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Notes on the Screen
¡1 AT CITY THEATRES THIS
Film- arc classified as folio« -Of ex- ceptional merit, ....; good entertain- ment, *... fair entertainment. ?*», not II recommended. '
Iii Athcnsoum, - "»»"Thark" anti
»««»The Lo\c Contiact."
Capitol. - »»«"Song of Songs" and
»»."One Sunday Afternoon."
I HoUs Theatre de Lu\c. - »»"The
I Ha>sceds" and »«"The Pride of I the Torce."
I L>ccum.-»"She Had to Say Yes"
I and »»"To-morrow at Sc\cn."
Majestic. - »»»"The Tlrst Mrs. i Fraser*' and »»»".Night of the
I Mayfair. - »»""Tailing: for You"
II Plaza. - ***"M> Wcakncbs."
¡¡j Regent. - »«»"Paddy the Next Best J Thing" and »»'Tricing- the
State. - »«»"Doctor Bull" and
»"Day of Reckoning."
By CLOSE UP
We shall ha\o to make up our minds to _e" a lot of Lilian Hanej In a trade book discussing its products in 1934 the Fo\ Film Corporation tells exhibitors that
nothing has been spated in the way of stories casts and production talues to
inaKt- JILI HIL uu\
ofBce sensation of 1934 As Greta Gai bo and Marlene Dietrich were thrust upon the picture going public by ecstatic publicitj men so Lilian Har \ej Is being ex- ploited by Fox In a suiprisingly shoit time she has been gi oomed to the Hollywood pattern That is rather a pi tv Hollywood
prefei s types to in di\'duals Even Garbo has become a tvpc So it is with Lilian Harvey She has been dressed made up and directed to conform to a type which the public is believed to admiie on the screen All this is apparent in hei pel formance-a good performance of its type-in Mj Weak
ness at the Plaza But is it a compliment to Lilian Hanej? Surely it would be more flattering to saj to a successful European actress Be Lilian Han ey
rather than to say Use j oui talents to be what our public wants I shall look forward with interest to seeing some of the films which made her name in Europe It mai be instructive to compare her «ork in these ?with her woik in hei fiist American films
Emil Ludwigs 'Napoleon
Emil Ludwig has been to Hollywood Americans are quite ciazy - they aie deer but quite crazy he said when pass
ing through London on his way back to his home at Locarno They pay a wiitei 100 dollars for a paragiaph and a girl 1000 dollars for showing one leg Lud nig did not go to Hollywood to discovei that He went theie to write the scenario for a film to be called Napoleon based on his own book It will be distiibuted b\ First National Almost as interesting is the announcement that Edward G Robinson will play Napoleon Robinson is one of the finest character actois on the screen He could dwaif half a dozen Claik Gables but he has never been ranked w Ith the populai stars Peihaps that is because <ie is not good looking He ha« in fact an intelligent face and that In Hollywood may be a disadvantage un less it is a face people will laugh at Ludwig howevei not being a film pro ducr was anxious to discover the man not the face to play Napoleon He likes Roi Inson He has imagination and de ter nination was Ludwig s comment The film should be good if the pioducer does not take liberties with the authoi s scena no-a doubtful hope
Filmland and Finance
rigures always peiplex me but I def
anyone to make head or tail of the mass of financial statistics to which the Sena torlal committee in Washington (USA) had to listen recently when it investi gated Wall street s flirtations w ith Holly
ttood Even the committee gave up HIL puzzle in despair But a glance at the evidence-pages of It have been published In the Motion Fictuie Herald -at least tnables the picture goer to foi m some idea of « hat a colossal business his money has made of the films
The highlight of the investigation wus, the appearance of William Fox in the witness box The emperor in exile of
Fo\ Films told an amazing story His ' retirement in 1930 from his position of dominance over the ro\ Film Corporation nnd the Fox Theatres Corporation was a sensational development in the hectic history of the industry But his evidence was more sensational He asserted that ho had bec » the victim of a conspiracy to wrest his companies his vast amusement empire from him A sober view of the matter rather suggests that after the col
lapse of the stock maiket in 1929 Mr Fox encounteied difficulties similar to those which faced most business men His policy of short term bon owing over
expansion and the acquisition of enormous properties at inflated prices was his un
doing The Fox interests simply had to have help According to the evidence of the vice president of Chase Securities Corporation Mr Tox received 15 000 000 dolliis in cash in addition to other con «ideratlons amounting to 6 000 000 dol
lars for his control of Fox films and Fox theatre« which it was stated weie con
fronted at the time by 90 000 000 dollars north of obligations falling dut So now
the Fox rilm Coiporation is controlled if i not actually ow ned b3 the Chase banking
Interests and Fox himself a pioneer of I th« industry slips into obscuiity with 1 about 20 000 000 dollars to console his '
Mi Thiing s Programme
Efftee Film Productions will make the following films in 1934 - Sheepmates by William Hatfield The Streets of Lon don adapted by Frank Harvev from the stage play Clara Gibbings the English comedy a screen version of Collits Inn and Ginger Mm doch bv William Hat field There is nothing daring or spec tnculai in this progiammc but Mr Thrings company is perhaps too young to venture upon any but a quiet and normal .venue of development
' I Was a Spy '
The Gaumont British film I Was a Spv should not be missed when it Is shown in Melbourne shortlj I saw it at a private screening and I rannot iccall ans war film except All Quiet on the western Front that impiessed me more The film is another tribute to the ability of \ ictor Sav Hie pi obablj the most com petcnt director in Britain at the moment The film Is based on the true story of Martha Cnockaert a Belgian woman who
was compelled to nurse German wounded and at the same time was involved in th vast svstem of espionage behind the Gei man lines The story is developed luth lesslv and logically and with few conces
«ions to sentiment Madeleine Caiioll s performance as the spv is a brilliant piece of dramatic acting The whole ca-t Is ad mlrable Conrad Vel/ as the German commandant is far bettet than he was in Rome Express and Hei bert Mai shall is almost as good as he w as in The Faithful Heart I Was a Spy must be linked
among the best of the Biitish films I cannot recall any British film in which mob scenes have been filmed more effee
tivch or in which dramatic action has been more tightly compiesscd