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September 24, 1921
DOUGLAS MacLEAN in
(PARAMOUNT) Melodrama, comedy, farce and romance rolled into five reels of excellent and quick action entertainment in which Douglas MacLean portrays in his usual pleasing manner the character of a regular fellow and a lovable hero. William Seiter directed.
Bank robberies, a train wreck, a stout jail and an equally stout bank vault, together with a very useful and hard kicking mule, are made interesting adjuncts to excellent acting in Douglas MacLean's "Passing Thru," which had its premiere at the Rialto, New York, last week. The five reels go with a dash and the picture will satisfy followers of this popular Paramount star.
As Billy Barton, a bank teller who takes the blame for another man's shortage and who later emerges from a series of thrilling adventures and misadventures unscathed and with the love of the beautiful country girl, the star is at his best.
After being arrested and sentenced for the crime he did not commit, the train which is taking Billy Barton to jail is wrecked and Billy escapes. He falls in love with the daughter of a small town banker. Billy interferes when Farmer Harkins is chastising his mule and is promptly knocked out by the farmer. Billy gets even by taking a job on Harkins' farm and later when Billy's potential father-in-law engages in a quarrel with Farmer Harkins, the useful mule again gets into the game by landing a jackdempsey on the banker, sending him into temporary oblivion.
When the banker recovers he accuses Harkins of having stunned him with a club and the farmer is taken to the stout house. Billy and Mary discover a shred of the banker's coat sticking to the hoof of the useful mule. This evidence frees the farmer and Billy, and upon going to the bank to explain they come upon a gang of robbers looting the vault, after having tied up the banker. Billy is captured by the robbers and locked in the vault. The robbers are chased away by a posse, but attempts to release the hero from the vault are unavailing until the ever useful mule comes to the rescue. He kicks in the wall behind the vault, and Billy crawls out to liberty and his sweetheart. Madge Bellamy is an appealing Mary Spivins, and the other characters are well played.
CARMEL MYERS IN
(VITAGRAPH SERIAL) The first two reels of this new serial serve to introduce the former Universal
Scene from "Breaking Through" (Vttagraph serial ).
CHARLES HUTCHISON IN
A Review by J. C. Jenkins, manager Auditorium theatre, Neligh, Neb.
Pathe screened the first three episodes of this serial for me and I bought it right off the bat for a first run. This serial impresses me as being the best ever made, and if the first three episodes are a fair sample of those to follow I'll dig up the mop. Book this one quick and then tell Old Gen. Debility to go chase himself.
For stunts and thrills Charles Hutchison can start the sweat on William Duncan, George Walsh and Doug. Fairbanks, and the girls will say, "Isn't he handsome."
Warner Oland is my type of a "heavy" and in this serial he makes you think he is the orneriest, pusillanimous whelp this side of Hoboken. And Lucy Fox — I'm 93 years old, but Oh, boy! Oh, boy! give us more like Lucy.
If you want a serial, take it from me, here is a real one.
—J C. J.
star as a serial actress in a novel manner. As Bettina Lowden, Miss Myers is shown indulging in many pranks around a girl's seminary. There is a water carnival with several excellent shots of water polo players diving and swimming beneath the surface. A girl's initiation and the final expulsion of Miss Lowden from school end the first episode.
Then it dips into the story proper, with Wallace MacDonald in the role of a young civil engineer. Willard Warde. who takes the place of the foreman of Bettina's silver mine, and attempts to frustrate the attempts of a rival concern to force her into bankruptcy. The first three episodes promise much. The story is devoid of extremely unlikely situations and each episode ends with a startling climax. Henry Enginger directed it from a story written by G. Graham Baker. Charley Dudley in the role of Blivers, a servant, gives a good characterization, as does Walter Rogers, as Martin.
HOLD YOUR BREATH
(UNIVERSAL-CENTURY) "Hold Your Breath" will cause more than one spectator to hold his breath while Charles Dorcty goes through several hair-raising experiences on the edge of roof in this Century comedy directed by William Watson. The incident of the lions' den has been used before but never more effectively than here. There is an exciting chase on top of a tall office building and the picture has a novel ending.
THE BELL HOP
(VITAGRAPH) Larry Semon's latest maintains the high average set by his former comedies. "The Bell Hop" has to do with life around a fashionable hotel, in which the active Larry as a porter gets into all sorts of trouble trying to save a guest's
fortune. The incident of the ink spilling down over an overheated fat man standing at the clerk's desk furnishes one of the high spots of hilarity. Altogether a fast and thoroughly satisfying short subject that will make a hit with most audiences.
LOTTIE PICKFORD IN
THEY SHALL PAY
(PLAYGOERS-PATHE) A strictly melodramatic story told in terms of action throughout. Not sensational, not spectacular, but a well manufactured film story for program occasions. Lottie Pickford easily the leading figure in the case.
Scene from "They Shall Pay" (Pathe)
Martin Justine, director of "They Shall Pay," has told a story that is not in itself remarkable in terms of action, thus assuring sustained interest from the opening scene to the realistic if not wholly satisfying ending. The impression throughout is that a narrative is being followed with almost historical accuracy, and that impression is a strong point of the production.
Vengeance is the keynote of the play. A daughter whose father's death has been brought about through financial reverses induced by three supposed friends promises to avenge his death. The means by which she accomplishes her aim are in a degree novel and altogether interesting. When she falls in love with the third victim it is felt for a time that the plot will drop to the usual saccherine finish, but a twist at this point saves it.
The performance of the star and supporting players are good. It is the character of the subject matter that maintains the production at program level.
AIN'T LOVE GRAND
Fox presents Al St. John in a new Sunshine Comedy that has scyeral laughproducing episodes that are sure fire. The business in the grocery store, the bargain counter rush, with Al as timer and ringside witness, and the final race between Al's home-made automobile and a tin Lizzie, are all conducive to hearty laughs. Of course Al finally wins the girl and all is happy at the final close-up. This title was used about a year ago by Educational on a Gayety comedy, but this need not detract from St. John's funny two-reelcr. The stories are entirely different.