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EIGHT PAGES. ■ ■ WASHINGTON, D. C., FEBBUAKY 18, 1940. * “
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THIS WEEK—Returning to Washington, now in her Broadway
hit of last seasonKatharine Cornell comes to the National to
morrow night in S.N. Behrman’s “No Time for Comedy.” Above:
Miss Cornell and Francis Lederer in a scene from the play.
Below: A recent portrait of Miss Cornell.
The Girls Settle Down
Temperaments of Days of Yore
Are With Us No More
By Sheilah Graham.
Katherine Hepburn will soon be back in Hollywood, and the natives
here are wondering what to expect from the lady known as “Tempera
When Miss Hepburn first descended On the film city, it was more
or less the fashion to focus attention on oneself by acts of considerable
screwiness, in the performance of Which Katharine toon hands down.
One ox her attention-getters was xo^
ride through the studio hanging to
the rear end of her imported limou
sine shrieking various translations
of “hello" to the producers and di
rectors in her path.
All that sort of thing is now con
sidered very old-fashioned (too bad
—from a columnist’s viewpoint).
The females of the movie species are
now so well behaved they are almost
dull. Gone entirely are the tem
perament*! antics as once practiced
by Miss Hepburn, Pola Negri, Lupe
Velez, Simone Simon et aL
No longer is it a la mode to do
things like slapping your detector’s
face—as Mae Murray once slapped
the cheek of Director von Stroheim.
Or to leave a picture before com
pletion. Pola Negri was working in
"Hotel Imperial” when Rudolph
Valentino died in New York. She
left the production flat to hasten
t© Valentino's funeral—and stole
that show. She came back in her
own good time and finished the pic
ture. That sort of thing just isn’t
Neither is this sort of thing: Lupe
Velez used to fight so much with
the other ladies of the cast that
when she made a picture for D. W.
Griffith he had a tent erected for
Lupe on the set, with orders that she
stay In it until called. So he couldn’t
understanding why his leading lady,
Jetta Goudal, suddenly burst into
tears. It seems that Lupe had cut
a hole in the tent and was sticking
out her tongue at Jetta 1
A.. And It is no longer fashionable fo^
By Hubbard Heavy,
Associated Press Stall Writer.
There has been a very, very satis
fying decrease in the number of
complaints about slick talkers with
"cameras who failed to deliver those
promised movie contracts.
In other words, the phony movie
talent scout racket is well washed
tip. It used to be a honey. It had
many advantages, Including travel
in a big auto bearing California
plates framed in gleaming brackets,
with a conspicuous “Hollywood” on
each; and plenty of travel, because
the talent scout who doesn’t deliver
doesn’t remain long in one territory.
He found easy pickings. The mere
suggestion by a stranger, and one
from Hollywood, too, that Beatrice
would make Shirley Temple look
like an amateur is the key to the
This fellow, without portfolio or
studio connections, and, generally,
without film, didn’t belong to a
union, but the scale was standard.
It was $15. That is what dozens of
parents with talented totsies said
they paid for the privilege of a
(See HEAVY, Pate P-2.)
Behrman Sticks to Idea
It’s Grace and Wit Man
Needs Most in Living
Other Playwrights Rant, but He Offers
Comfort to Those Who Dislike Ranting.
Drama Miss Cornell’s First Comedy
By Jay Carmody. ,
Of the four dramatists who compose the Playwrights do,, Maxwell
Anderson, 8. N. Behrman, Elmer Rice and Robert Sherwood, Mr. Behrman
must rate as the "most comforting,” whether or not the rating comforts
him. Let the others get as excited about the world as they can, and do.
Mr. Behrman clings steadfastly to the point of view that urbanity is what
man needs to cope with the vicissitudes of living. That was the idea with
which his career as playwright began, an idea stated and restated in
terms of sophisticated comedy which has been an unfailing opiate for
-the misery one may take into the theater. Other playwrights may cry to
Heaven for Release from this or that specific tfcrment, but Mr. Behrman
goes right on suggesting that it is to be found in an adult acceptance
of the world as imperfect but not intolerable. That is his suggestion in
"No Time for Comedy," which, in spite of its title, is the comedy that
brings Katharine Cornell to the National tomorrow night after a long
Broadway run and a longer road tour.
To the counsel that man should live dangerously, unselfishly or
heroically, Mr. Behrmffn counters with the advice that he should content
himself with living gracefully. He makes no claim that it is an easy
end to. accomplish." ^p fact, ne shows his penthouse and other luxury
loving children as beset by a constant succession of perplexities in the
conquest of which they employ a wisdom of which wit is the essence.
He is emphatic* however) in his insistence that for all its difficulties, it is
an easier way of life than rushing around seeking.panaceas that can
not be'found. . <
•There is ho room for a strength-sapping hatred or contempt in the
Behrman philosophy, but the nearest approach to it is his attitude toward
the panaceaist. tt is neatly implied in the speech of the realistic banker
in "No Time for Comedy" addressed to the bitter, Idealist, escapist young
“I am afraM you see the world not as it is, but as you would like it
to be. The history of the human race is a disgraceful history. Civil war
is no new thing .J* Spain (to which, the young man would flee to fight
fo* his ideals). They fought,the Car list wars, for 40 years. They kill
each other because they want to. It’s their pastime. You are like the
sentimentalist! b$o divorce the totalitarian rules from their peoples
No such divofee.lt poeslble. They nave the governments they want, the
governments the^tWeerve. The average man is bloodthirsty and con
temptible.- the great satirists, Voltaire and Swift, knew that. Your Indig
nation is sentimental and romantic. It is even infantile."
Whether one agrees or not, that’s telling them.
Flay b Min Cornell’s First
Comedy Since Tears in Stock. j.
The enormous audience which she created in her rise to the
of the “flrst lady of the stage” has seen Miss Cornell in a comedy role
in her current play for the flrst time since her achievement of stardom.
Not since her early years in stock has she had time for lightness of
spirit until she followed the failure of her “Herod and Mariamne” with
her association with the Playwrights Co. in the Behrman drama.
From the moment of her success as Jo in "Little Women,” she con
cemed herself with a succession of tragic ladies, the most conspiciously
successful ~$t them the heroines of productions which she sponsored in
association with her husband,. Guthrie McClintic* The group began with
the famous “Barretts of Wimpole Street” and included "Lucrece,” “Allen
Com,” “Romeo and Juliet,” “Candida.” “Flowers of the Forest,” "Saint
Joan,” "The Wingless Victory” and the previou^y'mentioned "Herod and
Mariamne,” which closed in Washington last , season before It reached
MIm Cerwril Me* SlaadfaM
fc IdMHT Film Often. "*> #*■; ** ' '
In her complete devotion to the stage. Miss Cornell has achieved
the singular distinction of being the only one ef its great attractions
who has never succumbed to the alluring offers of the movies. The
enormity of her drawing power in a medium which the cinema people'
regard as archaic has ma^p her the^ object of their most determined
attack. Indeed, prior to the economy mood which settled upon Southern
California last autumn one of the meet interesting of tlw recurring
items from Hollywood was that about the fabulous offer About to be
made to Miss Cornell.
If this department's memory is even faintly reliable, the last figure
reached the bea&tifhDy and impressively round proportions of $300,000
to be paid Miss fcomell for a single picture.
Whether the offer ever actually was made is not a matter of handy
record, but if it were it certainly did not modify Miss Cornell’s firm
position that the movies are not what the English call her cup of tea.
She clings to that attitude in spite of the fact that Hollywood probably
would give her not'merely that much money, but the right to write,
produce, direct and star in any picture which she might be willing to
By Harold H offer nan.
Have you heard the latest?
That Nelson, Eddy, poor soul, Is
slowly going Wind?
That Robert Taylor, suffering
permanent Injury when bis auto
rolled wff a high cliff, must walk
with a bmp the rest of his life?
That Tyrone Power, actually
passed away two months ago and
that news of his death Is being
held up so It won’t interfere with
release of a new picture?
That Bobby Breen is in jail? .. .
l^at Deanna Durbin Has lost her
voice? . . . That Shirley Temple is
a midget, not 10 yeprs old, but
actually in her late 20s?
These are a few of the current
rumors pestering Hollywood stars
and studios this winter. You’ve
heard some of them no doubt—and
perhaps many others equally as
What causes them to spring up?
No one seems to know. But hard
pressed studio publicity men, who
get none too much sleep under for
mal circumstances, would offer a
(See HEFFERNAN, Page F-3.)
It Took a War to Get Her on the American Stage
lady stars to break interview ap
pointments at the last second in the
manner of Simone Simon, who near
ly drove the boys in her publicity
department into a madhouse with
these tastics. %
The only temperamental screen
actress of today is Miriam Hopkins,
but you can hardly put her in the
class of the above-mentioned vet*
erans. Miriam' clothes her wilful
ness with a sweet coating of charm.
She will promise to do this and that,
but at the last minute if she de
cides against posing for portrait
stills or some otb-r publicity chore
she always has a perfectly good alibi,
(See GRAHAM, Page F.-2.) ,
Luise Rainer Here
Next Month in
By E. C. Daniel,
Associated Press 8tall Writer.
It took a war to bring Lulsr Rai
ner to the American stage. Though
twice winner of the Motion Picture
Academy’s highest award, she has
never acted behind footlights in the
United States, which is now her
So, in quaint, German-flavored
English, Miss Rainer told how it
happened that she was making her
first stage appearance in the United
States Sunday night, March 10, be
ling a week of Red Cross benefit
ormances with an amateur.com
had been a year in Europe;
While I was there the war broke
out. Many of my nearest friends
were tom into the war on all sides.
It was terrible. I didn’t knew what
to do. Acting seemed so unimportant
It seemed so unrelated to what was
happening in the world.
I was terribly unhappy. What
shall I do?* Can I Just, go-bftdk to
America and. be an actress while
these terrible things: are going
on?’ I asked myself. But myfnends
said, ’Lulse, go back. You cap do
more for us there than here.’" ;.
Bitting in a flood of vMnterafn
light in a bright hotel suite oh the
rim of bleak and leafless. Bock
Creek Park, she italicized the words
with her expressive voice, under
scored them with tense, gestures. „
“My nearest friends •: . . It was
terrible ... I didn't know what to
Today's Film Schedules
CAPITOL—“I Take This Woi&an,” with Spencer Tracy and Hedy
Lamarr: 2, 4:35, 7:25 and 10:20 pm. Stage shows: 3:35,
6:30 and 9:20 pm.
COLUMBIA—“The Shop Around the Comer,” Margaret Cullavan
and a Budapest romance: 2, 3:30, 5:35, 7:40 and V:50 pm.
EARLE—“He Married His Wife,” romance in the fast and frantic
manner: 2:50, 5:15, 7:35 and 10 pm. Stage shows: 2, 4:20,
6:45 and 9:10 pm. 9
KEITH’S—“My Little Chickadee,” with Mae West and W. C. Fields:
2:20, 4:10, 6, 7:45 and 9:3S pin.
LITTLE—“Secret Agent,” spy thrill* in the Hitchcock manner: 2:15
4:15, 6:i#5, 8 and 9:55 pm.
METROPOLITAN—“The Fighting1 69th,” through the World War
with gun and Cagney: 2:45,' 5:05, T:25 and 9:45 pm.
PALACE—"Gone With the Wind.’Wnammoth screen version of the
mammoth book: 2 and 8 pan.
TRANS-LUX—News and shorts; continuous from S pm.
I. i .i * i . ■ ...a——
Mo . . : I was terribly unhappy . . .
What shall I do? What shall I do?”
What she did was ip visit the
State Department on an errand of
mercy. . ',
“I had general talks to learn un
der what circumstances and what
one oan do for people who want
to come over/here from Europe.”
While in Washington, she got in
touch with Miss Mabel Boardman
of the Red Crass, and it was sug
gested that she play in George
Bernard Shawll “St. Joan” with the
Civic Theater.. She accepted..
“St. Joan,” she remarked with a
warm smile of remembrance, “was
my second part, -ll played it when
I was 17, just the age she was sup
posed to have been in Dusseldof.”
Well, was-there anything symbolic
in the selection of “St. Joan?” She
was, you know, -a military heroine
intent upon, freeing her people from
'Oppression, and she was. French.
“No,” Miss Rainer said. "It was *•
play that Washington people had
not seen, and the Ciyic Theater had
been wanting to do it for them.”
Sensing then the implication of
the question, she hastened on:
"I do not want to get into politics.
I am helping wherever I can. I think
to be a politician is a job for itself.
I personally cannot be a politician.
I am an actress and a woman. Both
are important occupations.”
Proceeds of her performances,
which she is giving without cost to
any one but herself, will be used for
war relief in the neediest countries
without regard to politics, she said.
But she coneeded that "8t. Joan
is a very timely play.”
For a moment she Immersed her
self in the character of the maid of
Orleans and mused aloud:
“This girl has two main qualities.
She has her feet on the earth and
her hands in the sky. At the same
| —Auootatot prom Photo.
Star Appears With
Civic Theater for
time, she has not the head down,
but the head up, listening to every
thing. She can fly and make others
fly .with her. She is like an
“It’s as if God -put His fist
.right here between her shoulder
Miss Rainer leaned forward to
demonstrate with her own fist.
”... and is pushing her for
ward. This takes all the fear away
Then Miss Rainer talked of her
own fears ana her need for God’s
driving fist. In creating a role, she
confided, "I have the most terrific
Her latest jjart was in Jacques
Duval's “Soubrette” in London. Her
next, after “St. Joan”?
Well, she has a contract for a
technicolor picture in England. It
has been suggested she tour America
in “St. Joan.”
In her brand-new dispatch case—
the one she bought to impress her
Sends with a businesslike manner
e’s never had—is pa unsigned con
tract for three pictures in Holly
wood, which she quit late in 1938.
.. ' ■ '
FUTURE WEEKS—Cornelia Otis Skinner, opening a week of
repertory of her monodramas to the National Monday, February
26, is seen here as Catherine of Braganza in “The Loves of
Charles II," which' the star will present at the Wednesday
matinee and evening performances. Her Monday night per
formance of “Edna His Wife” will be a benefit for the Smith
College Scholarship Fund. Below: Carmen Miranda, the Bra
zilian songstress who is starred in “Streets of Paris" due at the
National the following week.
'Kacnow’ Barks New Play
‘The Unconquered’ Harangues
Russia, but Any One Gan
By Ira Wolfert.
A mild amount of interest can be aroused In George Abbott’s latest
production, “The Unconquered,” because of the author.
In two plays now, Ayn Rand has demonstrated she owns that rare
thing among lady playwrights—a violent, blood-hungry mind. She Writes
what the belle-lettrlsts refer to as kachow stuff. Kachow sneezed the
gun; the gun bellowed kachow; the revolver spoke; it said kachow; the
rod coughed kacnow; kachow'
belched the. cannon; and so forth,
far into the night, never far enough
into the night, always too far.
NATIONAL—“No Time for Comedy,” the S. N. Behrman play In
which Katharine Cornell found such happy success on Broad
way last season, opens a week's engagement here tomorrow
night. Francis Lederer Is Miss Cornell’s leading man.
EARLE—“Little Old New York,” the story of Robert Fulton and
his folly which-developed into the Albany night boat, opens
on Washington’s birthday, which is Thursday. Richard Greene
plays thp inventor and Alice Faye and Fred MacMurray are
others Involved. There will be a new stage show, too.
KEITH'S—“Swiss-Family Robinson,” adaption to the screen of the
famous novel, produced by Gene Towne and Graham Baker,
la next on the schedule after "My Little Chickadee.” Thomas
Mltchefl, Edna Best, Freddie Bartholomew and Terry Kilbum
have the leading roles.
CAPITOL—“The Light That Failed,” screen version of Mr. Kipling's
yarn, arrives Friday. Ronald Caiman has the leading role
Mid Ida Lupine heads the supporting cast. A new variety
Mil, beaded br Rill Regan, will make its appearance on the
stage. jp .
MBTROPOLrrAH*-“Calllng Pholo Vance,” adventure In murder
v“ Dine’* fMned sleuth, opens Thursday.
Jbmea SkSpbenseit ls Philo Vapce and Margot Stevenson has
the leading feminine role.
COLUMBIA—“Remember the Night,” story of romance, starring
Barbara Stanwyck and Robert Taylor, moves- hem Friday
for a second week on F street.
- - * _
In that kind of literature, the sen
tences are invariably kept short be
cause they are unimportant, in fadt,
the sentences don’t count at all ex
cept as spaces between punctuation.
In Wolfert’s “Parsing Out,’1 a book
of etiquette for authors, the subject
of punctuation is dealt with tersely.
Therein it is explained that the suc
cessful author must split his infini
tives with gasps, dangle his parti
ciples on tenterhooks, separate his
phrases witji screams, make clauses
singular and end each sentence with
It has been discovered that this
literature is marketable in numer
ous fields, but so far not oh the
stage. “The Unconquered” is un
likely to prove an exception to the
rule. Its subject matter, according
to President Roosevelt's figures, Will
prove popular with M per cent dt
the people in the United Stated
the play being a boot in the UsSST
of Soviet Russia. No doubt, this Is
what Mr. Abbott counted on til
producing the play. However, st
people want to hear Soviet Russia
gasped over, screamed-at, dangled
on tenterhooks, clawed and kb*
chowed, they don’t have to pay |3J|
for a. theater ticket. Not these
.It make* a man, perhaps some
women, too, a little wistful ta m
" ' iAmWIUfii Pa«b»-li'f.
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