BOTH America and Britain are looking at reflections of themselves in the glass this week and not finding them good. James Hilton, British novelist, now a happy emigre in Hollywood, gives us So Well Remembered (LEICESTER SQUARE 'THEATRE). He holds up the mirror to an ugly, drab industrial town in Lancashire that has grown like an excresence round some cotton mills. Jiggery-pokery on the town council and callous indifference in the House of Commons keeps the housing reformer (a young radical. grandly played by John Mills) from doing anything to remedy the matter. The whole set-up has driven the doctor (a brilliam bit of work here by Trevor Howard) to drink. But in his wildest encounters with the bottle he has more ethical sense than the whole of the unctuous town council PILL together.
IAM ON THE PILL A distinguished Broadway actress, Martha Scott, was brought over here to Play the part of John Mills' wife, thereby providing the American jam with which it is hoped to make the Middle West swallow this Lancashire pill. It is not her fault that the character she is asked to portray does not become clearly defined until the picture is half-way through. And that indecision is indicative of much of the picture, although its sincerity of purpose and the development of the two main characters, Mills and Howard go a long way towards cancelling out its faults.
NO HERO, RE In The Hucksters (Esinah) we have America owning up to the sins of commercial radio and the general shady behaviour of its successful business men. It allows its " hero " (in which part Clark Gable redeems his rather unhappy post-war return to pictures) to intercept a telegram and feed it by holding if up to the light; apply a little low-down blackmail in order to put through a deal. It also shows us the horrors of a radio service that gives a snatch of pleasant or even classical music sandwiched in between raucous bawling Of advertisements. How I loved the 113.8.C. with all its faults after seeing this picture. Just by way of return courtesy for the loan of Martha Scott, here we have Deborah Kerr in her first American picture. But all she has been asked to do is to keen on " akissin' and a huggin'-a huggin' and a-kissin' ". And this after a two page build-up in Time magazine. She does get a few lines across, however. about money not being important. sAnd I liked Clark Gable's withering speech about the " Is]oreman Fear " by whom big shots in the American business world rule their yes-men.
Bob, Son of Battle (Tivoli) is for dog-lovers and is in very good Tech nieolour. Clever sheep-dog trials and a snatch of Chopin's funeral march as Edmund Gwenn goes out to shoot his dog pal who has been caught having a juicy meal off a Iamb.