Page 8, 2nd November 1951

2nd November 1951
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Page 8, 2nd November 1951 — Grace Conway on Films
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Grace Conway on Films

sheba all about it? Hollywood will never learn!

I must confess that I go to the screening of these Old Testament productions with apprehension and misgiving. But restraint. discipline, dignity characterise the treatment here.

Outatanding is the work of Raymond Massey as Nathan, Jayne Meadows as the bitter, nagging Michel, and James Robertson Justice as Abishai.

Kieron Moore has only the merest sketch of a part as Uriah—and Gilbert Barnett as Absalom reminds me rather of a dead-end kid.

Top marks for colour, for photography, for historic attention to detail—and above all for the fact that the pastoral setting of this royal intrigue (shot in Arizona) dominates the story. These shots are superb.

THE FIRST LEGION (LONDON PAVII.ION: Certificate U) Director : Douglas Sirk THIS, you will remember, is the story of the faked miracle in a Jesuit seminary which 1 discussed some weeks ago in this column and which is now scheduled for a West End showing.

The play, by Emmet 1.avery—himself a graduate of Fordham—has been translated into most European languages and performed in theatres all over the world.

To re-cap briefly : It shows the tragic repercussions of the act of a cynical agnostic doctor who pretends that the aged member of the community (Fr. Jose Sierra), after three years lying paralysed, suddenly gets up and walks.

Acting and treatment are good. Charles Boyer has never done anything better than this human portrait of the (rightly) sceptical Fr. Arnoux who has to share the doctor's horrible crime under the seal of the confessional.

Not too happy at the almost blind acceptaece of the " miracle" will be thc Jesuits themselves who are noted for the hardness of their heads, nor the strange procedure proposed ta herr. Fr. Arnoux is due to he sent to Rome to plead the cause of a ca non isation.

A grand performance, by William Demarest as Mgr. Michael Carey, the old friend and critic of the Jesuits, and good too is Barbara Rush as the invalid girl who is later the subject of a true miracle after a sublime act of faith.

In all fairness to Fr. Thomas J. Sullivan. of Loyola University, who acted as technical adviser on the set. it must be remembered, when technical points involving Jesuit procedure go wrong. that Hollywood has its own way with "advice from experts."

SOUS LE CIEL DE PARIS (STUDIO ONE: Certificate A) Director : Mien Duvivier IFyou can forgive a banal corn mentary spoken in English, you will love this day in the life of Paris and of seven people in particular.

They include a pretty girl up from the provinces; a mad sculptor who can't look at the throat of any girl without wanting to slit it; a "chronic " medical student; a workman on a sit-down strike, and a seven-year-old girl who goes wandering on her own through the lesstrodden ways.

Diffuse but delightful—and Paris has never shown herself more photo genic. • The seven-year-old—Marie France —is at present filming in "Proces au Vatican," the story of St. Teresa of Lisieux.

THE BLUE VEIL (ODEON. MARBLE ARCH: Certificate U) Director : Curtis Burnhardt

1ANE Wyman, wearing a succession J of the most depressing hats ever seen on the screen. goes from dewy youth to tottering decreptitude in the American adaptation of the French film La Voile Bleu."

The veil is the one that used to be worn by the old-fashioned "nanny" before children's nurses were streamlined. Going from one family to another, she loses her heart to each of her charges in turn and is never once seen to frown or slap. Is this a record?

It's pretty dull going most of the time, but Miss Wyman proves once again that she is an actress of no small standing. Cyril Cusack plays a cameo rale with perfection.




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