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Evening star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, April 03, 1955, Image 110

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FOURTEEN PAGES.
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PASTOR MEETS HIS FLOCK—In this scene from “A Man
Called Peter,” Richard Todd in the title role meets his more
fashionable parishioners of the New York Avenue Presby
terian Church. It is a dramatic take-off on Peter Marshall's
The Passing Show
Peter Marshall on Screen
Wife, Author of 'A Man Called Peter/
Finds Hollywood Varied Experience
BY JAY CARMODY
Mrs. Catherine Marshall
whose biography of her late
husband, “A Man Called
Peter,” has just been produced
as a motion picture may have
picked up the material for an
other book out of her Holly
wood experience.
Not a dour and disillusioned
book but, like herself, lively,
observant, candid and under
standing. Mrs. Marshall, whose
husband was pastor of the
New York Avenue Presbyterian
church and chaplain of the
the United States Senate at
the time of his sudden death,
found much that was cheerful
in her Hollywood adventure.
She reviewed it all with the
local drama press at luncheon
the other day—the delightful
and the disconcerting with
equal frankness—and the press
never had a nicer luncheon to
remember.
She Likes the Film
Mrs. Marshall likes the film,
regards neither it nor her book
as perfect, has great admira
tion for Richard Todd’s por
trait of her husband on the
screen, and is pleased with
Jean Peters’ impersonation of
Catherine Wood Marshall. She
had misgivings that Peter
Marshall’s film story, and her
own, might be overstressed in
terms of their romance; every
one knows how Hollywood loves
lovers. She thinks an occasion
al setting in “A Man Called
Peter” might be overelabor
ate and she will never cease
to be amazed at how little of
a book can be used in a film
script.
This latter, of course, may be
because a writer is slow to
realize how many words may
be covered by a single picture.
Mrs. Marshall, whom Jean
Peters may well wish she will
resemble a few years hence,
has one deep satisfaction with
the film that rises above all
other considerations.
Purpose Simple
“I wrote the book,” she says,
with the hope of extending the
effect of Peter’s life and work.
It proved popular beyond my
expectations. Now, how many
more people will become ac
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MERRY MURDER—Aa Roald Dahl views It, homicide lo a hilarious theme In “The Honeys"
which will brine an all-starrish east to the Shubert for two weeks beginning April 11. The
throe principals In the earned? are played by Dorothy Stiekney, Home Cronyn and Jessica
Tandy. Mr. Cronyn also directs.
Stage—Screen—Books
TV—Rad io—Music
quainted with both through
the picture!”
Even her joy in this, how
ever, is not without its small
shadows.
“I never cease to be sur
prised,” she says, “that there
are some people who regard
all such undertakings as a com
mercialization of religion. On
my way out of New York, for
instance, I was accompanied
to the airport by two reporters
from a national news magazine
who frankly told me their in
structions were to explore this
fully. It gave me some dubi
ous satisfaction to tell them,
with equal frankness, the de
tails—that the film rights
brought less than one-tenth
the average of best-sellers, and
that after agent and lawyers’
fees. I have relatively next to
nothing.”
It is not merely the press
that is interested in this aspect
of the book and subsequent
film, Mrs. Marshall says.
“A school friend of Agnes
Scott in Atlanta, whom I had
invited to see a preview, was
quick to observe, among less
surprising things, that I must
now be well fixed.”
Tokes It Cheerfully
She is not sure, she can say
cheerfully, that this sort of
thing together with Holly
wood’s concept of her hus
band’s salary as paltry, will
not make her more money
conscious than she has been
up to now.
However, if this correspond
ent seems to be dwelling on
the fiscal aspects of Mrs. Mar
shall’s experience, she herself
does not.
“Hollywood,” it was sug
gested to her, “must have
come as quite a shock to you.”
Mrs. Marshall laughed. “I
think I came as more of a
shock to it,” she says. “My ar
rival was something like the
opening scene in a movie, you
know the train pulling into the
pretty, palm bordered station
at Pasadena. I confess I had
the jitters, but I think at that
that I had a better idea of
Hollywood than it had of me.”
Everyone she met, at 20th
Century-Fox studios, she says.
See CARMODY, Page E-3
new pastorate in which his will and that of a haughty
parishioner, played by Marjorie Rambeau, on divan, have
their first clash. Pastor Marshall, a firm Scot, emerges the
winner eventually.
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CAIN AND ABEL STORY—Is told in modern paraphrase by
John Steinbeck in “East of Eden,” which will be the Easter
attraction at the Metropolitan and Ambassador Theaters.
Williams Play Stirs Up His Customary Storm
BY WILLIAM GLOVER
Associated Press Staff Writer
NEW YORK.
Whether it wins any prizes
or not, the newest play on
Broadway has already fanned
more talk and sharply divided
opinion than any dozen other
shows.
‘‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,”
by Tennessee Williams, dis
cusses cancer, homosexuality
and ethical depravity of man
kind.
Three-quarters of the news
paper critics found it power
ful, high theater. Others as
sailed it for lacking stature
or meaning, and .being simply
an example of excelling stage
talents gone wrong.
What the ticket-buying pub
lic finally decides is a matter
puitdaij ffetf
WASHINGTON, D. C., APRIL 3, 1955
Public and Critics Both Excited and Sale
Os Seats Already Reaches Into December
of high speculation, shared
by the author himself. The
astute and confident producing
firm, the Playwright Company,
with quotes from favorable
reviews, is taking mail orders
at the Morosco Theater into
December.
Aside from the deservedly
high reputations of Williams
and Director Elia Kazan, a
lot of excitement has been
whipped by reports that ‘‘Cat”
is a racy compound of rabel
aisian dialogue and touchy
theme.
Not a Tingle
But the vicarious thrill
seeker will find no salacious
tingle here, despite the great
bed which symbolically centers
proceedings. And chance post
mortem talks with a dozen
widely different types of the
ater fans found each com
menting: “I didn’t like it. I
thought maybe It was just
me.”
Today's Schedules
Stage
ARENA—"The World of Sholom Aleichem”; 8:30 p.m.
NATIONAL—‘‘The Seven Year Itch,” dark tonight, resumes
tomorrow.
Screen
AMBASSADOR—“Unchained”: 3, 6:25 and 9:55 pjn.
CAPITOL—“Hit the Deck”; 1:05, 3:15, 5:25, 7:35 and 9:45 p.m
COLONY—"The Little Kidnapers"; 2:30, 4:20, 6:10, 8 and
9:50 p.m.
COLUMBIA—“Chief Crazy Horse”; 1:10, 3:45, *5:45, 7:40 and
9:40 p.m.
DUPONT—“Gate of Hell”: 1:35, 3:35, 5:40, 7:45 and 9:50 p.m.
KEITH’S—“The Long Gray Line"; 1:40, 4:25, 7:15 and 9:45
p.m. i
LITTLE—“The Vanishing Prairie”; 1:30, 3:10, 4:50, 6:30, 8:10
and 9:50 p.m.
MacARTHUR—“An Inspector Calls”; 2, 3:80, 5. 6:35, 8:15 and
9:55 p.m.
METROPOLITAN—"Unchained”: 3:20, 6:40 and 9:55 p.m.
ONTARIO—“She Couldn’t Say No”; 1:45, 3:40, 5:40, 7:40 and
9:45 p.m.
PALACE—"Captain Lightfoot”; 1:30, 3:35, 5:40, 7:45 and
9:50 p.m.
PLAYHOUSE—"The Glass Slipper”; 1. 2:45, 4:35, 8:30, 8:30
and 10:10 p.m.
PLAZA—"Tonight’s the Night"; 1:25, 4:15, 8:10, 8:05 and
10 p.m.
TRANB-LUX—"The Country Girl”; 13:40, 2:36, 4:30, 8:25,
8:25 and 10:25 pm.
WARNER—“This Is Cinerama"; 2. 5 and 8:30 pm.
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A WIFE CALLED CATHERINE—PIayed by Jean Peters, lays
down the law to Richard Todd In the title role of “A Man
Called Peter,” which opens at the Palace on Thursday. At
this point in the story, adapted from Mrs. Marshall's biogra-
The leads in the film, directed by Elia Kazan, are played by
Julie Harris and James Dean, pictured here in the California
setting of Steinbeck's fable.
Williams has heretofore
provided at least one char
acter on whom the audience
could attach sympathy or
understanding. Not this time,
however, nor is there message,
except by innuendo.
Says Williams: “Plays should
always have an element of
the unresolved, with the audi
ence going out of the theater
the way people go out of life,
still wondering. I don’t want
the public to be stuffed with
a pat conclusion.”
Taking notice of even some
friendly critics’ comment that
some of the vulgarity seems
like a gratuitous, little-boy
splashing of filth rather than
a dramatic ingredient, Wil
liams asserts: “I have never
used anything for the sole
purpose of shocking."
Part of. the time Williams
appears to be preaching
against the evils of lying. But
he snatches that positive factor
Bridge—Stamps—Camera—Art
Resorts—T ravel—Records
by a violently ironic big lie
to resolve his final curtain.
Williams is also concerned,
though more subtly, with so
ciety’s attitude toward homo
sexuality. The victimized
young husband of the drama,
he explained to the press, has
been driven to spineless fail
ure “by the society he lives in.”
The production is a master
ful and strong essay from
Elia Kazan, who stands as the
directing whiz of this era.
There are also exceptional
performances by Mildred Dun
nock, Burl Ives making his
drama debut and Barbara Bel
Geddes.
Youth in Saddle
Youth takes charge: Three
enthusiastic and very youthful
groups have set the off-Broad
way theater scene ablaze this
year with talent and success.
One of the groups, Proscen
nium Productions, this week
won the first “Tony” medal
lion ever awarded by the
American Theater Wing for
off-Broadway enterprise.
Warren Enters, a 30-year
old Milwaukee native, is the
leader of the Proscenium part
nership that includes Sybil
Trubin of Rye, N. Y., and Rob
ert Merriman of Willamette,
HI., the latter pair are in
their 20s.
The trio met while studying
at the University of Wisconsin
School of Drama and playing
summer stock around Mil
waukee. Oddly, all of them
were more interested in the
backstage part of .the theater
than in acting.
They went their separate
ways aftyr school, but got to
gether again here last sum
mer and decided to do some
thing about their urge to do
experimental theater.
“We feel there are many
plays of value that don’t have
mass appeal, and that the
economics of Broadway pre
vent being shown,” says En
ters.
They Found a Hit
They leased the 189-seat
Cherry Lane Theater in
Greenwich Village. Their first
show was Garrick’s “The Way
of the World.” It was a box
office sensation. When the run
ended they staged “Thieves'
See GLOVER, -S
phy of her husband, Dr. Marshall is recovering from the
first of the heart attacks which eventually cut short his
career as one of Washington’s youngest and most vigorous
clergymen.
Little Old New York
His Manners Are Regal
Duke of Windsor Most Gracious Guest
On Palm Beach's Social Circuit
BY ED SULLIVAN
NEW YORK.
The Duke of Windsor, one
of the most discussed figures
in the world because of his
renunciation of the English
throne for “the woman I love.”
easily qualifies as one of the
great gentlemen of the modem
scene. Florida hostesses at the
close of the winter season, say
that of all the guests they’ve
entertained, -he easily is the
most gracious, most consider
ate, least demanding.
The morning following each
party that he and his Duchess
have decorated, the hostess of
the previous evening receives
flowers and a charmingly word
ed note of appreciation for her
hospitality to them. His warm
appreciation does not end
there. On the next night, if
his hostess attends some other
party at which he is a guest,
the Duke makes it a point to
dance with her. And so it has
gone, week after week. Palm
Beach women wish that all
men matched him in courtesy.
Golf continues to be his fa
vorite sport. Not very long off
the tee, his short game is
deadly. Henry Ford II learned
this to his sorrow, when they
hooked up over the Everglades
course. The Duke beat him
for sls.
A Friend of Garbo's
Mrs. Laddie Sanford doubts
that Greta Garbo, despite the
success of the revival of “Ca
mille,” ever will make another
picture. Mrs. Sanford, the for
more Mary Duncan, of the
Broadway stage and Holly
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AMUSING GIRL—Kay Kendall, mistress of elegant dead-pan
comedy as she proved in “Genevieve” is back again, though
more briefly, in "Doctor in the House” at the MacArthur
starting next Friday. She is abetted by another of theee
E
wood, should know whereof she
speaks because, in Garbo’a
early days at MGM, she and
Greta were the closest of
friends and the friendship still
endures.
The friendship, although
Mrs. Sanford refuses to com
ment on it, dates back to the
one great tragedy in Garbo’*
life. Greta had been discovered
in Sweden by Maurice Stiller.
He brought her to this country
and the measure of his great
ness as a director was spelled
out in the $5.000-a-week con
tract which Metro gave him.
In those days, that was an un
heard-of sum of money. In her
first picture, Garbo appeared
with Norma Shearer and
Garbo’s radiance stole the
flicker. It was the start of the
Swedish girl’s phenomenal ca
reer.
Complete Shock
For reasons best known to
himself (romantic or other
wise), Stiller shortly afterward
ripped up his MGM contract
and went back to Europe.
When he died, years later,
the cabled news so prostrated
Greta Garbo that nobody at
the studio could get in to see
her. The studio chiefs asked
Mary Duncan if she would talk
to her. The Hollywood story
always has been that when
Miss Duncan arrived, Garbo
was in a complete state of
shock and remained in it for
days. Mary refused to com
ment on that, either. But from
then on, she was Greta’s clos
est friend, a friendship that
grew in the fertile soil of dpep
tragedy.

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