Film Curb (May 20, 1939)

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I 6 May 20, 1939 ROSE OF WASHING!ON SQUARE 20th Century-Fox. Directed by Gregory Ratoff. Produced by Nunnally Johnson. Screenplay by Nunnally Johnson. Cast in- cludes Alice Faye, Tyrone Power, A1 Jolson, William Frawley, Joyce Compton. Running time 85 min. A very good human-interest story in which there are some very well timed musical in- terludes. These songs are, for the most, famous musical scores of the past. The man who made some of these songs famous sings them in the picture, A1 Jolson. A singing waiter, A1 Jolson, believes he has a very good chance of breaking into big time vaudeville with Alice Faye as his partner. Miss Faye does not like the way things have been going as far as she is con- cerned. So she decides to take a rest in the country. While she is away, Jolson man- ages to get the chance for which he had been waiting. He takes part in an amateur show, which has in its audience some well known Broadway producers. They recognize Jolson’s ability and sign him as a star in a Broadway musical. During this time Miss Faye meets and falls in love with Tyrone Power, a petty gambler. Jolson gives a party on the opening night of his show, at which Miss Faye is induced to sing. Her singing is such that Jolson’s agent is much impressed. Power sees a chance to make some much needed money so he acts as Miss Faye’s agent. He receives $2,500 as an ad- vance on Miss Faye’s earnings. With this money he pays off a debt to another gam- bler. Jolson pleads with Miss Faye to give Power up; she refuses and finally marries him, after which she becomes a star. Power then proceeds to get into more trouble by selling, without authority, some furniture which belongs to an absent friend. For this he is threatened with arrest, and in order to obtain money, joins up with a gang of bond crooks. He is finally arrested and Jol- son posts $50,000 for his bail. The thought of going to prison is too much for Power and he decides to run away. While Miss Faye is singing a number one night he sneaks into the theatre and listens. The song which she sings, “My Man,” causes him to realize his mistake. He gives himself up. When he is sent away for a five-year term, Miss Faye promises to wait for him. BOY’S REFORMATORY Monogram. Directed by Howard Brether- ton. Produced by Lindsley Parsons. Screen- play by Ray Trampe and Wellyn Totman. Cast includes Frankie Darro, Grant Withers, Frank Coghlan, Jr., Lillian Elliott. Run- ning time 61 min. A very interesting melodrama in which there is a great deal of emotion aroused by the actions of Frankie Darro, who would rather go to prison than make his foster mother unhappy. A believable type of story which should do well. Frankie Darro, a hard-working orphan lad, is extremely grateful to Miss Elliott who had acted as his mother This gratefulness, however, did not exist in the mind of Miss Elliott’s own son (Frank Coghlan, Jr.). This weak charactered boy enjoys the atmosphere of the poolrooms. Finally he and some of his law-breaking friends commit a robbery. These young criminals are chased by the police and Coghlan, a driver of the escape car, manages to get awa 3 ^ with the loot. He arrives home in high excitement and Darro, wishing to save Miss Elliott from disgrace, drives away with the carful of loot. While he is driving along looking for a place to abandon the car and its contents the police spot him. He is captured after a chase and taken to jail. When he refuses to say any- thing about the matter he is sent to a re- formatory. Grant Withers, reformatory physician, takes a liking to Darro and makes him his assistant. Then Darro receives quite a shock when he finds out that Coghlan has been sent to the same reformatory. Darro starts to berate Coghlan for not going straight when he had the chance, but agrees to help him after he hears the truth. Cogh- lan tells Darro that he had been framed by Ben Welden, head of a criminal ring which employed boys to do certain shady jobs for them. One of the followers of Welden tells Darro he should escape and trail Welden. Darro agrees to do this and they finally arrive at Welden’s hide-out. When they get there this stooge of the ring leader tells him that Darro is not really one of the gang. Welden then threatens to kill Darro, but his life is saved by the timely arrival of Withers, whom Darro had noti- fied. The gang is captured and Darro is freed of all suspicion. Coghlan is put on probation and Miss Elliott has both her boys once more. TORCHY RUNS FOR MAYOR Warner Brothers. Directed by Ray Mc- Carey. Produced bj r Bryan Foy. Screenplay by Eiarle Snell. Cast includes Glenda Far- rell, Barton MacLane, Charles Richman, John Miljan, Irving Bacon. Running time 59 min. A program comedy-melodrama. This pic- ture contains fast action, a certain amount of romance and suspense, and some comedy. Should do well where other pictures in this series were liked. Glenda Farrell, a newspaper reporter, steals a notebook in which she finds evi- dence linking the Mayor (Charles Richman) of the town with the lawlessness which pre- vailed throughout the locality. She also learns the Mayor and a certain doctor (John Miljan) were working together; in fact, she stole the notebook from the latter. When she takes the story to the editor of the paper on which she works he refuses to print the story. He fears an expose of this kind would ruin his business. Miss Farrell then goes to other papers but none of them will consent to print her information. Fin- ally the editor of a small newspaper agrees to publish her story. Miljan’s men pay a visit on this editor (Irving Bacon) and de- mand that he turn the notebook over to them. Bacon tells them he does not have the book and they beat him into unconscious- ness. Milian im'ects a poison into Bacon and he dies. Miss Farrell then proceeds to work on the case and as a jest her fiance (Barton MacLane). a police inspector, offers her name for Mayor. MacLane is greatly sur- prised when she accents. Miljan then kid- naps Miss Farrell and plans to kill her, but MacLane rescues t^er and rounds up the gang. Barton MacT.ane is even more sur- prised when Miss Farrell is elected Mayor. BIG TOWN CZAR Universal. Directed by Arthur Lubin. Produced by Ken Goldsmith. Screenplay by Edmund Hartmann. Cast includes Barton MacLane. Tom Brown, Eve Arden. Jack LaRue, Frank Jenks. Running time 66 min. A program gangster melodrama, in which the moral behind the story is that crime does not pay. There is a mildly romantic angle. When Barton MacLane, a big-time rack- eteer, visits his mother he does not find a very warm welcome. For due to his criminal ac- tivities she does not want anything to do with him. When he is ordered to leave the house by his mother MacLane becomes ex- ceedingly unhappy. Flis mother had one hope to console her; she believed her younger son (Tom Brown) would be alto- gether different from MacLane. After leav- ing college he would have a chance to lead a respectable life. MacLane pays his brother a visit at the college; when he leaves Brown follows him and tells him he also wants to be a racketeer. Try as he will, MacLane cannot change the boy’s mind; he finally agrees to teach him the ways of a criminal. But as it turns out Brown cannot be con- trolled. He soon finds out all his brother can tell him and in a short time outdoes MacLane as a gangster. Brown double- crosses a rival racketeer (Jack LaRue) and the latter kills him. MacLane becomes so frightened he leaves town, but not for long. For one of his former henchmen (Frank Jenks) tricks him into believing his former sweetheart (Eve Arden) had been kid- napped. This news brings MacLane back in a hurry. Soon after his return he kills LaRue in a gunfight, in which he himself is shot. THE ROOKIE COP RKO Radio. Directed by David Howard. Produced by Bert Gilroy. Screenplay by Jo Pagano. Cast includes Tim Holt, Vir- ginia Weidler, Janet Shaw and Ace (a po- lice dog). Running time 60 min. A very interesting crook melodrama. The story contains human interest, an interesting romance and a good deal of excitement. The intelligence of Ace, the police dog, contributes to the attention holding quality of the picture. The story centers around the strong faith which a rookie policeman has in his dog. He has trained this dog with infinite care and believes the animal would be a valuable asset to the police force, especially in the tracing of criminals by their scent. When the young policeman confronts his chief with the idea, this officer makes it plainly known that he thinks very little of the scheme. In fact he tells the young man that his idea is crazy. Some time later the police chief is forced to change his opinion about the dog and admit to its owner the great value of the animal in tracing crim- inals. The incident which brings about this change is one in which the owner of the faithful canine becomes a hero. The dog is the means of capturing a band of crim- inals and rescuing the heroine. With production scheduled to start on Tune 1, David O. Selznick has signed William Wyler to direct “Intermezzo,” the first pro- duction on his 1939-1940 schedule. Wyler is the director of the current international success, “Wuthering Heights,” and previously staged “Dodsworth,” “Dead End” and “Jeze- bel.” Leslie Howard will head the cast of “Intermezzo,” and will also act as associate producer on the picture. Title of the fourth and final Tito Guizar starring picture in Spanish made by Dario Productions for Paramount release has been set at “Cuando Canta La Ley.” Tana and Martin Garralaga are the featured members of the cast of this picture which is a cowboy musical. The longest continuous dialogue in Walter Wanger’s “Winter Carnival” script was spoken by Alan Baldwin, who is making his screen debut in this picture, for U.A. release. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer has acquired mo- tion picture rights to the short story, “The Happiest Man on Earth,” by Albert Maltz. Blond Lucille Ball has been awarded her biggest screen part to date at RKO Radio— the top role in “The Night of January 16.” one of the major productions on this studio’s 1939-40 program.