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Sunday, March 15, 1931
(Continued from Preceding Page)
Universal Time, 20 mins.
Good Goof Comic An adaptation of the Amos and
\iulv gag of two partners in the trucking business. Raymond Hatton and Hal Roach are the comics.
\ gang leader sends them with a load of bootleg stolen fronim a rival to be delivered at his hideaway where the gang are disguised as old ladies in a fake sanitarium. The comedy consists in the fact that the two dumb truckmen handle dynamite bombs and guns, thinking they are harmless merchandise, taking orders for the rival gunmen who are both trying to get rid of them. This creates a nice suspense element, with the danger to the boobs tied up to the gags, which carry some good laughs.
Vitaphone 4285 Time, 9 mins.
Fair Musical Number The unusual talents of Esther Howard as a smart comedienne seem wasted in this short, which is made in the familiar musical comedy style. Miss Howard, as a modern mother who keeps daughter's date with a sailor in order to check up on his fidelity, is fine in what little she is allotted to do. Here is a real personality that could be developed with proper handling. Clarence Nordstrom and Jack White, as the two gobs, are satisfactory. Considering shortage of musical features, this should prove acceptable to most audiences.
"A Poem In Stone"
Ideal Pictures Time, 8 mins.
Nothing new in this one, with views\ of various New York skyscrapers taken at all, sorts of (tangents, and camera angles. Many airplane shots are included, giving a panorama of the waterfront and the skyline. Speaker's voice keeps up a running comment on the stone monuments of commerce, intended to carry out the title.
Vitaphone 1115 Time, 11 mins.
Snappy Comedy The rather Shavian theme of developing a tough hotel telephone operator into a finished drawing room ornament is the basis of this comedy. Leslie Barrie, as a titled Englishman, makes a bet with a friend that any girl can acquire finish in a short time under the proper tutelage. He picks on Margie, the phone operator, played amusingly by Sheila Barrett, who is a past master at timing her laughs. Margie, after acquiring all the social graces and winning the bet for her friend goes back to the hotel to ritz her old acquaintances. The blundering work of the new operator gets on her nerves and she throws off her new found polish and returns to the exchange and her easy going, wisecracking ways. Tag line is a wow.
RKO Pathe Time, 21 mins.
A Whoopee comedy, very modern, showing a "happy" honeymoon with the couple trying to keep house in one of these modern service-plan arrangements. The wife's brother camps with them, a sort of domestic racketeer. What with the cramped quarters and other troubles, poor hubby and his wife have a hectic time. Finally in desperation they go out to a restaurant to eat, and find it run by their landlord who has been giving them so much trouble. Edgar Kennedy, Florence Lake and Franklin Pangborn make this a snappy and laughable number, with plenty of snappy gags and nicely paced.
RKO Pathe Time, 8 mins.
Fine Animated An unusually good Aesop Fable, with the mice appearing as collegiates and going through all the campus stuff, the highlights being a football game with the Hippo team. Things look tough for the mice, till they employ some college headwork and solve the problem with strategy and some very ingenious and laughable gags.
Vitaphone Time, 21 mins.
Plenty Laughs Billy Gaxton is the comedian in a fast and hilarious sketch done on strict vaude lines, but it's 'way above average. Billy is trying to run a business on nothing, and his office boy hasn't drawn a salary since he's been there. Their first customer walks in, and Billy goes through a succession of goofy business in trying to make good as a big business man.
"Strange As It Seems*'
Universal Time, 11 mins.
Nice Novelty Nicely diversified reel of oddities, starting with a view of Fred Pohl, German adventurer, starting on a 10,000-mile sea trip in a little collapsible sail boat. A young man without hands, the result of a railroad accident, is seen making a copv of a famous painting, working with nalette and brush as deftly as if he had all his digits. Father Bucci, retired Catholic priest, has made novel decorations on the walls and ceilings of his home, employing thousands of cancelled postage stamps for the unique designs. The famous marksman. Captain Hardy, is seen doing his new art of rifle painting, shoot;ng drawings onto a target as fast as he can pull the trigger. The reel closes with the Hcilywood Baby Svmphonv Orchestra harmonizing under direction of their leader, three-vear-old Billy Bartv.
C Presentations C
By JACK HARROW ER
Roxy Anniversary Bill Replete with Novelties
The Fourth Anniversary presentation program at the Roxy this week is packed with variety, color, novelty and surprises. "Gems from Faust" played by the symphony orchestra is embellished by the Roxy chorus, stationed in the upper boxes and costumed in appropriate gowns. The first stage feature "In a Clock Shop" is a unique novelty. Huge clocks decorated with living "ornaments" tick-tick throughout the action of the scene in which the "ornaments" ccme to life and in turn provide fine entertainment. In this, the Jansley Troupe, a quartette of foot-jugglers, perform several thrilling stunts. In "Doughboys," a melange of old-time war songs are sung by the male chorus dressed as doughboys, the singers stand behind a scrim drop on which wartime motion pictures are projected simultaneously with the rendition of the medley. The finish gives the effect of a mamouth parade marching on Fifth \A venuei (toward the audience. A snappy dance number, "Yankee Doodle Doll," is then danced by the Roxy^ettes, dressed in red, white and blue costumes with effective blue feathered headdresses. "The Roxy Birthday," the final number is divided into three parts. The rotunda of the theater is depicted and as the orchestra plays a stirring march tune, the entire Roxy usher force marches on to the stage, salutes the audience and returns to the auditorium. It is done well and is effective. Then follows a miniature presentation of a Roxy presentation by Tony Sarg's Marionettes. The toy orchestra rises on a miniatun platform and a dwarf leader enters in the same fashion a^ does Erne Rapee. The Marionettes give several dancing and singing numberending with a Roxyette ensemble which is gradually enlarged by a motion picture strip until the curtain rises and the Roxeyettes continue the dance to a fast and colorful finish.
RKO Pathe Time, 10 mins.
Sport Thriller Here is a corking Sportlight that whizzes along with a fine demonstration of speed in many fields of sports. Starts with the slowest form, a tortoise race, and keeps increasing the tempo with sprint swimming, track running, horse racing, Olympic bobsledding, the fastest railroad train, speedboat, the fastest automobile, and finally, a flight with the record holder of flying. The reel tops off with an interview with the champs in various fields of speed, such as Paavo Nurmi, Gar Wood, Sir Malcolm Campbell and Captain Frank Hawks. This is a pip offering that looks the last word in speed.
Paramount Stage Show Carries Good Diversity
Paramount's current stage show is called "Oh, Lester," because of the fact that Lester Allen is featured as the comic, but there is no plot or anything but a series of specialty acts to justify the name. Morton Downey is featured before the regular stage show, singing several numbers, with a song at the piano and also an Irish ballad for St. Patrick's Day atmosphere. The stage show opens with a boardwalk set, and the Fred Evans Girls as Pajama Cuties doing a number. Lester Allen is on for a short bit with a monologue that is just on the border line of questionable taste with dhyming lines that suggest something which he never says. Ted Mack has some patter with Allen, and then a girl tapper who is good. A team made up as boy and girl in gingham frocks have a good take-off. Then the girls are back for a bathing beauty number with snappy costumes. The stage goes dark, and their lifebelts are illuminated in colors as thev make patterns. Good novelty, and very effective. Two acrobatic steppers, and then Allen is back for a short skit with several girls, all wanting him to go places but he has his pants off as he was about to go in bathing, and covers up with a blanket and a lot of wisecrack patter. The scene changes to a hotel veranda with the orchestra, and three acrobats feature some nifty slow turns and balance numbers. A boop-adoop girl clowns with Ted Mack, Allen is on for a goofy number singing songs in a funny costume that is all shirt front. The finale is a Spanish number with the JFred Evans Girls and a couple featuring a fast dance. Principals are Mayo and Marie, Ginger Kennedy, The Three Cressos, Floria Vestoff and Jimmy Jay.
"On Your Toes" Pleases As Capitol Stage Show
"On Your Toes," Arthur Knorr production, is the Capitol stage attraction this week. It reveals itself to be entertaining material, ably presented. Bert Frohman is headlined in the affair, which features Wilbur Hall, Lomas Troupe, Dick and Edith Barstow, Bert Faye, Chester Hale Girls and the Capitolians. The Capitol Grand Orchestra furnished a delightful rendition of the overture, "Blue Hour," with Yasha Bunchuk conducting.
Two New Italian Films Open Two new Italian talkers open this week on Broadway. They are "La Vacanza del Diavolo," at the President, and "La Canzone dell'Amore" at the Belmont.