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"MOROCCO." r" \
By clever acting and skilful production, I
I strong dramatic interest is given to an otdln-j j ary love story In "Morocco," now at the Prince. I Edward Theatre, This picture derives special
interest from the presence of the new star, Marlene Deitrich, as the heroine; Amy Jolly, a cabaret singer, who becomes attracted by a soldier oí the Foreign Legion, Tqm Brown. At- tractive of presence, Miss Deitrich displays conspicuous ability as an actress. \ The
heroine of "Morocco" masks her feelings be- neath a mood of cynical bitterness; and the contrasting emotions of the role are singularly well portrayed by this artist, who has had ex- perience of the dramatic stage In Germany. Her voice is at first unattractive, and pioves so undistinguished in the song in the <*arly cabaret scenes that one wonders why a hostile audience should so rapidly become entWuslas tio. Her acting, however, is brilliant, for Miss Deitrich possesses the art of suggesting ardent emotion beneath a cynical exterior, and de- velops her climaxes with judgment. I
Brown (a role effectively played oy GaVy Cooper), has enlisted in the Foreign Legion to forget his past. "There's a Foregn Legion c* women, tool" declares the girl, grimly, becom- ing interested in him. They agree to leave Morocco together; but, perceiving that a wealthy admirer, Kennington, Is paying her attention, Brown suddenly chalks upon the mirror of her dressing-room at the theatre, "I've changed my mind-good-bye I" and leaves at once with his regiment upon a dan- gerous expedition against hostile tribes in the mountain fastnesses. Miss Deitrich con- vincingly reveals the spirit of these later scenes, where the girl is distraught about the fate of her lover, and rushes excitedly from the banquet celebrating her betrothal to Ken- nington to seek new, of Brown from the re- turning troops. At the end the producer brings a fresh dramatic touch to the story, where Amy, bidding farewell to the faithful, Kennington, follows Brown's regiment In the march out over the distant sands of the desert.
In this Paramount production, where there Is a good deal of marching of troops beneath a tropical sun, the Morocco scenes are em- ployed with discernment, and made properly subordinate to the central narrative, the love story. There Is a striking series of pictures of the mountain fighting, where Biown is ordered to capture a machine gun. Adolphe Menjou artistically plays the role oí Kenning-
One of the pictures shown in the Prince Edward programme, "Dogvllle Melody," is a vulgar example of crude American comedy. It certainly demonstiates that dogs may be ad- mirably trained, but the scheme by which they are represented as talking like human beings is very cheap and primitive.
Will Rogers, the famous American comedian, furnishes a remarkably fine character study In the title-role of "Llghtnln*," the present chief attraction at the Regent Theatre. "Lightnin' Bill Jones," as impersonated on the stage some years ago by John D. O'Hara is genially re- membered by Australian audiences; and now the character brings a sustained glow of humour to the screen In the performance of Mr. Rogers. He depicts perfectly the amusing old Idler, with his entertaining gossip-a twinkle of the eye, an Interrogative glance, as the lines pucker about his forehead, a quaint turn of a phrase, a slight gesture of the hand, are all part of the complete portrait, which Is designed with that art which conceals art. His tales of his prowess, related with an air of becoming modesty, aie no less characteris- tic, for "Llghtnln' " has been everything in his time, Including a civil engineer, who would have been wealthy but for the misdeeds of crooked partners "I shot some of them," he drawls. "The others are in the penitentiary 'ceptln' one; he died before I could get to him " Of course, the story of his great exploit, when he "drove a swarm o' bees across the plains In the dead o' winter, and never lost a bee," is as amusing in the film dialogue as It was in the play. "Llghtnln' " relates It with the utmost gravity, when the two swindlers, angry at this "airy persiflage," are feverishly en- deavouring to secure his signature to the document giving them possession of the hotel
The Hne3 of the play are followed In this adaptation with the Divorce Court scene as the climax. They seem to have exceedingly free-and-easy methods of Judicial procedure in Nevada, where "Llghtnln'," with the exclama- tion, "Hello, Lern!" steps up to shake hands with his old friend the Judge; where his Honor adjourns the Court to sympathise with a weep- ing plalntlfr, who has caught his susceptible affections, and where Marvin, who had just been told from the Bench that He has no right to appear In the case, Is allowed to prompt 'Llghtnln'" in his cross examination of the swindling attorney. It is all stage Justice, with the happy ending attained with- out the laborious process of proof. Mr. Rogers sustains his brilliant study to the end, con- vincing alike In his humour and In the moments of pathos when he Is ready to agree to the divorce if "mother" wishes it "No, no1" exclaims "mother," rushing forward to plead for her husband's forgiveness for hav- ing turned him out of house and home, and, unaware of their true character, aided the conspirators who wished to rob them of their property. "Forgive me, forgive me, Billi" she implores. With his best quizzical air, Bill replies, "Did you ever get that six dollars I sent you?" The homely sentiment of the story manifestly pleased Regent audiences on Saturday, and the humour of "Llghtnln" Bill" kept them in perpetual laughter. Louise Dresser plays the role of Mrs. Jones with ad- mirable judgment, and contributes materially to the success of the picture. Joel Mccrea is spirited as John Marvin, who spends a large Ëart of his time in crossing the State border
i Lightnin's" hotel to escape a sheriff's war- rant. Helen Cohan is for the most part a colourless Milly, "Lightnin's" daughter. The production by Fox-Movietone Is attract've. One 2J£?£-d20îi lncldePt,." where tne pursuing sheriff dodges a falling tree, excited the Ona!" of the spectators.
,.JFhe" sea scencs arc the great feature of Derelict,* the Paramount picture at the Capitol. The rescue of the crew of a steamer by a passing freighter in a fierce tempest. In which the waves appear to be rolling mountains high, Is extremely effective. One may speculate how the small boat which puts off to the rescure is able to live in such a storm; but If this be accepted as part of a melodramatic story the spectator will enjoy this representation of a gale at sea, feeling comfortable in the security of his chair In the theatre while he watches huge waves thundering over the two steamers and their
The plot of "Derelict," woven round the rivalry of two officers of the merchant marine. In love with the same woman. Is artificially constructed. Its main Incident is the removal of Rafferty from his first command, as master of the Cross Winds, and the promotion of his rival, Jed Graves, to the vacant post. The situation, however, strains credulity too severely. Rafferty, just as his ship Is heading Into a fog, lennis that his mate, Graves, has allowed the woman to come on board the steamer as a passenger. No ship's officer in his senses would rush off the bridge at that moment, as Rafferty does, leaving no one in his place, and the ship In a fog, merely to investigate a report of this kind. The girl Is Helen Lorber, with whom Rafferty and Graves are in love. While the captain Is angrily arguing with her, and announcing that she must leave the ship at the next port of call, a collision occurs-an effective piece of stage management in which the spectator is allowed to see first the appioach Ing vessel In the fog, and then the cabin crumpling beneath the force of the blow.
A fierce rough-and-tumble on the deck of the ship. In which Graves knacks Rafferty senseless with some weapon, 13 another exciting incident. Rafferty obtains a berth on another ship, and when the SOS comes from the Cross Winds, he, against the authority of his captain, proceeds to the rescue In the storm scene already described The role of Rafferty, big, burly, and deep-voiced Is made the most of bv George Bancroft, and William Boyd Is Hdeauntelv malevolent as Jed Graves The reconciliation between these enemies Is one of the unexplained events oí the film Jessie Rovce Landis la well In character ps Helen Lorber, Donald Stuart glvrs an admir- able little studv as the amusing Fin Thomson, the friend of Rafferty.
"THAR SHE BLOWS "
An interesting Australian film, ''Thar She Blows," Is among the attractions at the Prince Edward Theatre. This film Illustrates the whaling Industry at Point Close station, BOO miles north of Perth, and the spoken ex- planation enables audiences easily to follow the various processes as they are shown. The spectator witnesses the approach of the steamer as the whale is sighted, the plunging of the harpoon, the struggles of the whaje, and as the huge carcase is drawn to the ship's side, the arrival upon the scene of a school of sharks, fighting to secure nieces ot the booty. This fight, as the sharks leap about rrantlcally, Is a most realistic piece of film photography. The marvel, indeed. Is that any of the whale is left. Next It Is seen towed ashore, where it is stripped tot its blubber, and the process of preparing this
for the market is then illustrated.