FOR some time now, Hollywood
has been conducting an unobtrusive hut none the less insistent propaganda against divorce. Reconciliation of aboutto-part couples has frequently been the order of the screening. Now, in The Unfaithful (WARNER'S), the propaganda comes right out into the open. The scene is the beautiful town of Los Angeles, where Lew Ayres, as a successful divorce lawyer, tells us there are 3,000 divorces a month-which my elementary arithmetic tells me is around 36,000 a year. Very early in the picture, that most delectable of all female cynics, Eve Arden, is throwing an elaborate party to celebrate her freedom, with the lawyer who has gut her divorce for her, as the guest of honour. Uninvited and most unwelcome guest at the party is the exhusband, slightly the worse for drink, who is unceremoniously thrown out on his .ear.
It is against this background of easy existence and easier divorce that the story of The Unfaithful is told. It is about a war-time wife's infidelity during her husband's absence overseas; the killing (in self-defence) of 1-4lover, and the husband's reaction when he discovers her deception. The first and obvious solution seems divorce. But the surprising alternative of trying to mend the threatened marriage is decided onand, strangely enough, at the instigation of the lawyer, who is also a friend of the two.
The film is full of 'dramatic suspense, directed with a sure hand by Vincent Shearman and acted with a high degree of competence by Ann Sheridan as the wife, Randolph Scott as the husband, Lew Ayres as the lawyer, Steve Geray as an astute blackmailer, and Marla Mitrovichan interestingly visaged newcomer, as the murdered man's widow.
The few incongruities in the action, like the husband resuming his work while the shadow of the electric chair looms over his wife, may be forgiven in a production that is as capably handled as anything to come out of Hollywood for a long time.
BAD MARK, BRITAIN
wish I could say the same thing about the week's British contribution. On the contrary, Night Beat (Eel-Fuse), a story of London's night clubs (unrecognisable), whisky thieves, murder and crude sex, has nothing that I can see to recommend it. It promised well in the shots that showed the training of a Metropolitan policeman, but soon Went to pieces. I doubt if this will get past Ellis Island in the export drive.
QUEUES FOR ST. VINCEN'T
A friend recently back from Paris tells me of standing in a queue waiting to see Monsieur Vincent. '' Speaking as a 100 per cent. Huguenot," he said, " I loved every minute of it,"
The Catholic Film Society's new magazine. Focus, for January, is now out, price 6d. In addition to film reviews it contains an interesting account of an interview which the secretary, Fr. John A. V. Burke, had with Mr. Graham Greene on the subject of Catholic writers and the Screen.