The Film Daily (1939)

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V*V DAILY Thursday, May 11, 19 :< .V REVIEWS Of TH€ n€UJ flLfllS £ -" "Big Town Czar" with Barton MacLane, Tom Brown Universal 66 Mins. MINOR TRIUMPH FOR ED SULLIVAN AS AUTHOR, ACTOR AND MORALIST IN NICE GANGSTER FILM. Fairly interesting gangster drama that puts the emphasis on the moral at the close, showing that you cannot beat the law or the vengeance of a rival gang. Ed Sullivan contributed the story, and himself appears in it, along with generous plugs of his newspaper column. The story is interestingly told, with a good deal of sentimentality concerning the gangster-hero's old Irish father and mother who still live in an East side tenement while their gangster son is rolling in wealth, but they are still honest and proud. Barton MacLane plays the part, and turns in a fine job. Tom Brown is his kid brother who is carried away by the easy money that his big brother is collecting, and insists on leaving college and joining up with the gang. MacLane realizes that the youngster is getting in deeper and deeper, and it is too late to save him when the rival gang pays a call to avenge a double-cross pulled by the youngster on a prize fight frame-up. The kid is killed in the gun duel, and later MacLane avenges his death and is headed for the electric chair as the picture closes with Ed Sullivan sitting at his bedside in a prison hospital saying to him in a nice motherly sort of way something to the effect that he will be wishing him luck on his hot-seat day. All nice sentiment, and a gentle warning to the kids with ideas about the glamour of the gangster life that it doesn't pay. Ed Sullivan is a novelty treat as a gentle moralist, but his part called for a priest's robes instead of a Broadway columnist's smart clothes. The close-up of his column made a great flash ad for his paper. Selling angle: crime does not pay. CAST: Barton MacLane, Tom Brown, Eve Arden, Ed Sullivan, Jack LaRue, Frank Jenks, Walter Woolf King, Oscar O'Shea, Esther Dale, Horace MacMahon. CREDITS: Producer, Ken Goldsmith; Director, Arthur Lubin; Author, Ed Sullivan; Screenplay, Edmund L. Hartmann; Cameraman, Elwood Bredell. DIRECTION, Good. PHOTOGRAPHY, Okay. Hearing May 25-26 on Bill To Repeal Fight Pix Ban Washington Bureau of THE FILM DAILY Washington — The Senate Interstate Commerce Committee will hold hearings on May 25 and 26 on a bill introduced by Senator Barbour of New Jersey to repeal the ban of interstate transportation of fight films. Barbour declares witnesses will include Jack Dempsey, Jim Jeffries, Col. J. Reed Kilpatrick, president of Madison Square Garden, and other sports figures. The sponsor states that fight films are being "bootlegged" across state borders. Allied Pix Signs With SAG Contract of Allied Pictures, Inc., of Philadelphia, has been delivered at the SAG New York office. Company produces industrial films. * F0R6IGI) * "Escape from Yesterday" with Annabella, Jean Gabin J. H. Hoffberg 88 Mins. DIRECTION OF DUVIVIER MAKES THIS FRENCH FILM NOTABLE IN DRAMA Of FOREIGN LEGION. One of the more notable of the French productions, principally because of the fine directorial hand of Ju lien Duvivier, who takes a commonplace story of the Foreign Legion, and by his handling of mood, tempo and atmosphere, builds over an hour of entertainment that should please the masses and the cognoscenti alike. Jean Gabin is the central figure, who has murdered a man in France, and escapes to join the Spanish Foreign Legion. The story interest is divided between the love of Gabin for Annabella, who plays the part of an Arabian dancing girl whom he marries, and the hounding of a fellow-soldier who is really a member of the secret police trailing the man wanted for murder. The suspense comes mainly on the clever attempts of the sleuth to trap the fugitive into admitting his guilt. The big action punch comes in the final sequences, when the two mortal enemies are the last survivors of a desert outpost which the Riff soldiers besiege and kill to the last man before the relief troops arrive. The commandant is instrumental before he dies in making the detective-soldier realize that this brave Legionnaire has more than expiated his crime back home by his heroism. Annabeila will scarcely be recognized in her dark Oriental makeup. She is of little importance in the story, for the drama is carried competently by Gabin as the hunted man and by Robert Le Vigan as the pursuer. The English titles make it easy to follow the plot. CAST: Annabella, Jean Gabin, Robert Le Vigan, Pierre Renoir, Margo Lion, Reine Paulet, Vivian Romance, Aimus, Charles Granval, Gaston Modot, Castro Blanco. CREDITS: Director, Julien Duvivier; Author, Charles Spaak, Julien Duvivier; Screenplay, same. DIRECTION, Excellent. PHOTOGRAPHY, Good. "Skicka Hem N:7" (Send Home No. 7) with Dagmar Ebbesen, Nils Lundell Scandinavian Talking Pictures 84 Mins. FAIRLY AMUSING COMEDY WILL BE BETTER APPRECIATED BY SWEDISHSPEAKING AUDIENCES. Swedish-speaking audiences will get a great deal more amusement from this new release than people trying to solve the subtle Scandinavian type of humor from the English titles. The cast is good and the technical aspects of the film are up to par. Story concerns the part-time jobs held by a girl until she gets a full-time job as a man's wife. Combination of comedy and romance is neatly mixed to get good results. CAST: Dagmar Ebbesen, Nils Lundell, Rut Holm, Birgit Rosengren, Bengt Djurberg, Stig Jarrel, Nils Wahlbom, Carl Barcklind, Brita Estelle. CREDITS: Europa Film Production; Direc "Three Waltzes" with Yvonne Printemps, Pierre Fresnay Vedis Films 85 Mins. DULL DANCE OF LIFE INVOLVING THREE GENERATIONS HAS SWELL STRAUSS TUNES. Here is a quaint piece that covers three generations, with the two principals playing grandma, mother and daughter, and grandpa, daddy and son respectively. Yvonne Printemps as a ballet dancer in the days of Louis Napoleon says goodbye to her prince as he marches away to join his Hussar regiment. Then when Paris is enjoying the naughtv can-can the ballet dancer's daughter passes up the gay boulevardier who is the son of the noble who wore the Hussar's uniform. Then down to the present day and the granddaughter heroine is a movie star and the hero grandson an insurance agent. The direction and acting is on a par with the uninspired treatment. Yvonne Printemps flutters around with a horde of back-stage Johnnies chasing her wherever she goes and the opening night gala audiences of three generations going simply mad over her voice that sounds squeaky at times. Pierre Fresnay as the triple threat hero gives a poor performance. The Strauss music, however, is swell. CAST: Yvonne Printemps, Pierre Fresnay, Henri Guisol, Boucot, Jean Perier, France Ellys, Jeanne Helbling, Maxulian, Maurice ! Schutz, Guillaume de Saxe, Buguet, Yolanda, Colette Regis, Pierre Stephen, Emii Roques, Vattier. CREDITS: Director, Ludwig Berger; From operetta by Leopold Marchand and Alberr Willemetz; Screenplay, same; Music, Johann Strauss, and Son; and Oscar Straus; Cameraman, Schufftan. DIRECTION, Poor. PHOTOGRAPHY, Good. "II Corsaro Nero" (The Black Pirate) with Ciro Verrati, Nerio Barnardi Esperia Films 95 Mins. ACTIONFUL PIRATE YARN LAVISHLY PRODUCED IS DIVERTING ENTERTAINMENT. Crammed to the hilt with action and given a lavish production standard, this new film should please Italian audiences. The picture possibly is more ambitious than the talents of the cast warrant, and certain technical aspects are below par, but all in all it will prove to be diverting entertainment. Ciro Verrati, fencing champion, is good as the soldier who turns pirate to avenge his honor, and Nerio Barnardi makes a good villain, Silvana Jachino is decorative as the female attraction. Highlights of the picture are provided in the fight sequences. CAST: Ciro Verrati, Silvana Jachino, Nerio Barnardi, Ada Biagini, Cesco Baseggio, C. Conti, Piero Carnabucci, Guido Celano, Checco Durante, Olinto Cristina. CREDITS: Ones Production; Director, Amelto Palmeri. Presented at the Cine Roma Theater with Italian dialogue and no English titles. DIRECTION, Fair. PHOTOGRAPHY Fair. tor, Gideon Wahlberg. Presented at the 48th St. Theater with Swedish dialogue and English titles. DIRECTION, Good. PHOTOGRAPHY, Good. i SERIAL "Mandrake the Magician^(First Episode) Columbia 20 mi Actionful Serial Has Punch Modeled from the well-kno^ character in the comedy sectio; the newest serial from Columl promises to hold the attention of t blood and thunder fans from beg rung to end. It runs in 12 episod Warren Hull is personable in t| title role and he is supported by adequate cast which includes Do Weston, Dick Curtis and Al Kikun j Sam Nelson and Norman Demi' directed. Mandrake is allied withi famous inventor who has perfect a new death-dealing machine wh: is sought by a ruthless killer a his gang. Trouble and more troub with action and more action, sts1 the serial off with a bang and eveindication points to a fast movi story right to the finish. * SHORTS * "Aladdin and His Wonderful Lam (Popeye the Sailor) Paramount 22 mi Classy Fun This is a special in Technicol featuring Popeye and Olive Oyl. Pc eye is a poor chap in Bagdad in cient times, and Olive is a prince A magician induces Popeye to go ir a cave and steal the Aladdin Lai for him, but Popeye soon learns the trick played on him, and ags gets the lamp in his possession. T genii of the lamp appears when rubs it, and this begins a series exciting adventures, with Pope making wishes, and the genii can ing out the orders. In this way ti hero becomes a prince, meets t princess, loses her to the magici who temporarily gets hold of t magic lamp, but in the finale Pope'^ triumphs again and wins the princt | for keeps. Produced by Max Fleisc er. Stars at the Tropical Ice Garde (Screen Snapshots) Columbia 10 mi Fine Novelty Novelty presentation of Hoi wood stars, who are presented they appear at the Tropical ] Gardens in Westwood Hills ne Hollywood. Here are seen the sts who are just learning to skate, a those who are experts. There considerable comedy injected wi the antics of those who are tyros the steel blades. Celebs are the by the dozen, and the novelty this setting should make the r very welcome to the fans.