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A Film Critic's Diary
By TE PANA
It is pleasant to record that Cine sound Productions Ltd., Sydney, does not subscribe to the theory that any man with the ability to write a postcard is capable of writing a film scenario. The engagement by the firm of Mr. and Mrs. William Fresh- man, experienced script writers, is sufficient testimony.
Mr. Freshman is an Australian who has spent many years in English studios, and, according to Mr. Ken G. Hall, the man behind Clnesound's megaphone, he has a thorough knowledge of the film in- dustry. As assistant director, he worked on "The Iron Duke" with George Arllss and "The Tunnel" with Richard Dix, while his scenarios include "Queer Cargo," "The Dominant Sex," "Please, Teacher," and "At the Villa Rose." Under the pen name of "Lydia Hayward," Mrs. Freshman has written such box-offlce successes as "The Ware Case," in which Clive Brook played the leading part; "Bitter Sweet," "Sorrel and Son," "To-morrow We Live," and 23 other screen plays.
Their first assignment will be a comedy in which Will Mahoney, the American comedian, will be starred. Mr. and Mrs. Freshman will then begin work on two other productions for Cinesound, "Over- land Telegraph," a story of Australian de- velopment, and "Robbery Under Arms," from the novel by Rolf Boldrewood.
The writers left London for Australia by flying-boat on April 2.
Following the awards of "Oscars'* this year, an American newspaper published the winners of a "film favourites' poll" in 1913. The first 10 male ¡>tars were: Earle Williams, J. Warren Kerrigan, "Bronco Billy" Anderson, Romaine Field- ing, Francis X. Bushman, James Cruze, Crane Wilbur, Maurice Costello, Arthur Johnson, and Carlyle Blackwell. The first 10 women stars were:-Alice Joyce, Mary Fuller, Edith Storey, Muriel Ostrlche, Mary Pickford, Pearl White, Clara Klmball Young, Blanche Sweet, Orml Hawley, and Lillian Walker. Query: How many film goers will remember Gable, Colman, Col- bert, Taylor, Shearer, and the rest 2G years
Now Is the season of the Sunday night preview. Invitations are out for "This Man Is News" and "Mr. Chedworth Steps Out." . . . Looks as if 1939 will go down in movie history as the year In which Tyrone Power announced that he would visit Australia. . . . Gentlemen in real life still take off their nats In the pre- sence of ladles and in lifts. There are no such gentlemen in Hollywood pictures. . . . Until I saw a sequence in "My Lucky Star" I always thought that a supper spot was something on an evening vest. . . . One of the prettiest fur-bearing ani- mals I have ever seen-Ginger Rogers. ... If I never saw, or heard, "Under the Spreading Chestnut Tree" again it would be too soon. . . . There Is no truth in the statement that Charlie McCarthy is to be a plank in Mischa Auer's Hollywood Mayoralty campaign. . . . "The Doctor's Dilemma," by George Bernard Shaw, is to be filmed. "Any scenes requiring to be rewritten will be done by me," says the author, "and not by the studio call-boy." . . . Speaking of Margaret Sullavan in "Shopworn Angel," not even a brunette rinse can dim the potency of her platinum
More About "Oscar'"
A correspondent, Miss I. Gwyther, Eliza- beth street, city, who read about "Oscar" in this column recently, asks me if it is a fact that film players are losing their respect for the little gold-plated award....
any oracle, I "know that there have been rumours. Some time ago It was re ported that Claudette Colbert used her "Oscar" as a door stop, and that Helen Hayes had used him for the same purpose.
I cannot vouch for tile accuracy of this. There is no doubt, however, that overproduction has tended to lessen the value of the award, and what was originally a
very good idea has now practically lost its point. At first "Oscar" was given to the year's best actress, best actor, best picture, best writer, photographer, art director, title writer, and engineer.
Various other "bests" have since been added, including short subjects. There are also "certificates of honourable men- tion," plain, ordinary "honourable men- tion," and an "extra award." Music and dancing have also come into it, and there have been special awards for "distinctive novelty." Cartoon films are also honoured, and Wait Disney has had five awards in succession. . . . Maybe "Oscar" is not so popular now.
"GaiMTS of New York" (State, Friday). In which Charles Bickford adopts high- handed methods with lawbreakers. Sup- port.-"Boss of the Bio Grande," with Lina Basquette and Antonio Moreno.
"Torchy Blane In Chinatown" (Lyceum, Friday).-Glenda Farrell gets on the trail
of her man. Support.-"White Trail," j with Joan Newill. '