Motion Picture News (Mar-Apr 1923)

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1956 Motion Picture News " Masters of Men " Vftagraph— 6800 Feet (Reviewed by Laurence Reid) "\/"IVID and vital and rich in its patriotic V glow is " Masters of Men " which is sponsored by Vitagraph — a picture which this comoany may well feel proud of since it carries all the qualities which mark success. In the first place it is an adaptation of a vigorous story by Morgan Robertson and features a character study of a voung American who found romance and adventure in his search for his soul. In fact the picture nresents a double romance, plenty of conflict, a climax which moves with effective dramatic force, and a glamour of a bygone dav. Robertson's story is pitched in the davs of the l=>te nineties, iust prior to. and. involving the Spanish-American war. It contains all the essentials which provide good screen material. We have scenes when the boy is attending school and who runs away rather than embarrass the <rirl he loves because her brother is a thief. Indeed "e makes it plain tbat he is the guilty one. Next we discover him as an enlisted sailor of the United States navy. And so the story builds in chanter form — with four chanters being emnloved to snow the character develonment of the youth. He returns home on furlough once and an officer of his ship provoke* a deal of bitter "ride as a romantic conflict is suggested. Then we find them shanghaied and members of a motley crew, but with true American nluck th»y overpower the skipper and take command. The war breaks out and it is a thrilling scene when the vouth shows his braverv "nder fire. T"e miniature shots of Orvera's fleet leaving Santiago harbor are splendidly executed — and the" will furnish the spectator with sufficient thrills. The b"v is so brave that he is made an ensien. He even meets the nr0ther of the girl who is forgiven before "» dies and <rives up bis post to the vouth. Then it is a banny welcome the t*"o officers receive from their sweethearts. These eirls have carried on a sort of enmitv toward each otW over trie misunderstandings of romance. The nicture carries a punch, dramatic flavor, romantic interest atmo«:r>he«-e and fine acting as contributed bv Cullen Landis. who has his bitreest role Alice Calhoun, who mio-ht have stenned from an old min'^ture in her ouaint <-o<=*nme of tne nineties. Wanda Hawlev *nd Earle WiU-'^ms. Their support is hiorVilv comnetent. The romance is mostly subordinate to the dramatic senuencec which, of r0"rse n|oes nor er;ve tne Misses ralhoun and Hawlev mucb onnortunitv to do auv. *Wne but annear m costumes of the Period. Tt's p pr^at hox-office bet, realistic and surefire in its appeal. The Ca=t r»,rl. p , Cu)U)i T ;)B(i.s „"."'., W,n^ Hawlev T*m Jones r);rv—land „wy"' Charle E. M^on « Tfc pert AnK .V'T1"" *,,ker Ta<-k Curtis N,e"er Martin Turner By Morgan Robertson. Scenario by C. Graham Baker. Directed by David Smith. The Story— Treats of the character development of youth who. accused of theft hv the brother of his sweetheart, runs away and ioins the navy. Later he is shanghaied with a lieutenant and discovers that the girl knows the truth. The two victims are resourceful enough to outwit the skipper of the boat and are next seen participating in the naval battle of Santiaco harbor during the Spanish-American war. The vouth does such courageous work that he is made an ensign. Later he returns home and renews his courtship of the girl. Classification — Character study interspersed with romance and adventure. Production Highlights — The good romantic interest. The detail. The scene when men ^re cbanehaied. The action aboard the ship. The climax showing the naval battle. 31adys Walton in a scene from " Gossip," a Universal picture. " The Go-Getter " Cosmopolitan-Paramount — 5500 Feet (Reviewed by Laurence Reid* ONE of those stories of an aggressive young man who, starting at the bottom of the ladder, manages to reach the top through a breezy personality and a determination to get ahead may be expected to find expression on the screen everv blue moon. Such a storv is " The Go-Getter " written by Peter B. Kyne who, while he has not flashed any originality, has packed his tale with sufficient incident to keep it bright and fairly amusing through five reels. Such a picture depends upon the interpretation of the leading character in putting it over. T. Roy Barnes is a good selection even if he does act his part with too much assurance or in the manner which suggests the seasoned trouper. He plays the role in his familiar lackadaisical way, taking his time and appearing at ease throughout. We discover him leaving a Reconstruction hospital and forging ahead in the business world because he anticipates every move. He even has personal and business cards printed with the name of the comnany with which he expects to be associated — to sav nothing of an engraved announcement of his wedding to the daughter of one of his employers — his method of making a proposal. It is these bright touches which give the picture its sparkle even if it is not substantial enough to break house records. Barnes gets on famously with the lumber concern. If there are any arguments he paves the wav for a settlement of them through his sVill at repartee an^ takmg advantage of his breezv personality. It is an old tale refurbished bv men who have toiled with scripts and productions a long while. Conseauentlv they know bow to d^ess it up and make it enioyable. The conclusion is decided!" pictnrev showing as it does the auaint Caopy Ricks, one of the employers, putting his new salesman to tne test bv compelling him to combat a crook or three. Other seasoned troupers are in this number and thev know iust what to n"o in scoring their point*. Here they are— Willi, m Noms who is h*dlv made up. LoU;s Wolheim. Tom Tewis. Fred SantW. Frank Currier and Seena Owen. The last-mentioned is mostly ornamental here, there being little opportunity to show any romantic or emotional The Cast **J* • T. T?oy Barnes Mary Sinner Seena 0we„ Cannv JNrks WiU'.tn Morris Charles Skinner Tom ^ H,,*hMcNafr V.\\ .V.V.^V.V.VPrVnk'currieT By Peter B. Kvne. Scenario by John Lynch. Directed bv E. H. Griffith. The Story— -Treats of a world war veteran who belongs to that class of Americans known as go-getters. He is a lumber salesman and becomes enamored with the daughter of one of his emnlovers and bein<r a co-getter inside of a chnH time he has himself engaged to her. Classificntiof — Comedy-d^ma. Prodv*io« Hlnkliohts— The breezy performance bv T. Roy Barnes. Exhlnifaf''on Angles— Use stills and feature the cast. Get out a cnanny teaser campaign. Drawing Power — Good for audiences everywhere, small towns as well as city theatres. " The Soul of the Beast " Thomas H. Ince Production-Metro — Six Reels (Reviewed by Frank Shelton) HERE'S one of the real novelties of the year. You've been praying for someone to put out " something different." Here it is. Think of it — an elephant as " the Perfect Lover." Sure. He's Oscar. One of the best actors we've seen in lo, these many moons. Does everything but talk. And no one has talked on the screen — yet. Thrills? You bet. Lost of them. And one of the most beautiful woodland backgrounds ever given a film play. You can't go wrong here. If ever a picture had " audience appeal," it is this one. Jammed full of it. Madge Bellamy never looked more charming than in the role of the forlorn little maid with no one to love but a circus elephant. You've got to hand it to Madge for her work here. She does everything with Oscar, which, by the way, is the elephant's monicker, but whirl him around bv the tail. The cast, incidentally, is an excellent one. The picture opens with some honest-togoodness circus stuff and a cyclone blowing everything to kingdom come. However, the wind gives un in despair when it tries to monkey with Oscar. He stands pat and puts over a rescue scene in which he saves his nal. Ruth, and dashes into the wilds with her. We'd like to write a lot about Oscar. He's an artist, whether he's called unon for comedy or thrills. And to John Griffith Wray goes the laurel wreath for the masterful direction that makes this novelty possible. This picture is a gem from a scenic viewpoint. And as for thrills — well, the world war didn't have many more. The canoe chase, the fistic battles, the knife duel and the chastising of the villan by Oscar are a few. The scenes in which Oscar sneaks a few glasses of beer through a window with his trunk and his meeting up with no less a personage than a skunk, will furnish laughs — unless the audience is made up of Eskimos. They never laugh. The Cast Ruth Lorrimore Madge Bellamy Paul Nadeau Cullen Landis Caesar Durand Noah Beery Jacqueline Boussul Viola Vale Silas Hamm Bert Sprouts By C. Gardner Sullivan. Directed bv Tohn Griffith Wray. Scenario bv Ralph H. Dixon. Photographed by Henry Sharp. Distributed by Metro. The Story — Ruth, a sort of " Pollv of the Circus." is pinch hitting for the "wild girl" in one of the side show cages when a cyclone comes along and takes everything with it, including the circus tent. But Oscar, Ruth's pet elephant, which no wind could carry away, goes to the rescue of Ruth and rides her into the north woods. Here Ruth meets Paul Nadeau, a crippled musician, and romance enters. But Caesar Durand, the town villain, makes Ruth's way a path of thorns until Oscar leaps out of the woods to the rescue. And then things sure go back on Caesar. Classification — A novel combination of circus and French-Canadian life with Oscar, the elephant, injecting real audience appeal. Production Highlights — The cyclone destroying the circus and the resuce of Ruth by the elephant. Madge Bellamv's charming portrayal of the little elenhant girl. The cirrus scenes. The very beautiful woodland exteriors. The canoe chase. The scenes in which Oscar gives Berrv a fine "shower bath," using his trunk as the shower. Exploitation Angles — You've simply got to dig up an elephant somewhere when you show this, even if you have to rob the zoo. Get a pachyderm on the street with a flashv displav on. his bark and you'll attract attention for the picture. Dress your front up in circus stvle. This one is a real novelty. Give it a chance by exploiting it. Drawing Power— Should null them in through its novelty. Suitable for any type of audience.