The theater, the cinema and ourselves (1947)

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It is curious that within a year of the production of national velvet the actual case of a young girl, obviously a lover of horses and yet human enough to fall in love with the man who gave her her first horse, received considerable publicity but little sympathetic consideration. It showed that even the stage or screen, with all the world to choose from, can get so obsessed with an idea that they can forget what life is really like. They get utterly outdone in drama, in romance and in living suffering humanity by a chance case in a Law Court. If this goes on, the Law Courts will surely become more crowded and the theatres and cinemas emptier. In the meantime there might well be a play or a film not only giving us a more convincing horsy girl but also showing us the kind of man who falls in love with her, and her feelings towards him. Treated with the sympathy that the stage and screen are now capable of it might well effect the public's attitude, and the Law's too, towards individual cases. 16. MODERN CINDERELLAS There are few plays or films without some kind of a Cinderella. It is a theme with endless variations, by no means confined to pantomimes, the glass slipper ventured on the simple story of Cinderella that we are accustomed to see at Christmas but stripped of the overwhelming pantomime distractions that have grown to seem an almost inevitable part of it. It was a simple and charming and not over-childish rendering, and perhaps contained the root of the story as far as there can be a common root to something whose branches have such varied fruit. The Cinderella theme, however, lies buried far deeper. It is in the plot of Ann Todd's recent stage successes—Madeleine Smith, the girl accused of murder in the rest is silence, and still more in lottie dundass, the girl who is denied the part in a play she longs to interpret. It is also in cynara, in the sad fate of the little bathing belle, and in the film brief encounter, in the housewife who whilst shopping gets a piece of coal dust in her eye and finds herself hopelessly envolved in a distressingly inconclusive love-affair. In both, so different and yet so curiously similar in feeling, Celia Johnson showed great tenderness and delicacy—after an interval of fifteen years. The tender moments in the film were never overdone and were yet further proof that the cinema can if it likes rise far above the average theatre. It is often in the small theatre clubs that plays with real delicacy begin and happily do not always end. the rising sun was a little masterpiece and Dorothy Gordon as her father's devoted but practical daughter gave us a quiet but human and unob- trusively appealing little person, a hitherto unexplored aspect of Cinderella. About the same time at another theatre club Mary Horn gave us a very different variation 37