Marx Brothers will no longer be the "poison ivy kids"
HOLLYWOOD (Special). — The Marx Brothers, who have been known as "the poison ivy kids" for some years now in the movie business, are making a comeback.
NOBODY ever denied that their comedy routines were classics. They were, and still are, in the opinion of many, among the top comedians of all time. But people stopped going to see their pictures. The Marx Brothers ran out of routines. "If you see one Marx Brothers' picture," the saying went, "you've seen them all." Every Marx Brothers com- edy routine was polished to perfection in vaudeville long before they entered the movies. Until they used up their stock of routines, the public was happy. In their new picture, "Love Happy" the Marx Brothers have tossed out all their old routines. They are treated as human beings, not caricatures. Responsible is a young direc- tor named David Miller. "To make 'Love Happy' a success," says Miller, "we had to ask the Marx Brothers to do things they had never done before. We had to have them carry the story, when before there had never been much of a story anyway. 'For instance, they are great mimes. But who would ever have imagined the old Chico and Harpo in a telephone conversa- tion ? Harpo doesn't speak. But we had to have a telephone con- versation between them in this picture because the situation re- quired it. How? We made Chico a mind reader." * * * LONDON (Special). — Here, according to David Henley, director and talent scout of the Rank organi- sation, are the 10 essential quali- ties for any inspiring film star: 1. Acting is acting and film work needs stage training, act- ing ability is wasted without training.
2. Don't worry about your per- sonality, it will take care of it self; but don't model it on an established star. 3. Good deportment is essen- tial, never stop thinking about the way you walk—until graceful movement becomes a habit. 4. A patient temperament allied with concentration. Re- takes of short scenes call for concentration quite unknown in the theatre. 5. Adaptability, for instance, the ability to play the part of a Swedish count one day and a beachcomber the next. 6. Discipline and training in speech. 7. Height for men, 6ft.; for women 5ft. 5in. These heights help with casting, but if you have ability, height is secondary. 8. Regular facial structure. 9. A GOOD FIGURE! 10. Wide-set eyes, and for women, a small nose. But Henley is first to admit: 'These qualities are not in order of importance, and there is no hard and fast formula for suc- cess. Jean Simmons, with no stage experience, upset my best theories by winning the Venice festival award for the best per- formance of the year as "Ophelia" in "Hamlet." * * * BIGGEST box-office win- ner in Britain in 1948 was the American film — "The Best Years of Our Lives." Where Britain's own films are concerned, "Spring in Park Lane," starring Anna Neagle and Michael Wilding, was the most successful. Reason for the success of "Spring in Park Lane," which some critics thought was too airy-fairy, was the very reason that it was airy fairy. The average British film-goer loved it. It was escapism, and it transported the thoughts of millions from queues, austerity, and what- not to a fantastic pre-war era where nice moneyed people still lived in Park Lane. Chief runners-up in order of popularity were "My Brother Jonathan," "Road to Rio," "Oli- ver Twist," and "Red Shoes."
Other most popular films, in order of release dates, were "It Always Rains on Sunday," "Mi- randa," "An Ideal Husband,'" "Naked City," "Green Dolphin Street," "Forever Amber," "Life With Father," "The Weaker Sex," "The Fallen Idol," and "The Winslow Boy." Most artistic film of the year from the exhibitors' viewpoint was "Hamlet" and the best comedy, "Sitting Pretty."