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NEW FILMS

"SOLDIERS WITHOUT UNIFORM"

A fine and richly deserved tri- bute is paid to Australia's vast i army of munitions workers in

Challes Chauvel's splendid short, "Sold leis Without Uniform " The pity is it is all too brief

The ?ssignment which the Depart- ment of Infoimation gave to the pro- ducer-director of 'Forty Thousand Horsemen" was not an easy one There have been mpny shorts on munition manufacture, heie and overseas with most of the drama of the subject captuied hy the producers Never- theless, Mi Chauvel has succeeded not only in levitalising this diamatic content but, what is moie Important he has made It subservient to the men themsehes-those who are turning theil heavy and incessant toil into an epic of national endeavoui

With George Heaths supeib photo- graphy Mr Chauvel has caught the workeis engaged in a terrificallv ?.trenuous job and made them the chief inteiest The man and not the machine dominates the scene Here aie toileis who have a glim pei sonal. interest in all this titanic activity A man irom ..ions says a few woids-the best little speech in the film-and a parson, whose spare time is spent toiling at the works, also speaks A youths face îeflects the determination of his fellows Many others-all types to be proud of ?>how the concentration and stress of munitions uoik Heie grime and sweat and hard woik become vivid tealities Thus, a tired, aged worker gazing at a poster of Chiuchill, is led passionately to declaie his faith in victory

Cuirent newsreels on Malaya and Hone Kong help to emphasise the im poi tance of such shorts as "Soldiers Without Unifoim Dictributed by Univeiial (City and Newsreel Theaties )

\ "SKYLARK"

Lavish settings and brilliant dneo tion m Paiamount's 'Skylark" have given polish and some fresh appeal fo an ordinary sophisticated domestic tiiangle

i Claudette Colbert Ray Milland, and i Buan Aheine play the chief îoles

and are splendidly supported by such outstanding players as Walter Abel Binnie Baines Australian Mona Bar- ne and Ernest Cossart With such a ca-=t, this film veision of a BroadwaA plav success could scarcely fail as entertainment though as a nariative with many good human touchps, ii aoes not plwavs convince Its humoui is infe-tioi-s but its lomance occa- sionally becomes too taut to keep the comedy constantly on an essen- tially light vivacious level Nevei thelcss the film sustains the inteiest well, ch eily because of the attiacthe personalities of the leading playeis and the acting of Waltei Abel (as a quaintly oroll lamily fiiend.) and Bin- nie Baines (as a. social upstait)

Theie is a delightful skirmish be- tween Miss Colbert and Binnie Barnes and a joyous episode in an under giounri railway Piodurer-director Mark. Sandnch. has done a veiy good job but he could have done an even better one with a less familial naria- tive fPnnce JSdwaid Theatre)

j "BADLANDS OF DAKOTA"

I An Amencan story of the coura-

geous pioneering days with all the old l popular ingredients Universal'« Bad I linds of Dakota is nevertheless

stiong action stuf) full of lively melo diams Its weakest spot is the sheriff I of Deadwood whom Robert Stack

nvkps the dullest figuie of iiontier . 1 .v and order that any high-giade

western has presented

' Mi Stack has been sent bv his much moie masterful biother bmlv Brodeiick, Ciawfoid to fetch the lat I tei 's fiancee, but on the journey back I toe young people many The other I take« it so hard th.t he joins forces

with the local bullion bandits who opeiate disguised as marauding Sioux ) Drama is baited fiequentlv for the i Injection of loutine comedv by Hugh Herbert euri Andy Devine and beau I tiful Frances Farmer has to grapple

valiantly with tne histouc haid-bitten role of Calamity Jane Richard Dix is more at home 83 the famous Wild Bill Hiclok, but has no opportunltlcs to make much of hi« chauctsi Ann Rurhcrfoio does well as the heroine I wno has to 'ginger up her h isbana . to bung out his toughness (Capitol

i and Cameo Theaties >

"MERCY ISl AND"

Republics Mei.v Island' i« one o( I those unpreientiou" uicluies that un | expectedlv anests attention bv its un | usual sertmg stiange stoiy and clevej 'duection A maniai diama. i-> developeo

on a loneh alhgaroi-Infested island i The my si ei\ and suspense it cieates

is heightened oy an mteiesting psycho I logical studv This is furnished bv one , or the rharacteis a lav.jei who-e I vanity and selfishness build up taut

diamatic episode- Tms man s mega I lomani?, and a sudden unieasoning

1ea!ousv of his wife nercely emeige when he happens upon the tiagic

sccie. of his island host

The ciisis that eventuates and the mannet in which the madman s fiendish scheme is thwarted produce gilpping scenes Ray Middleton is convincing as the lawyer Gloua Dick- son Otto Kruger Don Douglas Foi - lester Haiveiv and young Teiry Kil- burn compris? the rest of ¡>n Intel rsl tog cast (Havmaiket-Civic Theatre )

"THE SHADOW STRIKES"

4 s mipht be expected the chief rharactai m The Shadow Strikes' is

I -mother of those mysterious knights I eu ant who track down ciimmals with

distinctlv individual technioue

This Bntlsh Empire Films' pictuie has the suave, almost diffident, Rod f a Roque doing illegal things elegantly for the sake of justice and the inno- cent and while doing them he has I lo dodge Ihe police and those who

know he knows too much Everything nappens because a rich man was mmdeied befoie he made nis will A little moie pace and less sophistication from Mi La Roque would have been pn ímpiovement (Capitol and Cameo

Theaties >

"DUDE COWBOY"

EKO Racuo s Dude Cowboy" leal es the beaten ti a ck and gives Tim Holt a Rood lole as a casuel lancher who spfs out to n»lp the aurhoiitlrs hunt down countPifPitpis

As the ownei of a lanch the leadei

of the gang nas kidnapped a Tieasuiy Deppitment engraici and foiced mm to opeiate m an abandoned mine This results in plenty of thrilling episode louise Curtie who seems to be a newcomer makes an immediate impiession (Havman-st Civic Theatie )

NEWSREELS

Cmesound and rox-Mouelone are lo be commended for the latest wai effort newsreels and foi the accom- panying enlightening commentaiy Tills week Fox-Movietone outlines the strategy of air defence particulaily as applied to Australia and graphically contrasts Bntains defence against the Luftwaffe with the essentially different strategy of the Pacific conflict The lesson of Mplaya and the vital im- portance of our airciaft pioduction is emphasised Cinesound takes its camelas aiounrt oui coastal battle sta- tions and coveis much ground in oui defence piepaiations (City and I Newsreel Theatres )

I ?,.

Digitisation generously supported by
Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation
Digitisation generously supported by

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