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Oliviers 'Hamlet' is worth
shouting about—critic says By Bob Bennett Laurence olivier, who bowled the customers over with a remarkably fine and ex citing adaptation of Shakes peare’s “Henry V” for the films, has now set ’em up in the other alley — and again achieved a movie worth shouting about. Olivier’s version of the tragedy of “Hamlet” makes going to the movie: the kind of experi ence it only too rarely is and more frequently ought to be. “Hamlet” has fine acting, won derful sets and music and in telligent, perceptive editing. All in all, it’s really something. But now that I’ve led my few faithful—and bewildered consti J tuents this far out on a limb, I’m going to enter a few objec tions lest they beseige the editor and scream for their money back. I think “Hamlet” is wonderful stuff—on the stage. On the screen—well, it’s exciting, it’s moving, it’s interesting—and it THIS WEEK IT'S tincf . . . you will be thrilled by this great story of the Daily Worker and its ex citing contribution to the cause of labor and the people . . . selections from j 25 years of the Daily Worker . . . life story of a labor champion. $1.50 modern book store 180 W. WASHINGTON ST. DE 2-6552 open 10 to 7; 6 p.m. Sats. has big chunks that are just ■ plain dull and a mite dreary. Mind you, X have no doubt that if Will himself had done the movie version it might be some thing, but he didn’t—and there’s the rub, to steal a, phrase from the old boy. To add monotony to insult and injury, the theatre and the film are two different and separate art forms. Each has its own discipline, its own tech nique and its own unique func tion. I have no objection per se to adapting plays for the films. It’s just that with something like “Hamlet” Olivier was strapped; he could cut and edit, but he couldn’t change the basic line and approach of the play. Now the very special thing about the film is that at its highest and most refined level, the camera becomes — in the hands of a real film artist—a creative instrument, just as the brush is for the painter or the piano for the virtuoso. Confined, as Olivier’s camera is to the Elsinore, you get in ef fect a photographed play without getting the three-dimensional ef fect of the stage. True, Olivier takes his camera on some sweep ing tours of the palace and whirls over the grim winding battlements, but for all that the film is still largely static. The Russians and the French seem to understand use of the camera best and their films prove it. John Ford and Frank Capra used to achieve it once in a while here, but the only film artist extant in the U.S. right now is Charlie Chaplin (if you’ve seen M. Verdoux you know what I mean.) Shakespeare is a man with ideas—hundreds of ider.* fNo, Mr. Olivier, this is NOT j * a story of a man who couldn’t make up his mind.) All of them are provocative and interesting— but they were designed for pre sentation on a stage—not for Farm output up Each man-hour of farm labor now means two-fifths more total production than it did before World War II. ■ - — Chicago speaks . . . SID ORDOWER . °; h ° Sunday — I p.m. comments on Chicago WJJD EVENTS and PERSONALITIES 1160 on your dial sponsored by BYRON HOME EQUIPMENT CO. 1412 So. Michigan HA 7-1784 r ROBESON SONGS FOR $4.85 Now on "LP" (A SINGLE LONG PLAYING RECORD) ROBESON'S concert favorites llllllUlillllllillllllllllllllll songs of free men Including “Old Man River” “The House I Live In” . . . and 14 other favorites ! ALSO A LARGE SELECTION OE ROBESON ALBUMS AND 'SINGLES' AT STANDARD SPEED 175 West Washington St. CE 6-3073 Chicago 2 mail and phone orders accepted 10% of your purchase will be paid to the STANDARD if you ask for the "STANDARD POST CARD" transmission through a camera. Nevertheless, in spite of these reservations, Olivier and the cast he assembled did a magni ficent job of acting and the re sult is a film well worth seeing —even at roadshow prices. After all, “Hamlet” is “Hamlet.” Did you know? Prices paid by farmers, in cluding interest and taxes, are down less than 2 percent from July. DeMaio tells why Fineman was expelled from UE Ernest DeMaio, president of District 11, United Electrical Workers (CIO), this week dis closed the background of the case in which A1 Fineman, presi dent of Local 1121, was ex pelled from the union. The District Council of the union, acting on recommenda tion of the Appeals Committee, voted to expel Fineman on two charges, chief of which was fail ure to initiate grievance action after about 100 workers were laid off recently cut of seniority in violation of contract provi sions between UE and the Mitchell Manufacturing Co. of Chicago. Most of the laid-off workers were Negroes. The president and business representative of Local 1121 was also charged with having “proposed and had written into a contract a clause weakening the seniority system and pre venting the recall of Negro and white workers who are laid off for a year or more.’’ WFTU will continue even though CIO has left it By Israel Epstein James B. Carey of the CIO and Arthur Deakin of the British Trades Congress have announced that they are taking their or ganizations out of the World Federation of Trade Unions, thus severing 16 million U.S. and British organized workers from over 60 million others represented in the organization. The WFTU was founded in October, 1945, to unite labor throughout the world. Among the aims stated in its unani mously approved constitution and founding resolution were the following: To combat war and the causes of war and work for a stable and enduring peace; to organ ize the struggle of unions in all countries against all encroach ments on the economic and social rights of the workers and democratic liberties (and) for security and full employment. To imbue the working people with the spirit of international Solidarity and labor unity in the struggle for the speediest and most complete eradication of the remnants of fascism; to strength en trade unity and resolutely to combat all those who might at tempt to disrupt this unity and to weaken or divide the forces of the working people. As its first conference Carey said the WFTU was “the con summation of the dearest wishes” of CIO Pres. Philip Murray. “Our participation in international affairs will not be on a 50 percent basis,” Carey promised. “We intend to assume full responsibility to our own members and the workers of the world.” In the years that followed, the WFTU carried out protests and demonstrations against op pression of labor in fascist Spain, Greece and Portugal in Europe; China, India, Iran, Malaya, Bur ma, Indonesia and Ceylon in Asia; Brazil, Chile and Argen tina in Latin America, and Egypt and the Sudan in Africa. It mobilized world unions in proests against the Taft-Hartley law in the U. S. It pressed for representation in the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, but was defeated by the votes of the U. S. and some other powers. These actions were broader and more univer sal than any in the world labor history of the past. COLD WAR CAUSE While the WFTU acted joint ly on these matters of common interest, it has not infringed on the autonomy of member organ izations, which had full inde pendence in home politics. The growing split in the WFTU was a result of external issues in troduced into the movement by the policies of the “cold war.” The rift in the world body began in early 1948, when Brit ish and American delegates tried to swing it behind the Marshall Plan. This was opposed not only by Soviet and Chinese delegates, but also by the French and Italians. Soviet trade union Pres. Vassili Kuznetzov then told Carey in compromise PEOPLE'S SONGS hootenanny starring betty SANDERS folk songs from 'round th« world and NEW LOOK VARIETIES! Saturday feb. 19 8:15 p. m. admission me cormick ywca $1 incl. tax dearborn at oak st. discussions: “Soviet unions do not object to economic assist ance by one country to another, including of course U.S. help. They do oppose any conditions leading to the economic and po litical subjugation of countries receiving help. Unions cannot be forbidden to vote either for or against the Marshall Plan with out undermining trade union unity.” At a meeting of the WFTU executive in Rome in May 1948, a compromise was reached, re affirming the autonomy of all members. The organization was saved largely through the ap peals of union leaders both within and outside its ranks. Typically, Pres. Kazuyoshi Do bashi of the 400,000-strong Jap anese Communications Workers Union urged CIO Pres. Philip Murray to “take every possible measure to prevent tragic dis ruption of world labor unity represented by the WFTU, pro duced by labor's realization for international labor solidarity after World War II, which caused workers innumerable sacrifices.” The final crisis was precipi tated by the demand of the CIO and TUC that the WFTU “sus pend its activities” for a year because of the strained state of international politics, meaning preparation for World War III. The demand was rejected by the majority of WFTU delegates, who remained loyal to the con stitutional provisions that re quired the world body to do everything to fight war trends. The CIO and TUC, heavily in volved in “selling” the Marshall Plan and Truman doctrine, now wish to form a new "world” labor group committed to these policies. The only other WFTU group Supporting the CIO-TUC move is the right-wing Dutch trade union federation, which has re fused to protest Dutch aggres sion in Indonesia. The company is poor. No other is available for such a maneuver. In the meantime, the majority of the WFTU unions has decided to carry on, trying as always to bring U. S. and British workers back into the world fraternity. Weekly guitar class announced A new series of classes in folk style guitar playing has been announced by People’s Songs. Instructing the course will be Jim Blaut, popular young guitar - ist-balladeer. Classes, the first to be Feb. 7, will be held week ly at 7:30 p.m. on Mondays, at the home of Martha Fears. 1204 N. State St. Beginning and advanced stu dents will be accepted, and fee is $1.25 per session. Registration is Monday, Jan. 31 between 7:30 and 9 p.m. at Miss Fears home, telephone WH 4-7786.