Page 8, 25th June 1954

25th June 1954
Page 8
Page 8, 25th June 1954 — Si n

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Organisations: British Commonwealth
Locations: Moscow


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i E ! -not the Script By GRACE CONWAY = :2ri)iiiiiiiiiminummocathak Herald' Film Critic ininininiiimie: THE SEEKERS Odeon : Leicester Square Certificate A Director : Ken Anakln IT is a sad end sorry fact that, through the cinema, we know more about the development and peopling of the U.S.A. than about that of the British Commonwealth. The Queen's tour has shown us parts of it in documentary form and with astute timing made us New Zealandand Australia-conscious as we have never been before. Now, a British studio gives us a feature film —at times Hollywoodish in inspiration and at other times striking out on a line of its own—which gives us an idea of the Maori's reaction to the advent of the white man.

The period is around 1820. Philip Wayne (Jack Hawkins) and his wife (Glynis Johns), having established friendly relations with , the Maori tribe. build themselves a small settlement near the coast.

'They teach the chief to speak English and instruct him in the basic principles of Christianity. When Mr. Wayne succumbs to the uninhibited allure of the chief's wife (Maori actress Laya Raki), the chief is, to say the least, puzzled at the gulf between example and precept of this new religion. It says much for his forgiving spirit that when the tribe attacks the compound he tries to save the white folk.


The final siege, with the Maoris using the supple branches of young trees to throw fireballs on the hut, is as spectacular as anything we have had from the Wild West.

• The slaughter on both sides is terrific. Yes, even Mr. Hawkins and Miss Johns, certainly not in the Hollywood tradition, are included in the final holocaust. Only their baby son, who has been placed for safety in a ventilated and camouflaged foxhole dug by his mother, lives, though he is far too young ever to remember or to tell the talc.

The orchestral score composed by William Alwyn and under Muir Matheson's direction is far too loud, heavy and continuous. That is something Hollwood is fast learning not to do. It "dates" a film like nothing else, Good marks for majestic shots of New Zealand's fine scenery and for the band of Maori actors in all their war paint. The dialogue is uneven and at times stilted. Poor Glynis Johns has some painfully artificial lines to speak. Noel Purcell, with a white heard and a black wig, gets every ounce possible from an almost negative role. THE SLEEPING TIGER Odeon, Marble Arch Certificate A Director : Victor Hanbury WE all have a sleeping tiger within us—which makes us all potential thugs, spivs and murderers. In this essay on psycho-analysis. that considerable actor Alexander Knox, playing the part of a doctor, quotes this and other generalities at us and looks the picture of misery most of the time. Do psycho-analysts never smile?

When he finds Mr. Bogarde indulging in a robbery with arms one night, instead of handing him to the police he takes him into his house on condition that he agrees to be "treated" for six months. In the house is his beautiful (and bored) wife (Alexis Smith), and no children. Blithely the doctor encourages the two to go riding together; the young thug is a "gentleman"—so that's all right, But the two fall in love and the poor doctor suffers silently while he goes on with his experiment. Maybe Mr. Bogarde has now done his stint at playing problem boys who grow up to be public menaces. Well, this is not a dishonourable exit. The Freudian jargon of the doctor, the neat parcelling of cause and effect, the ultimate success of the experiment which asks a pretty heavy human toll, may strain the credulity, but the dead seriousness with which it is all unfolded will entertain, even if it doesn't convince_

CHILDREN OF LOVE La Continentale : Certificate X Director : Lionide Moguy

AFRENCH film (English captions) on the theme of the Unmarried Mother, which is a mixture of good acting and, at times, bad directing.

"There are 100.000 of us in France every year." says one of the pregnant girls reading out of what looks like a reader's digest. And NI. Loguy seems to have gathered as many of that number as he can fit behind the camera, all in their jibbahs and all swanning over the home, coming into the hall when any of them has a caller, and crowding the staircase (like "The Listeners") to watch the reunion between a I5-year-old and the father (a young student) of her child.

hey all attend the wedding of these youngsters. to whom the old priest talks like this: "You have been commanded to love one another; maybe you have shown a little too much zeal!"

But the film has a good and kindly heart. The doctor (Jean-Paul Claude)) is young. attractive. humanitarian. with a live social conscience; there are two splendid performances by Lisa Bourdin and Etchika Chourcau, and the Gallic wit and wisdom keep breaking through the pain and woe.

France has its own way of preaching a sermon. It is as effective as any.

TRIO-BALLET Rialto : Certificate LI Director : G. Rappaport FROM the Soviet Union comes a gent of ballet. made in 16 mm., in fresh and cool colours, and among its three items is included a new version of Swan Lake with Ulanova, who shares with our own Margot Fonteyn premier place among the ballerinas of the world.

Brilliant work comes from other principals among the men, and once again the Russian corps de ballet confirm that the place they held under the old regime is still undisputed. The orchestras are those of the Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow, and the Kirov Opera House, Leningrad.

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