It is too easy to dismiss, and enjoy, W. C. Fields as an eccentric comedian, all tricks and mannerisms. He is more than that, he is a genuinely great character actor. He always looks the same, wears the same clothes and does the same things, but he always creates and gently emphasises an individuality in his character.
In The Memory Expert he is more than a funny hen-pecked husband, bibulously seeking relief from a surfeit of in-laws, he is Ambrose Wolfinger, a very human little clerk who manages to be loyal to a second wife and devoted to the daughter of his first.
There is comedy in the grand style when he sings and drinks with the burglars in his basement, but there is a subtle pathos in the short sequence where he and his daughter, Mary Brian, walk home in their pyjamas from the town gaol.
The Memory Expert is not a great picture and Fields carries the whole of it; but it presents a great opportunity to look below the surface and find a great actor working behind the camouflage of hilarious comedy. The best of the week.
A Fields' Week
The Plaza is making a Fields' week of it as, in addition to W. C. in a comedy cameo they have Gracie and Tommy in a Basil Dean production, Look Up and Laugh. If we did not know to the contrary and it had been called " Fun in a Department Store " we might have attributed the work to Fred Karno. Gracie, as an actress on holiday, saves her family from the money-lenders, and Plumborough Market from Alfred Drayton and the tentacles of big business. She gives employment to a lot of old musichall favourites, sings a new song well, and pads out with a lot of old ones.
She introsjuces a helicopter and revives a fire-brigade. There are lots of incident and hardly any individuality. The photography is often injudicious. Since he does not seem to mind, there is no reason why we should not tell you that J. B. Priestley is responsible for all of the story and most of the dialogue, Glade Fields is deserving of better things.
Few Blind Children In Ireland
The secretary of the Executive Council of the Irish Association for the Blind stated in Dublin that 'stied children were proportionately fewer in Ireland than in any other country. This was largely due to the Crede method, which he had heard praised abroad.
The exemption from duty by the Finance Minister of radio sets and apparatus for the blind was "the first real recognition by the state of the cultural claims of Ireland's blind."