Motion Picture News (Mar-Apr 1923)

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March 24, 1923 1453 Pre-release Reviews of Features "Darkness and Daylight" Bancroft — Seven Reels (Reviewed by L. C. Moen) THIS photoplay is an adaptation of the stage play of the same name by Charles W. Henry, which played on the stage for several generations and has been a perennial favorite with stock companies. Albert W. Plummer, in adapting and directing it for Bancroft Productions, has adhered quite closely to the original version. The picture was photographed in Worcester, Mass., and as a result the New England settings are present to provide the required atmosphere. It is somewhat unique in the fact that every one of the interiors is an actual New England residence interior. Instead of imitating these in the studio, the company was taken into actual homes in Worcester, arc lights installed, and the picture filmed in real settings, giving the pictpre a convincing air of realism in the investiture. The cameraman, Frank Zucker, has obtained excellent lighting effects under these conditions, and the photography as a whole is capable, some of the snow scenes being especially well handled. Except for an occasional touch, the material is not especially new, most of the situations having grown rather conventional. At times, motivation is rather lacking, the characters being moved about in an abitrary way, rather than for a logical reoson, but the same might be said of a great many program releases. The cast is headed by Alta Vera, who appears as the older sister and is called upon for the heavy emotional portion of the acting. Audrey Berry, who will be remembered for her work as a child player with Vitagraph some years ago, returns to the screen as the blind sister. She screens pleasingly and makes good use of the opportunities offered. William Black is the heavy and Harlan Knight provides comedy relief. Wallace Ray is the brother, and Jack O'Brien is cast as leading man. This is an average program release, and we should base our campaign principally upon the fact that it is based upon an old favorite play and that it was taken upon actual settings. The Cast May Allen Alta Vera Ruth Allen Audrey Berry Alias Bob Thorne Wallace Ray James Bickford William Black Obadiah Jenks Harlan E. Knight William Irving Jack O'Brien From the play by Charles W. Henry. Adapted and directed by Albert W. Plummer. Photographed by Frank Zucker. Produced by Bancroft Productions, Inc. The Story — Two sisters and brother are persecuted by wealthy man who was spurned by their mother. On the eve of the older sister's wedding, this man brings about a compromising situation, and the two girls go away to a nearby city, where they exist in poverty. The persecution continues, however. The blind sister is turned into the streets and the older sister framed up on a theft charge, but the arrival of the girl's sweetheart straightens out the tangle, aided by a kindly scissors-grinder. Classification — Comedy drama with heart interest and melodramatic touches. Production Highlights — The scene at the wedding. The comedy of Harlan Knight. The sympathetic work of Audrey Berry. The excellent snow photography. Exploitation Angles — The play on which it is based. The title, which suggests numerous possibilities for tie-ups. The novel conditions under which the picture was filmed. Drawing Power — Suitable for second class houses. A lively scene in the Educational-Mermaid comedy, " Kick Out," a Jack White production 44 Good-By, Girls " Fox— 4746 Feet (Reviewed by Laurence Reid) THE sponsors have attached a comedy title to this picture which is mostly a story of adventure in which the action skips about without much head or tail to it. It provides William Russell with a fairly busy vehicle in which he plays the part of a writer ordered by his doctor to take a rest. Once he reaches his mountain lodge and discovers a strange girl in possession of the premises one may look for plenty of helter skelter incident. "Good-By, Girls" is not dull even though its plot is slight. But in keeping it moving throughout the director has resorted to considerable repetition of scenes. Thus it appears to be padded. The action releases the familiar pursuit with the youth and his assailants taking turns in out-distancing each other. To vary the monotony of this chase there is introduced a comedy vein which doesn't often register because the gags are repeated too often. Another variation offers an automobile chase which provides a thrill when the hero jumps from one machine to the other. The girl doesn't disclose her identity until the end of the story. But the youth goes to her rescue. She has sought refuge on his estate to escape certain parties determined to gain possession of valuable patents which belonged to her father. The writer doesn't get much rest so his doctor recommends romance. There is a fair mystery element attached to the story — but it isn't dominant enough to carry the suspense. In all it may be called just an average picture — for average crowds. Russell works hard and should please his followers. Carmel Myers is the girl. The Cast Vance McPhee William Russell Florence Brown Carmel Myers Bill Tom Wilson Sarah Kate Price Batista Robert Klein By George Foxall. Scenario by Joseph F. Poland. Directed by Jerome Storm. Produced by Fox. The Story — Writer is ordered to take a rest and arriving at his mountain lodge he discovers a strange girl has taken possession of it. She asks his protection without giving him a reason. Youth_ engages in several fights with assailants. The girl finally explains that the enemies were trying to steal a box containing valuable patents belonging to her father. The romance continues. Classification — Mystery romance. — eis Production Highlights — Fairly good suspense. Russell's activity in providing stunts. Exploitation Angles — Title might be worked out in a teaser campaign. Play it up as interesting mystery romance. Drawing Power— Suitable for average crowd in second class houses. " Where the Pavement Ends" Rex Ingram-Metro — 7700 Feet (Reviewed by Laurence Reid) REX INGRAM has done it again. His newest expression, " Where the Pavement Ends," shows him at his best because the idea, a familiar one, has been treated in such an artistic way that it never becomes conventional. And speaking about the conventions one may say that they are usually obeyed where the South Sea Islands formula is concerned. The spectator will be treated to a gorgeous pattern in this tropical island story, originally called " The Passion Vine." But it is as inspiring as it is optically pleasing. Yet when all is said and done it is the background which makes the picture such a memorable achievement. Indeed it is pictorially perfect and still it is a well constructed story, offering the utmost in dramatic conflict, furnishing no little suspense and carrying its romance along with all the incident and atmosphere in perfect harmony. Por sheer beauty the feature will be catalogued as one of the best of the year. The theme is trite if you care to dissect it — yet its triteness never becomes obvious. We have the familiar clergyman and his daughter, the native lover and the degenerate trader. And the conflict surges in their relations to one another. The girl would go back to civilization, but her father is intent on converting the natives in general and the trader in particular. The latter joins the church and receives the pastor's sanction to marry the girl. But to thwart his plans she plans an elopement with the native, excellently portrayed by Ramon Navarro, whose performance, however, is not any better than the one contributed by Harry Morey as the trader — a role in which this sincere actor is at his best. There is a stirring climax which precipitates a tragedy. The trader is killed and the girl unwilling to marry the native causes him to plunge into the falls. Thus the racial barrier may be called the foundation on which the plot rests. The finale is reached through a sequence ©f scenes which enthrall one with their gorgeous backgrounds as well as with their spiritual and dramatic touches. The picture is adorned with a captivating title which is bound to interest anyone in search of adventure and romance. For exquisite color and atmosphere, for a wealth of shots each more beautiful than its predecessor, " Where the Pavement Ends," stands in a class by itself. Alice Terry is appealing as the heroine, acting her role with considerable feeling and poise. Metro has a sure-fire box-office bet here. The Cast Pastor Spencer Edward Connelly Miss Matilda Alice Terry Motauri Ramon Navarro Captain Hull Gregson Harry T. Morey Napuka Joe John Georee By John Russell. Directed by Rex Ingram. Photographed by John Seitz. Produced by Metro. The Story — Missionary in South Sea Islands is determined to convert unscrupulous trader and neglects his daughter who wishes to return to own country. She falls in love with young native but the trader is intent upon marrying her. The native rescues her but she tells him that she cannot marry him. After his death the clergyman takes his daughter away. Classification — Romance of South Sea Isles. Production Highlights — The beautiful production showing gorgeous settings and detail. The fine direction. The splendid work of cast. The Drawing Power — Big enough to go over anywhere.