Independent Exhibitors Film Bulletin (Sep 1934 - Aug 1935)

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TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 1934 I E IE THEM... Reviews of New Films By ROLAND BARTON AFFAIRS OF CELLINI With Frodric March, C-jnsto-ce Bennstt, Frank Morgan, Fo-' Wrav 20th Century — 79 Minutes The merits of this picture are all centered in Frank Morgan's superlative comedy playing of the timid and frustrated Duke of Florence. It has been many a day since the screen presented so consumate and delicate a characterization. But after Morgan the film has little to recommend it. In the opening scenes, Benvenuto Cellini is described as a peerless lover and dashing adventurer. However, Fredric March, beset by tawdry material, fails to endow the role with the necessary glamour, and vou will find yourself uninterested in his exploits. The story (calling it that is flattery) is a hodge-podge of incidents concerning the efforts of the Duchess of Florence (Constance Bennett) to make Cellini fall in love with her. The Duke meanwhile, in his inimitably meek way, is trying to entice the stupid young girl, Angela, (Fay Wray) Cellini's model. A failing of the film is the fact that most of Cellini's affairs are talked about, not shown. Morgan's performance will so well please your patrons that they will probably fail to notice the picture's deficiencies. The direction is decidedlv spotty, and one scene in which some sheep "Bah!" an accompaniment to Cellini's wooing of the dumb Angela is an example of low rank high comedy writing. Bah! * CAT'S PAW With Harold Lloyd, Una Msrkel, George Barbier, Alan Dinehart Fox — 100 Minutes Lloyd has deviated from his usual type of material by dropping the fast action, gag idea and substituting a story. The result is only fair. The son of a Christian missionary in China, Lloyd returns to the U. S. for the first time since early childhood. He is as naive as a new-born babe, and a group of politicians select him as their candidate for mayor because they feel certain that he hasn't a chance in the world of being elected. However, he does become mayor and attempts to conduct the city's affairs on the basis of the Chinese philosophy he has been taught. The real punch of the story comes when he determines to rid the town of its gangsters by chopping off their heads — an old Chinese custom. By this threat and a ruse he frightens them into signing confessions of their various crimes. It is rather slow until the climax. George Barbier, as usual, pleases. No directorial distinction. This picture has not the universal appeal that previous Lloyds have had, but should do moderately good business. THE LAST GENTLEMAN With G'-orac Arliss, E-*no May Oliver ' 20th Century — 72 Minutes I patiently sat thru three quarters of this waiting for something to develop. When George Arlfss suddenly decided to die -on me, I thought it was over. Imagine, then, my surprise, when it continued with a rather novel idea; viz, the prospective heirs of the deceased old gentleman are assembled in his home and (surprise!) a talking picture is projected pn a screen showing Arliss reading his will and testament to the astonished listeners. This novelty saves, the film from being a total flop — a narrow escape, I assure you. The attempted portrait of a kindly old gentleman, who conceals his tender heart behind a gruff demeanor and a sharp tongue, falls flat, because it is done so skimpily. Arliss and Edna May Oliver are good, of course. Direction is inadequate. If UnUed Art:s'.s demands a high price, for . this: one. ask them how little time and money 20 til .Century spent on "its production. It rswst have been very, very little. Class hou3es will be mildly satisfied, but it will be we^k in ether places. DAMES With Joan Blondell, Dick Powell, Ruby K=cler, Guy Kibbec, Hugh Herbert, Zasu I Warner Bros. — 90 Minutes Good comedy in the first one-third, and two grand songs, as well as some of the most striking dance numbers I have ever seen, in the last third, make this Warner musical worthwhile. The story thread is too worn to berr repeating, but suffice it to say that Hugh Herbert (especially), Guy Kibbee and Zasu Pitts carry it along well with their comical antic-. After the sag in the middle, Powell and Keeler sing "I Only Have Eyes For You" to the accompaniment of some e'ever business; Blondell and girls do "The G:rl at the Ironing Board," also done neatly; then, those dance ensembles that are made so startling by the use of an intelligent camera. Instead of boring, the^e numbers hold one engrossed with their amazing patterns and movements. I do not know whethei Busby Berkeley or director Ray E irigh't is responsible for the camera's tricks, but whoever is, he deserves some plaudits. Powell and Blondell are pleasing. Buby Keeler's new coiffure may be distinctive, but it disconcerted me no end. This picture should do ace business everywhere. SHOWMAN'S TIPS REMEMBER: People must be brought into your theatre. GO OUT AND GET 'EM! Bright lights draw people. It is a wise investment to use the largest lamps possible on your marquee and front. Your theatre should not be just one of the building on the street — it should be the most brightly illuminated property in the neighborhood. Spend a few more dollars weekly on light — it will pay you substantial dividends. * * * * White space is one of the most imnortant requisities of attractive advertising layout. In preparing your programs or circulars, do not crowd the entire space with copy or cuts; leave enough blank to set off the copy which you feel is essential to sell the reader. Watch your trailers closely. Very often there are scenes in a talking trailer that will drive business away from a picture. Have your operator eliminate such scenes, then replace them before returning the trailer. In some cases you will be better off ordering the "still" trailer instead of the one with actual scenes, if those scenes are not of the type your audiences like. We have proven our right to your confidence NEW JERSEY MESSENGER SERVICE 250 N. JUNIPER ST. PH1LA. GEI\FRAL release record (Eastern Penna., S. New Jersey, Del.) COLUMBIA Title Star Release Date Minutes Defense Rests, The J~ck Holt — Jean Arthur Aug. 11 70 Beyond the Law Tim McCoy Aug. 20 58 Blind Date Ann Sothern — Neil Hamilton Aug. 31 75 Lady is Willing Leslie Howard Aug. 29 76 FOX World Moves On, The Mcdeleine Carroll — Franchot Tone Aug. 4 92 Pursued Victor Jory — Rosemary Ames Aug. 10 Cat's Paw. The Harold Lloyd — Una Merkel Aug. 16 100 Servants' Entrance Janet Gaynor — Lew Ayres Aug. 31 84 METRO-GOLDWYN-MAYER Straight is the Way Eranchot Tone — May Robson Aug. 10 59 Treasure Island Wallace Beery — Jackie Cooper — Lionel Barrymore Aug. 12 110 Hideout Robert Montgomery — Maureen O'Sullivan Aug. 28 82 Chained Joan Crawford — Clark Gable Aug. 30 PARAMOUNT Ladies Should Listen Cleopatra 4 60 Bing Crosby — Miriam Hopkins Aug. 11 85 Claudette Colbert — Warren William Aug. 17 101 Lee Tracy — Helen Mack Aug. 29 65 Gary Cooper — Carole Lombard — Shirley Tamp'e Aug. 31 83 RKO Their Big Moment Zasu Pitts — S!im Summerville A'ig. 12 6S Hat, Coat and Glove Ricardo Cortex Aug. 14 64 Down to Their Last Yacht Sydney Fox — Sidney Blackmer Aug. 25 Bachelor Bait Stuart Erwin — Pert Kelton , Sept. 12 _ 74 UNITED ARTISTS Last Gentleman/ The George Arliss — Edna May Oliver Aug. 9 72 UNIVERSAL One More River Diana Wynyard — Colin Clive Aug. 13 90 Romance in the Roin ..loger Pryor — Heothef Angel Aug. 21 72 WARNER BROS. FIRST NATIONAL Friends of Mr. Sweeney Charlie Ruggles — Ann Dvorak Aug. 10 68 Side Streets Aline MocMahon — Ann Dvorak Aug. 15 63 Housewife A Bette Davis — George Brent — Ann Dvorak Aug. 17 69 Dames Dick Powell — Ruby Keeler — Joan Blondell Guy Kibbee Aug. 25 90 Dragon Murder Case Warren William — Lyle Talbot Sept. 1 65 Desirable '. 'ean Muir — George Brent Sept. 7 69 British Agent '.eslie Howard — Kay Francis Sept. 15 75 Printer! by QUALITY PRINT SHOP, Philadelphia