, Lionel Barrymore. Children won’t be interested, but adults shouldn’t miss it.
You Only Live Once.—The best underworld thriller of the season. With Sylvia Sidney, Henry Fonda. Superbly directed by Fritz Lang.
Love Is News.—Hop-skip-and-jump romance between a reporter (Tyrone Power) and an heiress (Loretta Young). Lively entertainment.
Stolen Holiday.—The Stavisky incident in Paris, much romanticized and dressed up. With Claude Rains as an unscrupulous financier, Kay Francis as a clothes model, and both very much at ease.
Quality Street. — Katharine Hepburn and Franchot Tone in the screen version of James M. Barrie’s Regency comedy. For those who like their comedy quaint, polite and charming.
Maytime.—The famous operetta, beautifully produced, and fresher and prettier than ever. With Jeanette MacDonald, Nelson Eddy. Recommended.
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