:: CALL ME MADAM ii: Gaumont, Haymarket: Certificate U Director: -Walter Lang Director: -Walter Lang
HERE I am still humming "It's a Lovely Day Today,' and the rain is coming down by buckets full. . . . Irving Berlin's musical comedy hit, "Call Mc Madam." which chalked up a two-year run on Broadway. has been transferred to the screen in all its brilliance.
While the story format of the stage play remains intact the cinematic version has been embellished with special dance numbers and eye-filling ensembles, all in Technicolor. Only one change was made in the Berlin show-stopping tunes from the original, the "I Like Ike" song being replaced by Berlin's timeless "International Rag."
A word about Ethel Merman, who has been Broadway's foremost musical comedy star. Surprisingly, she has never taken a singing lesson in her life. One can understand every word she sings. Gershwin, Cole Porter and Berlin have rated her as the greatest show singer of her time.
Ethel relates on one occasion : "1 like to sing. I enjoy every moment of it as 1 do it with everything I have." Although she is no beauty, she has that magnetism and charm that win over crowds.
Mrs. Sally Adams leaves for her new post with Kenneth Gibson. She is "more American than an American," and brings American characteristics to a ridiculous point through her actions.
Love presents itself in the handsome form of the Secretary of State, Constantine, Kenneth also finds a love interest as well as dance partner in Princess Maria, Telephone calls from "Harry" delight the audience.
The "fly in the ointment" is Pemberton Maxwell (Billy de Wolfe), a strict diplomat, who is shocked at Sally's unorthodox behaviour. Sally at one point orders him to "Call me Madam," hence the title. It is the same Pemberton who has Sally recalled to Washington.
The story has a happy ending as the lovers are united back in the good old U.S.A.
WAY OF A GAUCHO (Odeon, Marble Arch : Certificate l l ) Director : Jacques Tourneur
T HAVEN'T decided whether this lfilm could easily become a travelogue on Argentina or a historical yarn. There are many lovely shots of the pampas and mountains, and the sound-track has picked up quite a variety of noises to blend in with the scenes in the wilds, "A woman is a woman no matter how she smiles," according to Martin (Rory Calhoun), and the woman is of course Teresa (Gene Tierney). Our fearless fighting gaucho manages to escape from many a trap except the final one which leads him up the church aisle and three years in prison.
Major Salinas (Richard Boone) is the "bogey-man" who never seems to miss anything and turns up every time things seem to be changing for the better. He is a stickler for discipline and tries to break Martin as he would a horse.
The story begins on the estate of Don Miguel Aldeando (Hugh Marlowe). Because of the hero's deeprooted loyalty to his patron, he fatally stabs a fellow-gaucho during a fiesta, thus sentencing himself to hard labour in a militia camp: From here on it's either Indian raids, out
jawed gauchos fighting troops, or what have you.
The final climax, where Miguel is trampled on by rushing cattle, brings Martin to his senses. Turning to the church, he is brought to face his sworn enemy for the last time. All's well that ends well, LILT (Empire : Certificate U) Director : Charles Walters
ACCORDING to Pa ul ( Me 1 Ferrer) we arc just puppets on a string. On his small stage he gives as the four things commonly found in all men : Carrot Top is the genuine, lovable type, Marguerite thrives on vanity, Reynardo is not only a thief but also crafty, and the Giant is a coward where women are concerned.
The theme of the story revolves around these puppets, actually a stage within a stage effect. I must say here that the close-range photography is excellent.
Lili (Leslie Caron), a homeless orphan, wanders into the lives of three men connected with a French travelling carnival. Marc the Magician (Jean Pierre Aumont) takes pity on her and she falls in love with him. "There is a time for falling in love and there is a time for waking lip" — so says our 16-year-old Lili when she discovers that Marc is married to Rosalie (none other than that effervescing blonde beauty. Zsa Zsa Gabor), who is alsu his stage partner.
A story like this wouldn't be complete without a love triangle. so Paul is the third party; he is in love with Lili. She leaves him when he strikes her. On the road, Lili goes into a ballet fantasy similar to "The Wizard of Oz," starring Judy Garland. The result—Lily is "tearing" back to Paul and his puppets.
ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN Carlton, Haymarket: Certificate U Director: George Seaton
UNFORTUNATELY nothing did happen. . . . A very dullfilm with simple people leading ordinary lives in cosmopolitan New York.
The story is about an emigrant, Giorgi Papashvily (Jose Ferrer), from Georgia and his Turkish friend, Nuri Bey (Kurt Kasznar). They go through the usual stages that a non-Englishspeaking emigrant would, with the exception that they fall in with banquet-throwing friends. The girl friend Helen Watson (Kim Hunter) adds a little colour to the otherwise lifeless scenes.
As a lover of Middle East music I had at one time saturated my thirst with Turko-Caucasian folk tunes and found them far more inspiring than those used throughout the film. This film is absolutely not my cup of tea.
THE VANQUISHED Carlton: Certificate U Director: Edward Ludwig
IRECOMMEND this film to any-' one interested in American history. It gives a pretty fair picture of the administration in many southern towns after the American Civil War.
Galeston is the site chosen. and the Civil Administrator is Roger Hale (Lyle Bettger), a man who has misused his powers to enrich himself as well as his co-partner, Rose Slater (Jan Sterling).
Rock Grayson (John Payne), a gentleman, returns from a northern prison to find the aristocrats forced to give way to a profiteer who controls everything with his wealth and ruthless power. As Hale has difficulty in collecting taxes he offers Rock a job. Although it appears that Rock is a loyal partner, he is sending information to the Inspector General's office.
The action begins when a General is shot, but Jane Colfax (Coleen Gray) saves the day and the wicked are punished.