Motion Picture News (Mar-Apr 1923)

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1972 Motion Picture News Lloyd Climbs to More Popularity New York Critics Declare "Safety Last" His and Most Thrilling Film Scenes from " Mighty Lak' a Rose," with Dorothy Mackail and James Rennie, an Edwin Carewe production for First National Doug's ' 'Robin Hood" Is Lauded Editorial Writer Points Features that Must Attract All Classes it^^S much action as a schoc boy could demand, as much romance as any debutante could yearn for, all the violence that a plug-ugly could demand, a thread of age-long philosophy for the pedant, a pretty presentation of one form of an old, old legend that in one or another of its variations roused our ancestors to ideals and actions that made the warp and woof of their tradition and history for centuries — it was all in the picture," said an editorial writer in the New Orleans Item after he saw Douglas Fairbanks in " Robin hood " when this United Artists release was playing to capacity business at the Tulane theatre. " The scope of the production, the great outlay required for its effects, plainly show that the theme has been treated as lavishly as the lower, sometimes useless and even demoralizing, spectacles formerly reared upon mere raw, crude fiction of blood and sex. Yet there was plenty of blood and sex here, too — inoffensive and not a whit more improbable than the other kind. " And the people of New Orleans liked it — liked it well enough to crowd the house at high prices' and come out praising their entertainment ; to tell others to go and see it. " This says a great (deal in the old debate whether ' The People ' want slush, mush and filth as much as was the fashion among obsolete managers and producers five years ago to give it to them on the theory that they would accept nothing else. Public taste itself may have changed a bit in the meantime. Like everything else, public preference or prejudice swings in cycles. " But the change has by no means' been such as the deserved popularity of a spectacle like ' Robinhood ' would indicate. The fact is, rather, that the far-sighted and intelligent minority in the 'picture business ' — who believe that the people at the core in the mass are sound were right. The purblind and ignorant class so numerous at the top of the business by reason of its strange and mushroom growth from petty beginning were wrong." "Conquering the Woman" Praise Chicago Critics C Vidor in Associated THE Associated Exhibitors feature, Florence Vidor in " Conquering the Woman," has just finished a highly successful run in Ascher Bros.' big State-Lake theatre, in Chicago. Big gatherings marked every showing and the reviewers of the local newspapers were enthusiastic in their praise. Thus, Bob Reel, director of the motion picture section of the Chicago American, said : " Here is the modern ' Taming of the Shrew,' ' Conquering the Woman,' at the State-Lake. Florence Vidor, comely and lovely and always very much a lady, plays the leading role. ' Conquering the ommend Florence Exhibitors Feature Woman ' is clever, clean and wholesome, the kind of thing that is bound to please a large majority of people — particularly the romancehungry younger generation." Virginia Dale wrote in the Chicago Journal : " This screen comedy sets one to chuckling right from the title." The opening of the run in Nixon & Nirdlinger's Belmont theatre, Philadelphia, inspired this comment by the Philadelphia Inquirer: "A sort of modern Katherine who is tamed by a cowboy Petruchio is the central figure in ' Conquering the Woman.' It is romantic and well supplied with amusing situations." NO disagreement is noted between the New York newspaper reviews of " Safety Last" and the character of the reception given Harold Lloyd's seven-reel comedy thriller by the audiences which, crowded the Strand Theatre at every performance all last week. So far as both critics and patrons are concerned, "Safety Last" is speeded on its way as the last film word to date in the realm of feature comedy. The following appeared in the morning and evening issues on Monday and during the week: Alan Dale in the New York American : — " ' Safety Last ' plays havoc, with your stomach, your head and your spine. But it is not supposed to be a thriller by any means, but merely a series of laughter-provoking episodes. And it is' surely that." Evening Journal : — " ' Safety Last,' Harold Lloyd's seven-reel comedy, is so good that it hurts. Sitting in the front row of the balcony at the Strand, as this reviewer did, to see " Safety Last " offers more excitement than the most fearful roller coaster ever devised for a jaded public." P. W. Gallico, in The Daily News : — " As we park at our typewriter, having just come from Harold Lloyd's latest picture and first seven-reel comedy, ' Safety Last,' we feel more like a press agent than a reviewer or critic. Our problem is to find the proper assortment of words that will make you attend the Strand without fail and get your share of the laughter that is being dispensed there." New York Times :— " Harold Lloyd's latest effort is filled with laughs and gasps. When people are not rocking in their seats at the Strand they will be holding on to the chair arms to keep them down." New York Sun : — " ' Safety Last,' which brings young Harold Lloyd and his faithful horn rimmed specs to the Strand this week, is pretty nearly the most amusing movie ever made, and it certainly is one of the most thrilling." Evening Telegram : — " At the Strand Theatre the hearty laughs that ring through that playhouse reveal unmistakably that Harold Lloyd has made another hit — and a bigger and better one — in his new film comedy, ' Safety Last.' Here in the new seven reel comedy, he reaches the proportions of a Chaplin." Helen Pollock in The Morning Telegraph : — " If laughter really makes people grow fat Mr. Plunkett will be compelled to widen the exits at the Strand Theatre, where Harold Lloyd is appearing this week in ' Safety Last.' Here is the wildest, most irresponsible, devil-maycare comedy we have had in a blue moon, with Mr. Lloyd living up to the title and demonstrating that 'art for art's sake' is his motto, even at the risk of his life." Evening World : — ■ " Harold Lloyd, no matter what he does, will always strike us as the best comedian on the screen. And we say this well remembering all we ever saw Chaplin do. Take, for instance, ' Safety Last,' now unreeling thrills by the celluloid yard at the Strand — Harold Lloyd makes of his first seven-reeler a climbing classic." "If Winter Comes" Is Awaited Popular Story Will Head Long List of Fox Productions for Season FROAI the number of inquiries received by the New York offices of Fox Film Corporation regarding the William Fox screen presentation of A. S. M. Hutchinson's celebrated novel, " If Winter Comes," it is evident that exhibitors in all parts of the world are eagerly awaiting the opportunity to book this much talked of special production, according to Fox. Every day, according to officials of the Fox organization, requests are made for information as to when the' production will be released. The majority of these, it is announced, result from the numerous inquiries made by theatre pa trons who have read the book and who are deeply interested in seeing the famous characters of Hutchinson's novel come to life on the screen. The screen version of " If Winter Comes " will head the long list of special productions to be released by the Fox company during the 1923-24 theatrical season. Plans now are being made to give the pic ture a special Broadway showing, it is announced. More than a year was required to complete the screen translation of Hutchinson's novel, nearly six months being spent in England photographing the exteriors in the actual locations referred to in the superlative descriptive phrases of the author. The production was staged by Harry Millarde, who directed "Over the Hill," "The Town That Forgot God." and other triumphant William Fox productions. A. S. M. Hutchinson, and Basil McDonald Hastings, who wrote the stage version of the story, co-operated in every way in the selection of the cast and in other details connected with the making of the pictorial version of the story. A notable cast of screen artists, headed by Percy Marmont as Mark Sabre and Ann Forrest as Lady T\ bar, will be seen in the various difficult roles in the photoplay, it is stated.