Clipped From The Brooklyn Daily Eagle

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 - SCREEN By Ltw Sheaffr Jan Wyman and Lew Ayres...
SCREEN By Ltw Sheaffr Jan Wyman and Lew Ayres Excellent in 'Johnny Belinda' .1 With "Johnny Belinda," at the N. Y. Strand, Warner Broth u o oniripn finish to a tin-and-silver plot. They havt mounted it. workld over it and polished it until it shines like something more valuable than what it started out to oe. ine have taken Elmer Harris' play a lurid combination of mlo drama and tear-jerking heroics about mother lye and treated it with expert, affectionate care like an honest-to-life drama In so doing they have lavished fine performances, fine diree tion, solid production values and a good feeling for authentic locale an island off the Nova Scotia coast on a story with a greasepaint heart. Nevertheless, though held back from any real distinction by the story's basic falsity and thealrical values, "Johnny Belinda" is still a touching, moving drama. Firmly and shrewdly it wins your interest, manipulates your attention and keeps vou concerned about a poor deaf-and-dumb girl who was taking a beating from life until the rtght man came along. Even though the story is imposed from the outside, instead of flowing inevitably from the characters' nature and circumstances, the movie has a strong emotional appeal. For this we can thank a beautifully honest performance by Jane Wyman in the role of fortune's stepchild and one equally as fine by Lew Ayres Us an idealistic young doctor who realizes her worth. And here, thank gosh, is one time that Hollywood was smart enough to keep the penciled eyebrows and glamour pots away from a heroine who wasn't supposed to be glam-, orous. I Miss Wyman actually looks, the part of a farm drudge,! moves and acts like one, andi her transformation from an outwardly stolid, inwardly sensitive human being is finely traced. 0. K., so it's the Cinderella story all over again, but not blatantly, not obviously so. At the end, her softly glowing beauty comes from within, not from the make-up man's para- nhernalia and skill. Actually, "Johnny Belinda" Is more like the classic Pygmalion storv. rather than Cinderella Until the doctor comes along and offers to teach her the sign language, Belinda McDonald is known to her father, her aunt, the neiehbors, as the "Dummy." All of them consider her llttlei more than an animal, stupid, unfeeling, good only as a strong back, strong pair of arms with farm chores. Out of pity, the doctor instructs her in the hand language. scenes alive with exquisite tenderness, by the way and she proves a bright stu dent. But helping her, guiding her emergence as a lovable personality, the doctor unwit tingly lets her in for bitter grief. The town bully, attracted now, attacks her one night and leaves her with child. Her father, after the baby is born, learns who was responsible and is killed by the bully. More over, the girl shoots and kills her betrayer when he tries to claim the baby. Sounds like lurid stuff, like something from the penny- dreadfuls of the past, doesn't it? But on top of this ricKety foundation, Jean Neguiesco s ahin direction ana tne enuie cast's responsive playing have built a surprisingly effective nicturc. Excellently teameu with Miss Wyman, Lew Ayres brings some heart-felt sincerity and genuine warmth as the doc tor. Charles Bickford, as Miss woman's father, does a good, workmanlike job; Agnes Moore-head contributes her usual authoritative uerformance as the embittered aunt; Stephen McNally, though he swaggers a little too much, convinces as the villain, and Jan Sterling does well as his wife. Around Broadway they talk about something being a poor nlav but a fine show, which also happens to be an apt de scription of "Johnny Belinda. Too bad the story wasn t more honest. It could have been a fine movie as well as a fine show. On stage the Strand offers F redd y Martin s orchestra. Andre & Steve Calgary and Blair & Dean. I A i m I AT CAPITOL The De,. Marcos head the new stage show, with Howard Hawks' "Red River" as the screen attraction. iissiifi Theater Notes The cast of "Goodbye, My Fancy," the new comedy by Fay Kanin starring Madeleine Carroll and produced by Mi chael Kanin in association with Aldrich and Myers, is now com plete. Featured in support of Miss Carroll are Conrad Nagel, Blanche Yurka and Sam Wana OPERA .BROOKLYN BROOKLYN ACADEMY OF MUSIC AT THE - ROXY Marie (The Body) McDonald shares stellar billing with Danny Thomas for the new stage show. On screen is "Cry of the City." De cle the is hopeful up in local Madeleine Carroll maker. The cast of 19 also includes Lillian Foster, Lulu Mae Hubbard, Eda Heineinann, George Mitchell, Joseph Boland, Ralph Bunker, Bethel Leslie, Mary Malone, Betty Lou Holland, Gerrianne Raphael, Le-nore Garland, Patty Pope, Sally Hester -and Tom Donovan. "Goodbye, My Fancy," a comedy-drama about a Congress- woman returning to her Alma Mater to receive an honorary degree, went into rehearsal last LAURENCE OLIVIER 1 'OOaV AI.BFE FOX 8. 9. distinction of being the only member of the cast at the Booth Theater who was in the original production of the Ferenc Molnar comedy when it opened at Henry Miller's Theater in November, 1926, after which he toured the country j for two years in the same role he has today. "Finian's Rainbow" closes to night after 723 performances at the IGth Street Theater, mak ing it the longest-run musical ever- to play that house and the "ninth longest-run musical in the history of Broadway. Monday the Lee SabinsonAVil-liam R. Katzell production will open a national tour at the Forrest Theater in Philadelphia, A special performance of "Inside U. S. A." is to be given at the Majesiic Theater tomorrow night, in aid of the Actors' rund. The revue starring Beatrice Lillie and Jack Haley will serve to open the new cy week, under the supervision of Mr. Wanamaker, who is direct ing, and is scheduled to open in London, Ont., Canada, on Oct. 21. It will reach New York during the week of Nov. 15. Claud Allister, the noted Eng lish comedian currently playing the role of the social secretary in "The Play's the Thing," will celebrate his 57th birthday tomorrow. Mr. Allister has the I I

Clipped from
  1. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle,
  2. 02 Oct 1948, Sat,
  3. Page 14

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  • Clipped by Teblick – 26 May 2015

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