I had not read Erich Maria Remarque's book, out of which Three Comrades was made, but knowing that the author's theme was post-war Germany, I went to the cinema half-expectant of some pictorial politics.
But I might have guessed that Hollywood is so choc-a-bloc full of tact that it wouldn't allow a political breath to touch its celluloid lest someone should take offence. So with innuendoes, hack stairs shooting between unnamed parties intense about goodness knows what, the picture proceeds on the usual way with human relationship problems which might just have well have been set in Ruritania after the defeat of BaggiWoggi. Cut the politics out of your preconceived notions of Three Comrades and you'll enjoy all you see. It's a sincere enough production and Bob Taylor, Franchot Tone, Robert Young and Margaret Sullivan give out real humanity—not Hollywood's synthetic product.
To me poor dear Margaret's tragedy got out of control. But I'm willing to agree that it was 1 who raced off with the bit between my teeth and so got to the end before she did.
More patience is what some film critics need, said the old lady who enjoyed a big helping of pathos.
Life—A Series Of Preludes To Death
Few of Liszt's works have won such popularity as his symphonic poem Les Preludes, and this month we have a fine Decca recording by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.
Les Preludes ("our life is aseries of pre
ludes to the unknown song of Death ") is based on a single theme which is transformed in accordance with Liszt's idiom and thus gives a connected base to the whole poetic structure. This was one way of solving the problem of writing an operatic overture, which had almost defied Beethoven, tied as he was to Sonata Form; and is a step towards the "endless melody" of Wagner. It would be hard to find any record with a more glorious combination of orchestral sound than the fourth and last side of this tone poem.
The Charles Brill Orchestra, conducted by Charles Brill, on K 877, gives the World on the Moon, by Haydn; this little work consists of three movements, while K 878 gives us the Adagio and second Minuet; and the Presto finale.
Franz Volker is heard in Floristan's air from Fidelio—the second subject in the overture, Volker is a tenor in the State Opera, Vienna, and the Berlin State Orchestra is conducted by Alois Melichar (LY 6133).
In lighter vein I would recommend Campoll and his Salon Orchestra in Chinese Rhythm and Prelude, the latter by Haydn Wood (F 6659). C. G. M.
Lot's Wife, which has been producing salted laughs very successfully at the Whitehall Theatre, went to the Aldwych Theatre on Tuesday, July 5.