Independent Exhibitors Film Bulletin (Sep 1934 - Aug 1935)

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8 INDEPENDENT EXHIBITORS =F I L M BULLETIN WHAT THE CRITICS SAY about the current films . . . Excerpts of newspaper and magazine reviews MARK OF THE VAMPIRE Metro-Goldwyn-Maytr With Lionel Barrymore Baltimore Sun "... . M-G-M seems to have started the film as one thing and ended it as another. Until the last quarter hour it is a creepy thriller; then the spectator is calmly informed that it was all a masquerade — a conventional detective mystery masked as a ghost story. The result is a disappointing anti-climax. . . . Afraid or unwilling to follow their grisly theme to its logical conclusion. . . . The first part resembles, in general, some of the ideas and atmosphere of parts of 'Dracula'." New York Herald-Tribune ". . . . Has its full share of screams and strangled sobs, crawling things, napping bats, cobwebs aslant the moor and wide-eyed corpses. ... As a blood curdler 'Mark of the Vampire' would be a happier essay in entertainment if it were spared the comic relief which directors feel must alternate with dramatic suspense in every chronicle of horrors. . . . The degree to which directors depend upon such dreary and antique formulae is one reason why the general run of program films continue as miracies of triteness." New York Times ". . . Manages, through use of every device seen in 'Dracula' and one or two besides, to lay a sound foundation for childish nightmares. Even the adults in the audience may feel a bit skittery at the sight of two or three vampires, a bevy of bats, a herd of spiders, a drove of rodents and a cluster or two of cobwebs, not forgetting the swarm of fog. . . . Like most god ghost stories, it's a lot of fun, even if you don't believe a word of it." G-MEN Warner Bros. With James Cagney New York World-Telegram ". . . Rapid, explosive action. ... A swell show. ... A skillful, thrilling and exciting blend of fact and fiction. ... As exciting as any of the old underworld films. . . . Cagney's most satisfactory performance. . . . 'G-Men' is recommended as good, solid, arresting entertainment of its kind." New York Times ". . . Contains several episodes (easily identified wiht the actual occurrences in the war on crime) which have scarcely been equalled for excitement and dramatic vigor since 'The Public Enemy' and 'Little Caesar'. . . . Cagney's performance is the most effective he has given in a long time. . . . The heaviest dose of gunplay that Hollywood has unloosed in recent months." New York Herald-Tribune ". . . Remarkable fidelity to the government's war on organized crime. . . . Utilizes to the utmost, the cinema's cunning devices for melodramatic effect. . . . Cagney . . . magnificent. ... As he has a habit of doing, Mr. Cagney not only dominates the offering from beginning to end, but leavens its faltering sequences with either telling comedy or credible love making. . . . A tremendously gripping screen offering, as well as a signal commemoration of some of the most valiant deeds of our day." Philadelphia Record ". . . Can be rated along with 'I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang' as a blood pressureraiser. . . . Rip-roaring melodrama. ... In 'G-Men,' Cagney has quit defying the law. With a quick leap across the fence, he not only defends it, but proves that he can be more attractive than ever on the right side. . . . The most exciting and noisiest cops and robbers chase in recent films." BLACK FURY First National With Paul Muni New York Times ". . . Magnificently performed by Paul Muni. . . . A stirring tale of industrial war in the coal fields. . . . Achieves a melodramatic vigor and an air of cumulative power which is rare in the Hollywood cinema. . . . By all odds, 'Black Fury' is the most notable American experiment in social drama since 'Our Daily Bread'." Philadelphia Ledger ". . . Slashing melodrama. . . . An action picture, brawly and boisterous in its story and thrilling in its climax. . . . The social implications behind the film are perhaps wisely sidestepped. It is a loud and animated story of strikes and strike-breakers, 'scabs,' mine police, riots and evictions, but it carefully dodges any commitments on the capital versus labor argument." Philadelphia Record ". . . Of the best. ... As full of action as an early cowboy and Indian classic. . . . Muni's performance is one of the most carefully conceived this capable actor has yet delivered. . . . Powerful film stuff. . . . Compelling." FOUR HOURS TO KILL Paramount With Richard Barthelmess Philadelphia Ledger ". . . While the sob sisters of the screen may write that Richard Barthelmess has a poor film for his comeback in 'Four Hours to Kill,' the trouble seems to be with Barhtelmess and not the picture. Playing the gangster role in this film of cross-currents of drama in a theatre lounge, the star gives a passable imitation of a wooden Indian. . . . Dallies with the risque." Philadelphia Record ". . . Situations and characters move with swift melodramatic smoothness through a film that achieves a quality of authentic excitement. . . . A 'Grand Hotel' in miniature. . . . Characters are well-drawn, dialogue is crisp and vigorous and the pace is rapid. . . . Barthelmess turns in one of his most skillful performmances in years." New York Times "... A gripping, although extremely theatrical, melodrama with a neatly dovetailed plot, a uniformly excellent cast and well-paced direction. . . . Richard Barthelmess contributes what is probably one of his finest performances." THE PHANTOM FIEND Olympic With Ivor Novello, Elizabeth Allan New York World-Telegram ". . . If the object of the mystery thriller film is to keep the spectator guessing and to send the chills running up and down his spine, then let's throw a laurel wreath in the direction of 'The Phantom Fiend'. . . . Good enough to stand on its own anywhere. . . . Piles thrill upon thrill in such rapid fire fashion that one seldom has time to relax. . . . Skillful blending of humor and nerve-wracking melodrama." New York Herald-Tribune ". . . The film picks up speed, turning from the careful development of sombre mood and shadowy background to rapid action, involving escape from the police and a series of incidents of mounting dramatic importance culminating at the point where the heroine finally falls into the hands of the murderer." New York Times ". . . For sheer, cold-blooded, suspenseful and spine-chilling melodrama, nothing like it has been seen since the German picture 'M'. . . . The climax is as surprising as it is grisly. . . . Ivor Novello contributes a gripping performance . . . Elizabeth Allan . . . splendid. . . . One word of warning: leave the youngsters and impressionables at home." CEO. WHITE S SCANDALS Fox With James Dunn, Alice Faye New York Herald-Tribune ". . . Cleaves closely to the pattern established by the first film version of the revue. . . . An elaborate and discursive carnival, weighted down by an oft-told backstage narrative. . . . A leisurely and halting screen musical, belying the magic of its name." ". . . . Spiritless. . . . An assortment of familiar vaudevilles held together by a heavily sentimental story of backstage life. . . . Parts of the work are entertaining, particularly a sequence in which Cliff Edwards dreams himself into the roles of the great lovers of the past, but the net impression is one of tedium." Philadelphia Ledger ". . . Director White has not bothered much about the plot, for which one can't blame him. It isn't much of a plot. . . . Has a good supply of humorous situations. . . . Eleanor Powell's tap dance is the feature individual act." THE NUT FARM Monogram With Wallace Ford New York Times ". . . 'The Nut Farm' boasts the presence of Wallace Ford, who topped its cast in the stage version. There is not much else for it to boast about. . . . Give the picture credit for a few comic moments. . . . But bow your head for Monogram's mistake in exhuming so old a plot."