Disney doesn t disappoint
but the Marx Brothers are melting away
1 By Iris Conlay CATHOLIC HERALD Film Critic THE cinema takes deep breath before festivities begin. From afar rumbles and rumours come across of the upheavals to be expected. Metro Goldwyn Mayer have taken His Majesty's Theatre to present their latest magnificence —The Great Waltz—Spectacle and Strauss mostly, I'm told. This opens next Tuesday.
Meanwhile, more humbly, the season of Disney begins in many news theatres all over London, and six new programmes are scheduled there. I believe Merbabies will be the popular choice among the six.
It's a symphony of the sea, and the merbabies are children of water bubbles who laugh and play in an iridescent paradise of ocean depths. But my choice among the six is Donald's Lucky Day—a real Hitchcock thriller has Walt made out of the adventures of messenger boy Donald with a timed bomb.
Says Donald innocently on his way to deliver his " secret " parcel, " It's unlucky if a black cat gets in your path "—and the prancing black cat with an evil glint in his sunken eye is the cause of the trouble on that see-saw
that has a bomb for fulcrum. There's suspense for you, filmgoer, as tense as any Emlyn Williams has conceived.
AFTER that, in my list, comes Brave -Little Tailor, a fantastic fairy tale with Mickey Mouse fighting a foul fat giant who twists hayricks in his fingers for cigarettes and lights them from kitchen chimneys. Being a tailor, Mickey's prowess is entirely with needle and thread—this way lies the trap for the giant and Princess Minnie for a wife for Mickey.
Donald's Golf Game is no less ingenious than the rest, but somehow less convincing. Trick golf-clubs savour too much of Maskelyne's magic instead of human foolishness, which is really the whole delight of Donald. I yawned a little here.
Farmyard Symphony is comprised of a lot of operatic birds feeling erotic. In the last reel the farmer's wife (Disney is wiser since Snow White, we only see her feet) brings the corn to scatter for breakfast and the operatic birds forget love for food. It has lots of musical humour.
Mother Goose Goes Hollywood caricatures film stars. Katharine Hepburn moons after her lost sheep; Charles Laughton sights land saying " 50,000 miles at sea without even a
Room Service SCOMETHING is gradually turning Marx Brothers, Ltd. Room Service is good stiff upstanding comedy from anyone but Groucho, Chico and Harpo, but I expect at least 50 per cent. more from this outfit. To date I've always got my percentage, but now the madness has nearly gone out of them, and they stand just where everyone else stands on sane ground.
I'm lots sorry to see so much imagination fade. For it took high imagination of special grade to see what the Marx Brothers saw. Gleams appear still through the material texture of Room Service's dialogue; genuine Marx, says the appreciative collector, rubbing his hands. But for the most part Room Service is like a tight overcoat strangling the efforts of an exuberant ballet dancer who practises his steps between the cars on Brookland's racing track. Breathless and persevering always—but to a futile end.
The Shining Hour
I HOPE M.G.M. have Margaret Sidle
van's time sheet well filled. She is one of Hollywood's most satisfying actresses at the moment. I would compare her with anyone favourably. I