PAYMENT ON DEMAND Certificate A) Director : Curtis Bernhardt 1'1 IE conveyor-belt of Hollywood divorces shows little signs of letting up, but neither do films from the colony pointing out the bleak outer darkness that awaits the divorced. And here is one more with Bette Davis as the demonstrator.
Joyce (Miss Davis) and David Ramsey (Barry Sullivan) with two grown-up daughters have come to the parting of the ways. They have come a long way from the poor country boy and girl skho ran away to get married and who had to depend on relief work to help them gel by.
With lawyers ten-a-penny—David was one—things look desperate until Joyce tells a whopping lie, steals a client from David's best friend and starts the foundation of the career that lands them in the top social and income bracket.
"If I hadn't made you what you are you wouldn't have been able to afford a conscience," she tells him when he tries to make amends to the
wronged friend. But by now the rot has set in—and off he goes to establish separate residence.
All the sordid machinery of " settlement" goes into action—the protagonists sitting at opposite sides of a table—the husband beaten and tired, the wife extorting, and final tragedy, the daughter who is still a minor brought in to "choose" a parent. Follows the disillusioning epilogue.
Joyce. having won everything in her legal battle. goes off on a cruise while the decree is being made absolute. Her triumph all turns to ashes —in loneliness. the cheap encounter on board ship. the isolation. Nothing is spared her. not even meeting her old divorced friend Emily (lane Cowl) who is now consoling herself on some tropical island with a gigolo.
Playing a ruthless, poised, gogetting woman like this presents no difficulty to Bette Davis, who entered on her triumphant film career as the wicked waitress in "Of Human Bondage." and who has given us a fairly grim gallery of women ever since.
She makes Joyce all tenacity and steel—and when at last she cries, it arouses no pity. The pity is all for her unfortunate husband.
Barry Sullivan has little to do but look pained. strained and crushed. This he does—and in a way to wring the heart. But if it's acting you want you must look to Miss Davis. She never disappoints. THE CUPBOARD WAS BARE (CAMEO-POLYTECHNIC: Certificate A) Director : Carlo Rim FERNANDEL, one of France's most brilliant actors and comedians is cast as a Civil Servant, a class whom the French as a whole do not love, and as a bachelor, a class whom they love even less. His old aunt dies on a bitter winter's ride in a furniture van and her body is put into a wardrobe and brought back to Paris. The van is stolen,
Follows the wildest of wild goose chases to uncover the wardrobe and the aunt.
Like me. you will probably laugh a lot and scoff just as much at the mad improbabilities—but suspend judgment until the end.
MINDSZENTY FILM HALF a million people in this
country have already seen "Treason," the screen biography of Cardinal Mindszenty, and four-fifths of the bookings in hand have still to be played with new bookings corning in every day.
That good news comes from the hon. general secretary of the C.Y.M.S., Mr. D. C. Hennessy. The society sponsored the film and the distributors, Monarch Film Corporation, say that Catholic interest has been considerable and has made itself known to cinema managers and owners with good results.
A word to cinemagoess : Ti encourage the showing of films with a Christian outlook, a letter of appreciation afterwards to the manager does a power of good.