Carson as the white farmer whose son is murdered — are the strong pillars on the structure, and their performance could not be bettered. Joyce Carey, as the mother of the murdered boy, contributes her own small but poignant part to the drama. Among the African actors who deserve special mention are Ribbon Dhlamini, Sidney Poitier and Shayiwa Riba.
THE RIVER (GAuttorir AND MARBLE ARCH PAVILION:
Certificate U) Director : Jean Renoir
AFTER the African tragedy — a bit of Indian lyricism, which is the second subject to be supplied to the screen by the novelist Rumer Godden. It is a Technicolor India, directed by an artist, an India seen in tranquil retrospect through the eyes of an English child.
What is so extraordinary about this quite pictorially lovely film is that although some rather terrible things happen, everything is seen through a roseate mist. A little boy is bitten by a cobra and dies of it. His sister tries to drown herself. But there is little sense of disaster. No poverty or disease disturbs the series of entrancing pictures — which is, perhaps, logical enough, for children's minds don't record such things.
If there is a central theme it is that of adolescent girls —three of them— all falling in love with a young American who has lost a leg in the war and is restless and embittered. One girl is a beautiful half-caste (Radha), the second a lovely redhead (Adrienne Corti) and the third and youngest, who is also the narrator, a plain little redhead.
The episodic treatment takes place against the family background, mother (Nora Swinburne). father (Esmond Knight), and six children— all girls except the boy who is killed. Arthur Shields as the Irish father of the half-caste girl is given some pretty futile things to say at the end about children—a sort of plea for a Peter Pan world which rings very hollow and is even embarrassing.
BELLES ON THEIR TOES
Certificate U) Director : Henry Levin
THIS is a sequel to "Cheaper By
The Dozen," in which Myrna by and Clifton Wcbb as Mr. and Mrs. Gilbreth were the parents of 12 children. It ended with the death of father, leaving mother to bring up and keep the family as best she could.
As Mrs. Gilbreth was one of the first women engineers in America and as the story is founded on fact all claims that it is too fantastic can be squashed. The opening scene shows Myrna Loy—now a white-haired and tired old lady—arriving for the graduation of the last of the children.
Almost immediately, however, we flash back to the famous by profile and watch the way in which she copes, fighting to keep wealthy relations from splitting up the family and keeping her creditors at bay. With the adult cast reinforced by Hoagy Carmichael, Edward Arnold, and with Jeanne Crain as the eldest of the family the team is as before making a bright happy picture for all the family to see.