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Evening star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, June 11, 1932, Image 16

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From the Front Row
Reviews and News of Washington s Theaters.
Loew's Fox Features
“Forgotten Commandments.”
HE best part of "Forgotten
Commandments" Is "The Ten
Commandments." Scenes
from Cecil B. De Mille's ex
silent movie spectacle, which
' rivaled “Ben Hur" for sheer size
of cast, camels and chariots, are
inserted into the middle of the new
Paramount film at the Fox and make
It blush for its
own wearness.
While Mr. Dr
Mille's picture
was not credited
as brine the best
film of its time,
It still played
rings around
most of its suc
cessors. and as
far as we can see
plays more than
that around the
current picture.
You will un
<J o u b t e dly be
stirred once
more by Estelle
Taylor doing a.
bachana lian 8ari Maritia.
act; bv Theo
dore Roberts, that grand old actor,
leading the Israelites through the
raging and parted waters of the Red
Sea (this was known to be the best
fake of its day); by the gnashing of
teeth when Pharoahs child dies—
and bv the grotesquely awful make
ups of all of the members of the
cast. But the sand- and Moses watch
ing the thunderbolts, and the waters
swallowing the Egyptians, still seem
as exciting as they were in the old
davs—perhaps more so. on account,
of the relief they have been thrown
up against. . ...
Even tne Wiles OI uie juuimm
Earl Maritza, the new British Clara
Bow, and the womanly wails of
Marguerite Churchill as the tor
mented wife, do not make “Forgot
ten Commandments” more than
barely palatable. One fears, too,
that admirers of the Soviet regime
are not likely to be too polite about
it For the moral which it- pur
ports to paint is not flattering to
Petrograd-land. and the actors
play their roles as though they were
having a pretty tough time bear
ing up. ... !
This 1s a shame. Particularly
since Miss Maritza is one of the
handsomer of recent finds, and while
Marguerite Churchill is not a good |
actress. Irving Pichel is—and so is i
Gene Ray mond. All three of them, j
in this tepid story of why you
shouldn't get married in Russia,
are completely lost—Moses and the
chariots winning by a full length.
This week's stage show, however,
Is a bright affair, enlivened by a
cornelv group of Chester Hale girls. (
who dance a graceful ballet, and
then do a Parisienne dance of some
what warmer proportions. Other
features of this show are those per- |
ennial favorites, Radcliffe and Rog- I
ers; King. King and King, mopping
up the floor with their high-pres
sure feet: Lee Gails, doing an
Apache adagio, and lightly flinging
the lady Into the orchestra pit;
Anita Avila and Jack Nile in an i
original and colorful dance, and
Svlvia Nelson, who sings gently in
between. Then there is Wesley
Eddv singing a Helen Kane version
of "Mean to Me.” with thunderously
successful results, and the orches
tra trying to keep its eyes away
from the stage during that final
terpisehorean display—which is rem
iniscent of the Moulin Rouge in its
heyday. E. de S. MELCHER.
March and Sylvia Sidney in
••Merrily We Go to Hell."
ALTHOUGH the two chief protag
onists of the new film at Loews
Palace go along in fits and starts of
alcoholic merriment. "Merrily We
Go to Hell" Is a modernistic sermon
on the perils of matrimony where
brains marrying money and vice ,
versa Ls involved. Played to the hilt
by that admirable actor Fredric
March, and equally so by Sylvia j
Sidney i whose avordupoLs is. alas! ;
beginning to creep up on heri. this
picture is notable for the tear-tug j
it has as a climax, for the amount
of alcohol consumed by Mr. March,
and for the manner in which "we
moderns" are painted as a promis
cuous bunch of patriots whose mar
riages mean just about as little as
does the handwriting on the wall.
Taken from the novel. "I, Jerry.
Take Thee. Joan.” it is perhaps
overstem in its preaching. At this
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Oxford Kitchen Cabinets
Bronre Screens
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Built-in Garages
^ Tow*!18(dg.-Zr Dl. 0863 A
moment. Hollywood "beer” parties
are beginning to pall. Snapshots of
young things sprawling over floors
and whatnots have little either of
originality or excitement about them.
When hero B kisses vampire C at
a party given by hero's wife, and
hero's wife runs out like a wild
bull, the situation is so banal, so
redolent of happenings in a thou
sand other films, that It seems as
though the time had come to call a
halt on such things. Even as
played by Mr. March, these scenes
of unlicensed love affairs seem un
deniably cheap.
Fortunately, however, Mr. March’s
ability to act like a gentleman even
when he is obviously a bum, dissi
pates much of the sordidness. As a
newspaper sleuth who marries mil
lioas. only to give up the office in
favor of writing plays in his wife's
kitchen, he becomes successful
overnight, and with that success
falls head over heels in love with a
former flame of his who happens to
be playing the leading role in his
play. Thereupon the "flame” (Ad
rianne Allen • annexes the happy
young playright, the playright an
nexes the flame, and the good lit
tle wife tries a little gin drinking
of her own to prove that she "can
take it on the chin” and not mind
it either. In the end the young
married couple are brought to
gether bv the appearance of mother
stork—and as the Anal curtains
come to a close the ladies in the
audience will probably be crying.
Mr. March and Miss Sidney are
worth seeing—even If the film has
its downs and well as its ups.
E. de S. M.
“Is My Face Bed?”
Stars Ricardo Cortez.
'T'HOSE who still want to know
how a certain Broadway chat
tel artist lives, breathes and works
in his dubiously commendable art
of prying into other people's affairs
will find "Is My Pace Red?” with
Ricardo Cortez and Helen Twelve
trees. at R-K-O Keith's, a fast
moving yarn, full of impossibilities
and at the same time, thanks to
Zasu Pitts, full of laughs. Although
neither so swift nor so funny as
was and probably will be "Blessed
Event" when it comes to the screen,
the picture has a few first-rate mo
ments. and for the rest should "burn
up" the gentleman whom it is meant
to satirize. Whether or not the
public will like it depends on how
much of this sort of stuff it has
been getting—frankly, the theme
has begun to get frayed and worn
and is slightly tiresome as far as
this department is concerned.
By now the world at large knows
that there are such people known as
"Broadway columnists.” One or two
in particular have become in the
past few months what used to be
called “the rage." Actors and their
near counterparts twist themselves
e ten. fry I4|%r Met Burroughs. Inc All rlgbu reavrved.
The ugly beast-woman of the caves sniffed the air.
Men! Increasing her gait to a trot she bore down
upon them. For some time men had been scarce.
Many women of her tribe who had gone into the
forest to capture mates had never returned.
But nere were men at last, tne nrst sne naa ois
covered In two moons. At a turn In the trail she
saw them, but to her dismay they were a long way
off. One of them was pointing at her. Grasping
her cudgel more firmly, she started toward them
at a rapid, lumbering run.
men to ner sstonisnment sne saw tney actually
were advancing to meet her. One young male, who
was now running toward her, paused and hurled
a long, pointed stick which grazed her shoulder.
Another also paused and suddenly shot a little stick
toward her.
The stick leaped through the air and pierced her
arm. drawing blood Turning, she lumbered away
in the direction from which she had come, as fast
as her hairy legs could carry her. Nor did she once
pause until she sank exhausted at the mouth of
her own cave.
over backward to get mentioned In
these columns. "Society’’ does its
best to keep out. But the final
conglomeration of news, as "Is My
Face Red?” tells you. is a potpourri
of social gossip, theater waggery and
murder mysteries—tossed out In neat
little language pills.
Mr. Cortez plays the kind of a
role which Roger Prior acted for a
week at the Belasco during the past
season. His troubles are concerned
not only with whipping his daily
scandal column Into shape, but in
keeping his office water supply full
of gin. and in making love to a va
riety of fair young ladies. Finally,
when a gangster has come into his
office and almost wiped him from
the map. the bullet in his innards
makes him realize that Miss Twelve
trees is the one and only after all.
Not a pretty tale—but. if you
haven’t seen "Blessed Event." well
enough. Cortez is dapper but llk.
able. E. de S. M.
vice and crime In the darkest dens
and dives of Paris, where men are
tortured and thrown into a roaring
furnace and young women are sold
in bondage, the picture leaves little
to be desired in gruesome terror. It
bears the stamp of a "super-thriller”
from start to finish.
The story opens with a man-hunt,
and Costaud, a World War hero,
jailed for a crime committed in a
brawl shortly after he was decorated
for bravery, is being tracked through
a deep swamp together with another
fleeing convict. He escapes the
fusillade of shots which kills his
companion by diving into a river
and is reported drowned He makes
his way to Paris to find his daughter
who knows nothing of his Hfe of
crime but believes he was killed on
the battlefield Her mother has Just
died, and it is Costaud's plan to
supply her with sufficient funds to
live safely and well. Posing as a
friend of her father's whom she
hardly knew, he arrive* Just In time
to save her from the clutches of an
evil gang who are about to ship her
to South America, and to save her
lover from being burned alive.
Helen Mack plays the part of Ma
non- the almost too innocent daugh
ter, and William Blackwell 1* Paul
Revoir, the bewildered and uncon
vincing lover. Jack La Rue and Rita
La Roy are good In minor parte, but
the picture rests almost entirely on
McLaglen's shoulders, who gives his
finest performance In the role of
the father.
A comedy starring Benny Rubin
and several additional short sub
jects. including an airplane travelogue
over the Andes of Peru and a news
reel supplement the main feature.
H G.
Wynne Gibson aa Clara Deane
At Warner's Metropolitan.
r\ESPITE rather excellent acting
i by two or three members of
I the cast, "The Strange Case of Clara I
Deane,” current attraction at War- {
ner Bros.’ Metropolitan, fails to rise
very much above the level of the
average heart-wringer of a decade
or so ago.
Not a trace of humor lightens the
tragedy of the story, and only the
work of Wynne Gibson, In the title
role, and Dudley Digges, as the out
wardly hard-boiled but really soft
hearted police Inspector, save It from
Miss Gibson does a really fine piece
of acting as the mother who Is torn
away from her little daughter and
taken to prison. She Is released after
15 years and finds her daughter
grown up and about to be married
The story epens In a fashionable
dressmaker's shop In 1912. Clara
Deane, a designer, is about to marry.
On the eve of the ceremony her
prospective husband 'Pat O'Brien I
Is notified of a warrant for his ar- !
rest for embezzling insurance com
pany funds. Nevertheless. Clara goes
through with the wedding and makes
good the shortage. The husband goes
from bad to worse, and finally, as
they are leaving New York, on advice
of Inspector Garrison of the police,
holds up a gas station. Escaping, he
shoots a p:liceman. Both husband
and wife are then sentenced to
One of the really impressive scenes
of the picture occurs as the mother
says good-by to her little daughter
m an orphanage before commencing
to serve her prison term.
The latter part cf the picture Is
concerned with the efforts of the
mother to locate her daughter after
her parole from prison. She finally
is successful, but for the sake of tlv>
girl, who believes her parents dead,
does not disclose her Identity. In the
end she kills her ne'er-do-well hus
hand. after he, too, is paroled from 1
prison, to prevent him from demand
ing money from their daughter
A Paramount news reel, a Ripley
‘Believe It or Not" travel picture
and an animated cartoon round out
the bill. W. 8. T.
A grain of com or wheat, gathered
out of the middle of the ear. waa the
"rigin of all the weights uaed In Eng
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<0(T I'tsh Are.i
8 rooms 2 bath«- AH Brtek
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Ru«t Fide. Ufa. DM
“While Paris Sleeps,"
At Loew 's Columbia.
STARRING Victor McLaglen as
° a fighting apache in "While
Paris Sleeps," a tale of the French
underworld, which for sheer thrill
and melodrama would make Eugene
Sue gasp for breath, Loew's Colum
bia inaugurates its new low-price
policy this week.
In this, the most hard-boiled and
probably the best role in his career,
McLaglen as the grim-visaged Cos
taud, an escaped life-termer from
the French penal colony, makes a
lone stand against police, detectives
and the vilest thugs in the world
for the honor of his daughter, w hom
he finally saves from a fate worse ;
than death only to blow himself Into
eternity when cornered by his pur
suers at the end.
Woven against a background of
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.- ■ - •
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