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""" NEW FILMS.
I "THE YALLET OF THE GIANTS." |
Peter B. Kyne's novel, "The Valley of tho Giants," has once before been presented on the screen, with Wallace Reid in the principal part, but that adaptation had not the \ Itallty nor the wonderful beauty ot «cenery that Is displayed by a new version which First National released on Saturday at the Hay- market and empress Tbeotres. The story opens amid the Redwoods of California, where- in has grown up the lumber settlement of Sequoia. First of all the pioneers are shown, landing on the shore amid a «cene of primeval
grandeur. Then the time shifts to the pre- I sent day, with a motor car winding In and out like a toy amid crowded, gigantic boles. The photographer has cloverly conveyed nn Im- pression of gleam and gloom beneath the overarching shado, the whole being presented with remarkable subtlety of tone. At one point the lens of the camera turns upward until the spectator Is dizzied at the soaring of the trunks that roach so splendidly up to the light hundreds of feet above. Yet tho scenery, magnificent as It Is, never over- whelms the story. The plot gets Into motion at one, and never slackens In Its'career until the very lRBt scenes, after the free fight be- tween partisans of the two camps hns resulted In triumph for the stronger and the better led. Milton Sills Is genial and very mascu- line In manner, as usual, in the part of Bryce Cardigan. As usuah also, he makes the fight scenes extremely .violent. George Fawcett gives an excellent character-study of old Mr. fardlgan. He realises specially well the fixed yet serene and rapt expression that comes Into the old man's blind nyes whenever his thoughts dwell upon the mighty enterprise that he has brought into being, Doris Ken- yon is an attractive figure as the daughter uf the Cardigans' bitter rival.
"THE sriniT OF GALLIPOLI."
Produced in thi environs of Sydney, "The Spirit of Gallipoli" is quite an unassuming film. The directors and the actors confess freely to the spectators that they have had no previous experience in their work. There nro no attempts t>* overwrought emotion. In fact, emotion hardly enters Into the scheme of things at nil. The film Is not a drama-It Is a biography, telling In simple detail the growth of an Australian boy to manhood, and
how ho passes from indolence and'mischief to ; possession of a high sense of responsibility. | The very modesty of the production gives It a
certain charm. It Is really. In tho last resort, a ' Justification of military service and training. Scenes in tl*o Liverpool camp fill a large pro-
portion of it, showing the trainees marching ¡ and firing guns and taking their ease during
reBt periods. The principal figure In the story , has.started out by saying defiantly that "nn
ono will mnke bim drill If he dooBn't want to," i but as the period of camp life goes on he ! becomes more and more reconciled to Iti until I at last his head is buzzing with thoughts of ¡ working hard and attaining the rank of gene- ¡ ral. He sits and visualises the historic Innd- j Ing at Anzac. Theso battlo scenes have been I admirably presented, including as they do the I
debarkation from the transport, the journey
in small boats, and the actual landing on the i beach. The irrcgulnr flare of shells in pitch darkness, each flare revealing dimly a decora- tive arrangement of objects In the foreground, Is remarkably vivid In its realism. The plc turo as n whole would be improved, however, if someone made the captions in it moro force- ful. "The Spirit of Gallipoli" was screened on Saturday at the Piccadilly Theatre.
"SHANGHAI HOUND." ¡
/'Shanghai Dound" opens brilliantly with a series of scenes on the Chinese waterfront, fu)I of tense dramatic force. For this reason the later episodes In it seem doubly disap- pointing. They mo\c along lazily, with no special charm of setting or acting, following out the threads of an old, old story. From the moment when tho rich man, his daughter and hin friends turn up their noses at the captain of the grimy Chinese rlverboat and re- fuse to work for him, one knows what is going to happen. Tho captain Is going to "teach thom a lesson." Ho Is going to let them see for themselves how necessary their co-operation Is by concentrating on his own needs and Ignoring theirs. The whole ithlng has been developed In Barrle's "Admirable Crichton"-and developed there, one must re- mark, a good deal moro skilfully, for the cli- max of the action In "Shanghai Bound" Is distinctly flftbr-i. As for truth to human na- ture, that goes by the board very early. It li difficult to Imagine that after a white man (of by means contemptible appearance) lind saved their lives by offering himself as a target for the Infuriated mob's onrush, the rich tourists would turn round straightway and abuse him na If he were nothing more than a dog, Again, e>en If the tourists had been half-witted, it ought surciy to have been apparent to them
that tho boat would not run of its own accord, without somebody to coal and navigate it especially ns ono of them was the owner of this line of shlpB.
The tenseness of the earlier pnrt rises mainly from the arrangement of the settings. Light and shade fall in dense pools ncross and nmongst the figures of the coolies and their ovorsccrs, and the human flguros as a whole have been grouped so that they strike tho oye
w|th an impression of plastic force and har- ' mony. Tho slownpss of the movement in the, street, again, makes for the maximum in, suspense. The captain advances step by stop,
and about him on every side dnrk forms glide i amid the shadow, until, as soon ns ho enters at a doorway, the watchers suddenly rush Into the light, i their quiclccr movement expressing determination and triumph. Richard Dix is admirably, suited to the part of the captain. Others in the cast include Mary Brian and Arthur Hoyt. "Shanghai Bound," which is K Paramount picture, was screened on Saturday nt tho Lyceum and Lyric Theatres.
"BAKDETAS THE MAGNIFICENT."
As a romaneo with strong elements of melo- drama in It, "Bardelys the Magnificent" is not unplcaslng. Its period Is the seventeenth century. Its background tho French Court, so there has been scope for much splendour In the way of costumes and furnishings. Within th|s frame, tim action mo\es along in the time honoured way, introducing n. wounded cavalier, who seeks shelter In a lady's apartment, and falls In love with the fair occupant; n villain who smiles In the most malicious manner at all seasons, quite a series of duels, and, at the end, an escape from a pursuing mob that Is ns whirl* Ind-lika in Its athletics as any- thing presented by Douglas Fairbanks. John
Gilbert, Kleanor Boardman, Roy d'Aroy, Lionel « Belmore, George K. Arthur, and Emily Fitz- roy all act well, "Bardelys the Magnificent," a Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film, wns screened on Saturday at Hoyt's and the Strand Theatres.
The fun in "Silk Stockings" Is of a distinctly superficial order, yet provided one doos not expect anything moro It ia diverting enough. Much depends on Laura La Plantc's gift for pantomime. She represents a young woman of an all too common type, Intensely selfish and narrow, and ruled In everything by her emotions. Being married, she drl\es her hus- band-a likeable, normally rational young man -quite naturally to the verge of hysteria with her Inconsistencies. She rages nnd weeps and laughs almost in a breath, and tells the most outiaçeous lies with an appearance of saintly rectitude With her as a life's com- panion, the unfortunate youth Is doomed to failure from the start. John Harron playa the part of the husband In the film, which was released by Universal on Saturday at the Lyceum and Empress TheaticB.
-. "ONE WOMAN TO ANOTHER."
?Trivial in idea, perfunctory in execution, and sometimes a littlo unsavoury in detail, "One Woman to Another" denis with a set of people who have very distorted ideas about morality. Women arc cheapened in the story -their virtue set at a trifle's purchase. Two of them are seen engaging In a sort of compe- tition to decide who is to marry a certain man, the winner being she who involvos him In the greatest scandal. The man Is a poor, Indecisive creature, too, not at all worth all this striving. In any ease, ono pities him, starting out on married life with a wife who has caught him by such menns. There is no permanent basis here for happiness. It is undoubtedly the poorest picture in which Florence Vldor has appeared for a long time. The director has not made the roost of her personality, nor of those of any of the other actors under his supervision, principal among them being Theodore von KHz. Roy Stewart, and Hedda HopDer. The acting is realistic In a way but hopelessly Bhallow. "One Woman to Another," a Paramount picture, was screened on Saturday at the Haymarket