E By GRACE CONWAY E=
rI111111111111111111111101111 'Catholic Herald' Film Critic 1111111111111111111111111111f;
OE an hour and a half on z Tuesday morning I sat in the Carlton Cinema and watched and heard about the New CinemaScope which is an amplification in both sight and sound of the CinemaScope we already know.
The cinema was packed with big shots of the industry — exhibitors, renters and so on. For it is 20th Century's business to persuade them that these shock tactics are necessary if the cinema is ever to recover 'that first fine careless rapture of the boom
days or, alternatively, of the war.
When we see an early Chaplin film or one about the Keystone Cops, we laugh helplessly at the jerky figures and the spotty film and wonder how we ever "took" them.
But when Mr. Darryl Zanuck, as large as and even more real than life, addressing us in the new medium from the screen, showed us shots from the 'Old" 35 mm. reels of the first type of CinemaScope and then a series of shots in the latest, the improvement was startling. "No comparison," muttered one of the big shots beside me.
Certainly the scope and realism of the great outdoors were superlative, and one great step forward to be noted and received with gratitude was the absence of 100-piece orchestras accompanying man and beast as they go about their lawful and unlawful occasions. Instead we had the country music of a horse splashing through a stream and the staccato of hooves on a stony road.
On the other hand, when Dan Dailey and Ethel Merman sang accompanied by an orchestra in stereophonic sound, I had to put my finger in at least one ear. That is one danger this new marvel must guard against making a noisy century noisier still.
I came out into the July sunlight reeling slightly from the impact of the astronomical plans for the new films—and the tong list of best-selling novels that Mr. Zanuck showed us, all lined up for the scriptwriters. For, as he wisely remarked, no technique in the whole wide world is any good unless you have a good story. And the one they pin their biggest hopes on? Fulton Oursler's Bible opus, "The Greatest Story Ever Told."
DIAL M FOR MURDER Warners : Certificate A Director : Alfred Hitchcock
PHOTOGRAPHED plays, if they are well done, have their rightful place in the cinema—and who more qualified to direct them (especially thrillers) than Alfred Hitchcock?
Although I have not seen the play, this is obviously a fairly faithful rendering of it. The setting rarely moves from the scene of the crime— Tony Wendice's flat, There is one very long sequence at the beginning when Tony (a triumph in icy villainy, this, by Ray Milland) unfolds his plan for a sort of one-man Murder Incorporated, to Capt. Lesgate (Anthony Dawson). Tony, aware of his wife's infidelity (the lover is played by Robert Cummings), plans to blackmail Lesgate into murdering Mrs. Tony (Grace Kelly) so that he can have her fortune to himself.
The trouble is when you have as attractive a personality as MilIand playing criminal, you find yourself hoping he won't be found out. But of course he is, and by Inspector Hubbard, of Scotland Yard (John Williams), urbane but persistent as a thirsty mosquito.
Maybe the strangling sequence is just a bit too lurid for timid folk, But the blood-thirsty will love it. BEAUTIFUL STRANGER Leicester Square Theatre :
Certificate A Director : David Millar STANLEY BAKER, now on the /away to being exclusively typed as the quintessence of venom and vinegar, is cast as a coiner living in millionaire conditions in Cannes and having an expensive and exotic blonde (Ginger Rogers) in the neighbourhood of Eden Park.
A new yacht is lying in the harbour waiting to take them and the loot away to a new life when the blonde meets a poor worker in ceramics (Jacques Bergerac) and they fall in love.
The only member of the cast who doesn't swim comfortably in this sun-warmed Mediterranean pool is Herbert Loris. Neither the script nor the director—not even Mr. Loin himself—seems to be able to decide whether he is a comic character or not. As a worker on the distributing side of the coining racket he is made to listen behind doors and look through windows so often that he gets laughs perhaps not intended.
But this is a good, exciting adventure story with Iota of action, lots of thrills, and a spectacular finale.
SEAGULLS OVER SORRENTo Empire : Certificate U Directors : John and Roy Bantling
FAR from being the comedy I expected, this is a somewhat tragic tale of lives lost in experiments at sea with explosives. But the sun does keep breaking out among the naval ratings, led by Sydney James, closely followed by Bernard Lee and others.
Keeping a stiff upper tip above deck are John Justin and Patrick Barr (officer types), but they are not outdone in this by Gene Kelly who, as an American scientist, arrives to help them out. He never smiles once.