Motion Picture Herald (Nov-Dec 1935)

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December 2 1, 1935 MOTION PICTURE HERALD 53 pair. It has a triangular menace in the person of Wesley Hunt, who, in addition to making love to Nan, is offering her a big price for the road and land along the right of way. Sensing something wrong, Smith investigates, learns the adjoining lands are filled with valuable tungsten deposits and further that Hunt is agent for Harrington, Sr., Smith's father. Commandeering a switch engine, manned by Stone and Prouty, he stages a wild race down the line, which, as many threatened smashups are avoided, has all the qualities necessary to raise goose pimples. Arriving just in time, he prevents Nan from signing a contract and works out a deal with his father that gets her a big royalty. Harrington, proud of his son, gives him a big job on the transcontinental system and adds his blessing to the union between Nan and Whispering that evidently is not far in the future. Novel in many phases, the picture legitimately permits showmen using that term in describing the show. Besides pleasing the O'Brien fans, it also has the stuff with which to interest patrons who like to see something a little different on the screen while retaining the appreciated familiar features. Previev/ed at Orpheum Theatre, Los Angeles, downtoim main street house, commercial theatre playing largely to drop-in patronage. Both men and women in the audience reacted favorably to the picture. Comparatively few youngsters were present. — McCarthy, Hollywood. Distributed by Twentieth Century-Fox. Produced by Sol Lesser. Directed by David Howard. From the story by Frank H. Spearman. Adaptation by Gilbert Wright and Rex Taylor. Screen play by Dan Jarrett and Don Swift. Production manager, Edward Gross. Photographed by Frank B. Good. Art director. John DuCasse Schulze. Assistant director, William Scully. Film editor, Robert Crandall. Sound, Hal Bumbaugh. P. C. A. Certificate No. 1,830. Running time, when seen in Hollywood, 70 minutes. Release date, December 20, 1935. General audience classification. CAST Whispering Smith George O'Brien Nan Roberts Irene Ware J. Wesley Hunt Kenneth Thomson Mother Roberts Maude Allen Cal Stone Spencer Charters Bill Prouty Vic Potel Rebstock Edward Keane Gordon Harrington, Sr Frank Sheridan Blake William V. Mong C. Luddington Colfax Maurice Cass Scrooge (Paramount — Julius Hagen) Dickens Drama The spirit of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" has been caught in this British production in such an authentic manner that the resultant film version presents showmen with abundant exploitation material. All the charm of the Dickens story has been transferred from the printed page to the mobile screen and the characters are sketched with such artistry as to provide abundance of the elements for a favorable audience reaction to the production as a whole. The author's name alone is as familiar, if not more so, to the average theatregoer of today as current writers of popular fiction or newspaper articles, and this point alone affords exhibitors a solid jumping off place from which to start their campaigns. On top of this is an English cast, composed of men and women who have been playing their present screen role^ on the English and Continental stage for season after season. Rather than being a drawback in those territories where foreign actors and actresses are not appreciated, showmen may make the most of stressing the point that the characters are in the hands of those most familiar with them. Then again, "A Christmas Carol" is presented over the radio networks innumerable times at this season of the year, with. Lionel Barrymore doing Scrooge in one particular case, and the film version of this immortal literary and dramatic work should prove just as effective in theatres at this time of the year when handled properly. The angles for arranging tieups in prac tically any situation seem plentiful. Carol singers, arrangements with newspapers for charitable work so common during these months of the year, radio dramatization, with schools, churches, etc., and similar stunts should be easily arranged. The story, of course, deals with the rejuvenation of the old "Scrooge! A squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner ! Hard and sharp as flint, from which no steel ever struck out generous fire ; secret and self-contained, and solitary as an oyster!" Scrooge! The picture opens with Scrooge maligning poor old Bob Cratchit, insulting his nephew who has invited him to Christmas dinner and his refusal to donate even a farthing to a charitable cause. But that night as he goes to bed the ghost of his former partner, Marley, returns to torment Scrooge with his tale of woe and suffering as a result of miserly practice. The three Spirits of Christmas, Past-Present-Future, also visit poor old Scrooge during the night and show him what his life could have been and what it might still be were he to amend his ways. The following day, Scrooge is so completely affected by the events of the night just past that he finds himself overwhelmed with the Christmas spirit and showers largess on the poor, contributes to the charitable cause as requested, makes amends to poor, harassed Cratchit and ends up with his nephew and family at Christmas Dinner. Thus, with the current popular wave of Dickens' works on the screen, "David Copperfield" being shown and "A Tale of Two Cities" to be released shortly, to aid showmen, they should have no trouble conveying just what the theme of "Scrooge" is to prospective audiences with the wealth of material in the picture itself. — Baehler, New York. A Twickenham Production, produced in England by Julius Hagen. Distributed by Paramount. Based on Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol." Directed by Henry Edwards. Running time, 90 minutes. P. C. A. Certificate No. 0751. General audience classification. Release date, December 10, 1935. CAST Ebenezer Scrooge Sir Seymour Hicks Bob Cratchit Donald Calthrop Fred Robert Cochran Belle Mary Glynne Belle's husband Garry Marsh Spirit of Christmas present Oscar Asche Spirit of Christmas past Marie Ney Spirit of Christmas future C. V. France Scrooge's charwoman Athene Seyler A poor man Maurice Evans His wife Mary Lawson Mrs. Cratchit Barbara Everest Fred's wife Eve Grey Poulterer Morris Harvey Tinv Tim Philip Frost Undertaker D. J. Williams S<-rnoge's laundress Margaret Yarde Old Joe Hugh E. Wright Middlemark Charles Carson Worthington Hubert Harben Personal Maid's Secret (Warner) Comedy Here is a production which, while not pretentious by any means, appears to have the ingredients of a pleasing surprise for exhibitors, exceeding expectations of showmen and producers. It contains excellent material for exoloitation, especially of the type particularly attractive to feminine elements, but with appeal for the men also, from the standpoint of comedy. The picture appears to lack an outstanding name, but Margaret Lindsay, Warren Hull, Anita Louise and Ruth Donnelly are familiar because of their recent work in large productions. At the same time exhibitors might do well to mention Arthur Treacher in their campaigns, for it is he, along with Miss Donnelly, that audiences are more apt to comment upon because of his comedy antics. The story, in brief, concerns a housewife and her maid, and the success, financial and social, that is won for the family because of the efforts of these two. Combined with this theme is that of the sacrifice of a mother of her own happiness in order to aid her daughter. Miss Lindsay is married to a struggling insurance salesman, Hull. In a fit of extravagance she engages Miss Donnelly as her maid. Miss Donnelly, accustomed to working in more elaborate residences, brings about a feeling of uneasiness in Miss Lindsay's home since the young couple appear more concerned with pleasing the maid than caring for themselves. After Miss Domielly talks Miss Lindsay and Hull into moving into a more elaborate and fashionable apartment, the financial success of the young couple continues to mount, along with their social prestige. Into this is woven the theme of mother love on the part of Miss Donnelly, who has renounced all rights to her daughter, Miss Louise, in order that the child may be reared in luxury by her grandparents. Everything is progressing smoothly, and in a fashion packed with comedy supplied by Treacher, until Miss Louise is on the verge of ruining her life because of her connections with a married man. Miss Donnelly steps in and reveals her relationship to the girl and complications set in on all sides. Showmen might do well to see this picture before mapping out any campaigns, for in that manner they can select those angles best suited for their situations. Concentration on the feminine draw and on comedy are indicated. — Baehler, New York. Produced and distributed by Warner Brothers. Directed by Arthur G. Collins. Photographed by Byron Haskins. Film editor, Thomas Richards. Screen play by F. Hugh Herbert and Lilie Hayward from a Saturday Evening Post story by Lillian Day. Running time, 58 minutes. General audience classification. Release date, October 26, 1935. CAST Joan Smith Margaret Lindsay Jimmy Smith Warren Hull Lizzie Ruth Donnelly Owen Arthur Treacher Ken , Frank Albertson Diana Anita Louise Bobbie Smith Ronnie Cosby She Shall Have Music (Twickenham-British ) Comedy Musical Definitely bright entertainment, even though it is not staged on the Hollywood scale, but does have the advantage of featuring Jack Hylton's Band, which is well known in the United States. "She Shall Have Music" is a production which should please in any community where a variety-starved public will welcome the same type of material by way of the screen. Essentially it is a series of good musical and comedy numbers with a thin but sufficient story link in the fact that Hylton's Band, broadcasting as a stunt from a yacht in the South Seas, is up against the myrmidons of a rival shipping line who want to kill the broadcast. Ingeniously used here is the idea that a wrist-watch television set enables the disabled yacht to get into visible and audible touch with home, so that the stranded musicians get back in time for a theatre opening, while the yacht owner is enabled to give instructions defeating a market raid on his shares. Hylton, June Clyde and Brian Lawrence are the leads, but individuals are less important than the achievement of a bright, varied and quick moving show, which owes a lot to the musical numbers of Sigler, Goodhart and Hoffman. — Allan, London. Produced and distributed by Twickenham Film Distributors. Directed by Leslie Hiscott. Screen play by H. Fowler Mear. Arthur Macrae, C. Denier Warren. Photography, Sit'ney Blythe. Sound, Baynham Honri. Running lime, 75 minutes. Adult audience classification. CAST Dorothv Drew June Clyde Mrs. Marlow Mariorie Brooks Miss Peachum Gwen Farrar Brian Gates Brian Lawrence Eddie Claude Dampier Frederick Gates Edmund Breon Black Felix Aimer and Tack Hylton and His Band