High-speed comedy with a team of stars. .lean Harlow. William Powell, Myrna Loy. Spencer Tracy and Walter Connolly will make you blink. (American).
Beloved Enemy (A)
Love e. Duty. It's the Oirieh trouble, I'll be telling you. inspired by the life of Michael Collins. (American).
Land Without Music (U)
Richard nether in a music-mad eountry is a good legend. and Richard takes every advantage of his opportunities. (British).
any Englishman in the jungle or elsewhere making so many embarrasing remarks? It is hard on poor Walter Hudd who must utter these unfortunate sentiments. But these are quibbles over a great work.
Honest Sinner Pepe le Moko (Curzon) has made its escape from civilisation into a region of Algiers known as the Casbah where all the world's outlaws seek a refuge, and because of the intricacy of the streets which lead into fazes of impenetrability, the police never venture. Pepe rules supreme in the Casbah, and the police have no hold over him, until he ventures. outside into their own safe world. Then they have him.
The story is dramatically told, it is a graphically realistic tale in which nothing is concealed. The ways of these people may not he our ways, but Pepe is an honest sinner and his death is real tragedy, not justice's vindication.
Julien Duvivier directs. He directed The Golern, which was dealt with in these columns last week, probably his is the greatest work in the French film industry. He is responsible also for the Golgotha film which is unfortunately under a ban in this country.
So much for escapeS from civilisation's
materialism. Even if greatly imaginative work has not entirely been achieved by the cinema, these last productions—the most important probably Winterset—are indications of movement in the right direction.
Elephant Boy film has its own book. Taken out of the collection of Kipling's Indian stories, Toomai of the Elephants, has been published alone with photographic illustrations from the film. Kipling or Flaherty fans would be pleased with this volume as a permanent record of the production. Macmillan's publish it at halfa-crown. when he penned a phrase, "sincerity of life pent up in the trappings of theatre."
Flora Robson will long be remembered for her triumph in the namepart of Anna. Of all actresses on the stage today it is Miss Robson, whose conscientious attention to every detail of her part surely gives her 'such utter command over the varied roles she interprets. The whole of Flora Robson became the whole of Anna Christie and the audience shared the ex perience of living in another's life. I. C.
The great point of staging the historico
pageant play that Shakespeare made out of the deeds of an English King, Henry V. is to commemorate another English King, George VI at the time of his Coronation. And it is a good thought on the part of the
Apart from a rather bellicose inclination towards the French people, Shakespeare s Henry was a model king whose character was strong rooted, whose judgment was balanced, whose instincts were sure, whose sympathies were wide, whose imagination was high pitched and whose energy was boundless. Laurence Olivier realised the even-poised person he must portray and never allowed his natural talent for agility to overcome his better judgment for dignity. His portrait was an academy likeness and not a surrealist suggestion.
Motley's sets and costumes were every bit as important to the play as Olivier's performance in the -name part. Because this play is meant as much to be looked at as to be thought about, Motley has used every possible device to increase the pageantry and to make it a fitting oblation to the gaudy pyre of Coronation offerings.
I could not help wishing, as I witnessed Ride-a-Cock-Horse at the Royalty, that the play was not just all wrong. The acting was all that could be desired, the setting was delightful (Yugoslavia), everyone wore most picturesque native costumes, but—and it is a big but--the play was not worthy of all the trouble taken.
Briefly, it was the old, old story of a wife of the poorer classes suddenly enriched by the death of a husband who had deserted her years before, leaving a fortune which became hers by inheritance. The widow then determines to buy the inn in which she works. So far, so good, but unfortunately after that moment the author goes berserk and expects *the audience to swallow incredibility personified.
Would a peasant woman. living in a wild mountain pass, want to form and pay a Cabinet, even if she knew what the word meant, so that she might become queen of that locality by some means never explained?
Laura Cowie gives a masterly rendering of the peasant woman, while Arnold Philbeam gives a powerful characte:: study as the old father.
Despite all this. the production is just not good enough.
WALTER a BECKETT.