Without The Glamour
I Fighting Father Dunne—Enchantment—Cardboard Cavalier—Road House
IN 1905 a priest in St. Louis called
Fr. Peter Dunne went about the city collecting homeless newsboys and gave them food and shelter and a Christian upbringing. The same sort of thing is being done to-day to homeless boys in Italy—also by Catholic priests. Fr. Dunne's name is remembered in America as doubtless Fr, Zaltinileader of the Italian rescue movement—will be remembered in his country in years to come. Perhaps there will even be a film made about itas indeed, one has already been made about similar salvage work in Naples. As though nervous of re-entering that glamour territory of Going My Was and The Bells of St. Mary, the producers of the Fr. Dunne film have gone to the other extreme so that it is more like a documentary than anything else. Those were the days when circulation bosses didn't hesitate to start gang wars between the newsboys and " selling pitches" were potential battle areas often developing into actual ones. Fr. Dunne did his bit to stop this as well. He was one of those pioneers who. like Fe. Flanagan after him. put humanity before officialdom and whom officialdom eventually came to respect and revere.
As played by Pat O'Brien, Fr. Dunne is just a kindly, practical man who indulges in no heroics and who only has one emotional moment —when he comes away from a prison after failing to get a reprieve from execution for one of the boys whom he did not succeed in salvaging. Una O'Connor is the bossy. good-natured Irishwoman who comes in to be the boys' cook, and she lends her lisual brand of asperity and dry wit to the scene.
A GOOD CRY If this hard-boiled age is ever presented with a picture of frustrated romance or lives wrecked by love taking the wrong turning a howl of execration goes up. It's almost as indecent as mentioning religion. On the other hand, crooners can spend their whole time bemoaning lives wrecked, etc., etc,, and few raise a disapproving eyebrow. Enchantment (LExzsrli.it SQUARE THEATRE) dares to deal with the story of a young army officer whose interfering sister determined he shall not marry the girl he loves, pulls strings to get him moved off to India. And so the girl marries someone else. But the young officer couldn't forget her--and so we see David Niven as one of the most tear-compelling old men the screen has produced for many a moon. I have no hesitation in saying this is a moving and sincere performance and all but the aforesaid hardboiled will do well to take a handkerchief with them. Teresa Wright as the girl plays her part with a neat sense of period. Jayne Meadows is the doting sister who throws a wrench into the romance—I don't remember her former work but here she makes the warped creature quite credible. Two gongs—one for the utterly unconvincing war-time London and the other for the vulgar poster advertising the film and which is at the moment defacing hoardings in London.. If an American company had dared to produce Cardboard Cavalier lOurces) another howl would have gone up. But as it comes from a British studio with two such names as Sid Field and Margaret Lockwood in the lead, we can only come to the conclusion that the Americans have nothing on us when it comes to guying British history.
The agony of watching the building and paying fur a new house of your own design may be a portion and parcel of our regretted past in this country but you can still suffer vicariously by seeing a slick, streamlined comedy--Mr. Blandings Builds his Dream House (GAUMONT AND MARBLE ARCH PavitioN). It's a pleasant family story — mother (Myrna Loy), father (Cary Grant) and a couple of small daughters who spend breakfast telling father his occupation of advertisement writing is in the parasitic class and interrupting both parents in their arguments with such remarks as " Bicker. bicker ! " On the same programme I saw a terrifying companion picture —The Window—about a small boy who sees a murder through a tenement window and is hunted afterwards through a condemned building by the murderer.
Oh, those dull, dreary, depressing American pubs and fun palaces. Preserve us from them and the people who make their living there. Ida Lupino, who once gave such bright promise does nothing to help her career by appearing in such a tawdry story as Road House (TIVOL1 AND NEW GALLERY).