Today's Shows. MOST popular theme in Hollywood comedy at the moment—now the Enoch Arden cycle is over—is the mar- riage of convenience which becomes true love through propinquity. The first of this group is "The Doctor Takes a Wife" (Piccadilly Theatre today) and it should draw big audiences as it is full of laughs and amusing domestic situations. Loretta Young is the wife, Gail Patrick is again "almost a wife" (as she was in "My Favourite Wife") Ray Milland is the hus- band (in a script written for Cary Grant whom he replaced) and Reginald Gar- diner and Edmund Gwenn have other good parts. Vera Zorina, the ballet star who made her debut in "Goldwyn Follies," will be seen again today in "I Was An Adven- turess" (Ambassadors), in which there is a beautiful ballet sequence. The film has a Continental background of adven- ture and romance with Richard Greene, Erich von Stroheim (his first American picture for years) and Pierre Lorre in other roles. Miss Zorina's husband (George Balanchine) was the director of the dance sequence. Akim Tamiroff is the star of "The Way of All Flesh" (Grand Theatre today), a remake of the famous Emil Jannings silent film of the same name. It is a sentimental story of the decline of a bank official after he has been robbed following a drunken orgy. Muriel Angelus (to be seen again shortly in "The Light That Failed") and Gladys George were also in the cast.
Ray Milland, recently seen in two comedy successes, "French Without Tears" and "Irene," shares the hon- ours with Loretta Young in another good comedy "The Doctor Takes a Wife," now at the Piccadilly Theatre.
Held Over. THREE important long-run attractions are continuing in leading city cine- mas. "The Great Dictator" is at the Plaza Theatre, "21 Days Together" at the Theatre Royal and "Edison the Man" at the Metro Theatre. All are proving popular with metropolitan audiences. Trade Screening. FOUR special Hollywood productions —"The Ghost Breakers," "Arise My Love," "North-West Mounted Police" and the "Road to Singapore"—were exhibited at a trade screening arranged by the Paramount Film Service Pty., Ltd, at the State Theatre, Mt. Lawley, last Tuesday and Wednesday. There was a large at- tendance of exhibitors, who were enter- tained at a buffet luncheon each day. Exhibitors came from places as remote as Derby. Opportunity was taken at the luncheon on Tuesday to extend a welcome to Mr. W. Hurworth, general sales manager of the company in Australasia, who is now making one of his periodical visits to this State. The speech of welcome was made by Mr. James Stiles, managing director of the Grand Theatre Co., Ltd., and in reply Mr. Hurworth expressed the pleasure he experienced in renewing the acquaintanceship of so many friends here. "The Ghost Breakers," which features Paulette Goddard and Bob Hope, is an amusing comedy, woven around a mys- tery story which would do justice to Edgan Allan Poe. The heroine inherits a haunted castle on an island off the coast of Cuba and its secret is discovered and the identity of a criminal established by the heroine and her friend, a radio com- mentator, after a night of thrills. "Arise My Love" is a typically good vehicle for those popular players, Claud- ette Colbert and Ray Milland. Claudette Colbert is a Press correspondent in Spain and meets Milland, a soldier of fortune, and saves him from execution by posing as his wife. The lust of war is in his blood, and the outbreak of hostilities in Poland urges him to a fresh participa- tion in the fight for freedom. The woman persuades him to go to America, but the ship is the Athenia, the first passenger boat to be torpedoed by the Nazis in this war and they are soon back in Europe. They separate, but the fates bring them together again in the Polish campaign. "Arise My Love" is not a war story, but the introduction of familiar incidents of this war heightens its appeal. "North-West Mounted Police," which stars Gary Cooper, Madeleine Carroll, Paulette Goddard, Robert Preston, Preston Foster, Akim Tamiroff, Lynne Overman, George Bancroft, and Lon Chaney, jun., is Cecil B. De Mille's first complete effort in Technicolour and it is a credit to him. The colouring is excellent, the reproduc- tion of some of the magnificent scenery of the north-west of Canada lending it- self admirably to the latest triumph of the Camera's art. There is plenty of action in the picture and romance, too, which is based on an actual incident in Canadian history. "The Road to Singapore," which brings Bing Crosby, Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour together for the first time is full of happy comedy and contains a number of new song hits. Bring Crosby is the son of a millionaire shipowner who leaves home to roam across the Pacific with a castaway sailor friend and a dancing girl.
Vera Zorina, whose real name is Brigatta Hartwigg, was a noted star of the ballet before going into films. She made her debut in a lovely sequence of "Goldwyn Follies" and will be seen today at the Ambassadors Theatre in "I Was an Adventuress."
Christmas Shows in New York. AS in Perth the best available pictures are released at Christmas in America and the following list of films showing in New York last Christmas will be interes ing. Here are the pictures, the cinemas and the number of seats of each theatre: "The Great Dictator," Astor (1,012 seats). "Fantasia," Broadway (1,895). "Comrade X," Capitol (4,520). "Little Nellie Kelly," Criterion (1,662). "Night Train to Munich," Globe (1,180). "The Letter," Palace (1,700). "Love Thy Neighbour," Paramount (3,664). "The Philadelphia Story," Radio City Music Hall (5,960). "Victory," Rivoli (2,092). "Chad Hanna," Roxy (5,835). "The Thief of Bagdad," State (3,401). "Santa Fe Train," Strand (2,767). MORE light comedy from Myrna Loy and William Powell will be enjoyed at the Metro Theatre shortly when "I Love You Again" is shown. "HIRED WIFE." the amusing Rosa- lind Russell comedy, is a forthcom- ing Piccadilly Theatre release.
A merica's favourites EACH year hundreds of American theatre owners and managers vote in the "Motion Picture Herald's" poll for the "10 best money-making stars of the year." This is voted on in accordance with the number of paying customers who attend their cinemas and is a strictly accurate vote and on which car- ries great weight in the studios. The 1940 list was:— Points. 1. Mickey Rooney .. .. .. .. 4,380 2. Spencer Tracy .. .. .. .. 3,688 3. Clark Gable .. .. .. .. 3,117 4. Gene Autry .. .. .. .. 1,408 5. Tyrone Power .. .. .. .. 1,315 6. James Cagney .. .. .. .. 1,239 7. Bing Crosby .. .. .. .. 1,164 8. Wallace Beery .. .. .. .. 964 9. Bette Davis .. .. .. .. .. 926 10. Judy Garland .. .. .. .. 908 It is interesting to see by how much the top three lead the field; how much more popular men are than women; and that Gable is the only star to have been on the "10 best" list in every poll con- ducted. The names chosen apply only to the United States and Canada and would certainly be very different in Western Australia. The next 15 on the voting list were: James Stewart, 832; Deanna Durbin, 807; Alice Faye, 766; Errol Flynn, 759; Myrna Loy, 664; Dorothy Lamour, 649; Cary Grant, 614; Bob Hope, 603; Henry Fonda, 602; Gary Cooper, 545; Don Ameche, 526; Jack Benny, 414; Ginger Rogers, 408; Anne Sheridan, 405 and William Powell, 361. "Variety" lists the six "top film stars" each year and its 1940 choice is:—Clark Gable, Mickey Rooney, Spencer Tracy, Errol Flynn, Bette Davis and Gary Cooper. "It's the Navy." AUSTRALIA, in her brief history, has evolved a race of seafaring men which has brought lustre to the traditions of the Royal Navy, and in this evolution Flinders Naval Depot has played a vital part. At the depot, which is known as H.M.A.S. Cerberus, and which is virtually a battleship on land, young men from all walks of life and from all parts of the Commonwealth are moulded into a highly trained, well disciplined, fighting unit, well able to protect the longest coast- line in the world and take its place be- side the Royal Navy wherever there is work to do. "It's the Navy," a film pro- duced by the Cinema Branch of the De- partment of Information, shows how this is done. The film, which will be released on February 21, shows the full routine of naval training from seamanship, which all must have, irrespective of subsequent specialisation, through all the speclalised branches such as signalling, gunnery, engineering, and torpedo work. In a classroom on a model bridge that swings in answer to the wheel the trainees re- ceive their first command; on a rolling
Joan Blondell was seen in many of the big musical shows of the early talkie era, but more recently has specialised in comedy. In her next Perth release, "Two Girls on Broad- way" (coming to the Metro Theatre), she returns to the sphere of the musical.
platform, that simulates the action of the sea, they learn to train their guns; on the parade ground (known at Flinders as the quarter deck) men, representing ships, manoeuvre to shouted signals. A battleship is a complex organisation but "It's the Navy" vividly demonstrates why there is no confusion in that com- plexity and why the Royal Australian Navy is such an efficient arm of our fighting strength.