Inside facts of stage and screen (November 15, 1930)

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TAG'S SOUR INSIDE FACTS OF STAGE AND SCREEN NOV. 15, 1930 BLUE ENVELOPES Blue envelopes indicate that a review has been mailed direct to the maker of the picture, with comment on selection and con- struction of story, direction, casting and co-ordination. FEET FIRST PARAMOUNT-LLOYD PICTURE (Reviewed Nov. 12) Another production by a master showman. Harold Lloyd is in the final analysis an executive with a mature comedy sense. His ability to select gag men and construction- ists who know sure-fire is faultless. Coordination in conference over comedy values in the Harold Lloyd outfit must be a beautiful thing to witness. The Lloyd management of production points the way to an ex- act method of bringing about im- provement in general. Comedy producers should study the Lloyd technique. They could cash in on it. Planting for laughs, contrast in characterization, casting, in fact every department of comedy pro- duction in the Lloyd opus reflect' close and careful scrutiny of all the elements of sure-fire. The writers, of course dig into the dusty tomb- for gags and business, but consid- ering that there is a known limit to the source of comedy material, they show wisdom and astuteness. Little need be said in praise of the Lloyd product. All has been said that can be said. A peer among showmen, an executive, a comedian. WAY FOR A SAILOR MGM FEATURE (Reviewed Loew’s State, Nov. 7) PRODUCER’S VIEWPOINT It’s in the BLUE ENVELOPE mailed direct. EXHIBITOR’S VIEWPOINT Wallace Beery and Leila Hyams give this picture all of its entertain- ment value. Jack Gilbert and Jim Tully detract. Curiosity regarding Jack Gilbert’s possible return to for- mer popularity should be played up strongly in the billing and publicity. Jim Tully as the author of “Jarne- gan” and now as an actor depicting his former role in life will be effec- tive copy for the intellectuals. The title offers minimum attraction. Question value low." Story value is nil as the basic thought is not well sustained. Direct exploitation value lies in the names and the interest over Gilbert and Tully, and the Laughs. Adequate exploitation should build this to expectations, provided you don’t expect too much. CAST: Giving Jack Gilbert shorter lines, strictly romantic leads, heavy drama and the elimination of all material that hints of humor is the only program that will put this chap back into favor. Jack has a million dollar personality and the femmes are still nuts about him. Intelligent handling of this chap and everybody clips coupons. Leila Hyams, skillful artist, is miscast. Jimmy Tully should be assigned to a typewriter. Wallace Beery is perfect. Price. DERELICT PARAMOUNT THEATRE (Reviewed Nov. 9) PRODUCER’S VIEWPOINTS It’s in the BLUE ENVELOPE mailed direct. EXHIBITOR’S VIEWPOINT With a Paramount-Bancroft pic- ture of this type you may natural- ly expect to cash in 100% but don’t be disappointed if “Derelict” de- i vers only 50% of expectations. Here is a story that starts off loaded with audience interest potentialities. It is surcharged with high voltage personality conflict and then drib- bles into a radiance of 2>4 candle power at high noon. The theme, motivating idea, rich in possibili- bilities and a cast molded by a super agency, all of this slithered away into the cheap meller action of a ten-twenty-thirty of the pre-talkie era. With saturation point on ac- tion and adventure pictures at its present low ebb this picture merely piles more residue at the bottom of the glass. CAST: There is a question re- garding the wisdom of becoming en- thusiastic over the casting of a pic- ture. Over the featured trio in this turkey I not only become enthusi- astic but religiously so. Having looked them over since the Great Train Robbery and the Buffalo Hunt any form of delight should be tempered to a state of sour pessi- mism but one glimpse at the combo n Derelict and hope flares. Either the good Lord or a genius assem- bled the Bancroft-Boyd-Landis trio Here is consistency without a flaw. Bancroft and Landis drawn by the EARLE WALLACE Always Busy Developing Dancing Stars but Never Too Busy to Create and Produce Original DANCE ROUTINES and REVUES That Sell Belmont Theatre Bldg., First and Vermont Phone Exposition 1196 Los Angeles, Calif. PLAYING TO THE LARGEST PAID ATTENDANCE IN LOS ANGELES OWEN FALLON AND HIS CALIFORNIANS invincible law of preference, “Made for each other,” describes it. Then Bill Boyd, stevedore-to-skipper-of- a-merchant-packet type, bowing to the will and wish of nothing less than the law of the sea. The cast- ing director who insisted on this trio deserves a raise in pay. Those responsible for tossing the audience nterest embodied in this cast into rhe drivel of those closing sequences should be reduced to the rank of a corporal. Price. THE GREEN BOTTLE VINE ST. THEATRE, HOLLYWOOD (Reviewed Nov. 10) It was during the first act that someone in the audience remarked: “What has all this to do with the play?” which could mean two things at the premiere of a mys- tery comedy. In this case the mys- tery too subtly wove the introduc- tory substance of its being and the audience was slightly bewildered as to what it was all about. There is no room for subtlety in a mys- tery comedy. The opening dialogue of the first act was ineffectively hinting at a secret menace in the Green Bottle. If this menace had been adequately planted in the prologue the subse- quent dialogue would have clari- fied and aroused an apprehension in the audience that would have raised the chill and thrill content of the play by approximately three quarts of goose pimples per cus- tomer. Unfortunately the menace was a part of the mystery and fail- ing to identify itself its true po- tency was lost. In the Green Bottle there was ample mystery in deducing who had it. The secret of its contents, the menace to everyone’s safety war triple threat material mistakenly covered up. John T. Murray, the author, assures that this will be corrected. If so The Green Bottle stands to chalk up dough. Outside of a slight dialogue jerki- ness and the two minor oversight mentioned the Green Bottle im pressed. For a brand new vehicle with only nine days rehearsal tc ready it this shudder comedy rater high. It is picture stuff and can’t miss. As flicker material it will clip coupons for the producer. Nothing but praise for the cast. Bobby Clark as Bill Smithers, a cockney ex-convict and Wing Kong as Kee, an oriental servant, set up a conflict in their poker game that could go vaude. A Bert-Williams- poker-game treatment would make it a gem. AI Bridges, as Santos Panchos, could busk his voice about two gutterals lower and add conviction. He delivers his Mexico City a shade light. Oscar Apfel, as Chong Wah, was unctious, suave, efficient and assuring, but our na- tive troupers are never convincing in slant-eyed roles. Constance Dawn, Francis Morris and Arnold Gray did work that reflects to their credit. Nina Cavalier was cast in a role not sufficient unto her capa- city. Her talent warrants more re- sponsibility for the success of a play. Her work justifies a name in the mazda way, but she should be portioned duties that warrant it. There were insistent calls for John T. Murray. He made sure they meant it before he appeared, and believe it or not they meant it. They wouldn’t leave till he ac- knowledged. The Green Bottle is a cinch for money, screen or stage. Price. B. B. B. Says: • • • • Watta nitc Gertrude Jacobs had . . . and what talent Billy Wiers certainly danced . - . Eddie Blackout Welch very interes f ed . . . Deno and Rochelle at the Paramount . . . and aood Jackie Osterman cominjr to the Arr Kay Oh . . . Bebe Sherman write from 8an Francisco, as does Ph ; l Arnold fr^m Wash- ington D.C.—BBB.ARR P. S. — The Cellar is at Cosmo Street and Hollywood Boulevard . . . between Vine and Cahuenga . . . the phone numbers are GRanite 3382 and HOllywood 9169 . . Parking is free at the lot across from the CELLAR ... The CHRYS- LER and SAMSON are there. Thank You. “PARIS IN SPRING’* CURRAN, S. F. (Reviewed Nov. 5) Lillian Albertson and Louis O. Macloon opened this Viennese op- erette cold and drew rave notices from the papers and excellent word of mouth comment from first nighters. At this third night’s show there still was considerable scissor- ing and ironing to be done, but the entire production stacked up as a neat night’s entertainment. “Paris In Spring” has some of the most beautiful melodies that have reached local ears. Emmerick Kalman compositions, they embod- ied all the typical Viennese musical touches, and as sung by the vocal chorus and played by Leo Flan- ders’ orchestra they struck home with a bang. Although Max Dill his one of his best comedy roles to date, there still is need of some solid laughs. It’s a Continental type of humor in “Paris in Spring,” and as a conse- quence show is not up to American par for American audiences. Taking the lead of the show is Lilli Segrena, Cuban discovery of the Macloon’s. Allan Prior had the male lead and in the first act walked off with the vocal honors. Max Dill had one of the best comedy roles yet, that of a court bailiff, and he han- dled it with a rare sense of laugh values. Richard Powell put over a comedy role well. Duci de Karekjarto drew a fea- tured solo spot for a pair of violin solos. First number was too tech- nical to be entirely appreciated. Russell Scott, Hal Redus, Harry Burgess, Cecil Drummond, Hadley Hall, Harry Weil and Georgie Har- ris were entirely satisfactory. Leo Flanders and orchestra gave excel- lent musical support. “STEPPING SISTERS” ALCAZAR (Reviewed Nov. 2) May Boley ran a high score of ac- complishments for herself in the second of Henry Duffy productions at the Alcazar. In “Stepping Sis- ters,” the perennial Boley walked off with the entire shooting match, despite plenty of heavy competition from one or two other members of a highly competent cast. Portraying one of the surviving and perpetually active burlesque queens of the old spear and tights days, Miss Boley had a role that was tailor made. Every available opportunity for a laugh was seized by this player. Main competition came from Kathryn Givney as Lady Chet- worth-Lynd, former burlesque beaut who broke into the Shakespearean field and showed it by a broad A accent and accompanying manners. Frances Woodbury was the other of a trio of old burlesquers, and' as a ritzy wife she, too, was good. Irving Fisher had but little to do :han carry the unimportant love in- terest and sing several tunes of his own composition effectively. Bar- bara Luddy handled her part well. Robert Adams drew a number of laughs. Other characters were played by William Lloyd, Henry Caubisens. Justina Wavne, Muriel Rothmerl, William Macauley and Mildred Hastings. Duffy shows aren’t of the Sunday school character they were just be- fore Duffy went into bankruptcy. There is more spice and life to them. This was the initial produc- tion of Russell Fillmore, new Duffy director. Bock. RKO GOLDEN GATE SAN FRANCISCO (Reviewed Nov. 7) Bill was headlined by Jack Oster- man, with Jack and Kay Spangler, Eva Clark and Kitaros in support. Lots of good vaudeville, with plenty of variety. It looked like old Home Town week. Right back on his old stamping grounds where he used to pull wis- cracks about seven years ago, Os- terman ran through his bag of tricks in speedy style, putting over his gags to laughs, and his songs to applause and above all, revealing an innate knowledge of showman- ship. A lot of fly material in this boy’s turn and not a little ad lib- bing. Jack and Kay Spangler, here only about a year agd, were back again in a new layout. “The Lobbyists” had Kay Spangler putting over the exceptionally high and easy kicks that have characterized her work, while Jack contributed a brace of songs, some gags, okay hoofing and a brief bit of torrid clarineting. Red Coleman, hoofer, and Jules and Clifton, comedy acros, supported. Eva Clark deuced it, with a cycle of semi classic song, with Eddie Burch at the piano. She was in excellent voice and presented a striking appearance. Kitaros, three Japanese, clicked solidly in their opening spot. Bock. HIPPODROME THEATRE LOS ANGELES (Reviewed Nov. 9th) Mole and Joy opened offering a bycycle turn, the comic finishing on a flock of ’em and did very well. Montgomery and McDowell, neat and dressy followed a hoofing rou- tine that went over for a good hand. Chas. Cross & Co., with Chas. draping the company who sang. Charlie always adds class to any bill. Lussia Lucian a show stop- per, with songs in seven different languages. He worked with the audience to good results. Brady, Riddle and Murry, comedy singing and dancing kept the interest up and were well received. Inez and DeWynn, a very nice posing act with contortion for added measure. The picture was “The Bishop MurderCase.” Bob. 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