The Baltimore Sun from Baltimore, Maryland on June 6, 1943 · 55
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The Baltimore Sun from Baltimore, Maryland · 55

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Baltimore, Maryland
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Sunday, June 6, 1943
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55
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THE SUN, BALTIMORE, SUNDAY MORNING, JUNE G, WW Section i PAGE 7 ' Fii, N otes By DONALD KIRKLEY TWICE this year the screen has presented a feat of casting without precedent in the history of the cinema prior to 1943. The first instance was "Forever nd a Day," the second is "Mission to Moscow," now at the Stanley. Warner Brothers, justly proud of its achievement, listed, in its press manual, almost 200 actors " by name, including scores who would normally have been buried in the obscurity which is the usual lot of walk-on, bit and extra players. It was Director Michael Curtiz's aim to let each actor in this project pour the full strength of his talent into his role, however small, and the result is another field day for critics and fans alike. All through this long photoplay, there is the gratifying sight of well-known and well-liked actors stepping forth to speak a line or add his unique gesture with all the power at his command. Equally pleasant is the number of unknown faces who flash by. each having its moment in the sun, and the number of strange mummers who attract attention, briefly, by some special trick of style or personality. Bits Well Done Leigh Whipper, veteran of "Porgie," repeats the famous words of Ilaile Selassie; Alexander Granach, the multiple-faced menace, steps forward in one scene as a "Russian Air Force officer"; Monte Blue, star of the silent era, earns his day's wages well as one of the "Hecklers"; Joseph Crehan does the Second Reporter with as much sincerity and earnest effort as if he were a featured player. Hans Schumm, who has been a hatchet man for Hitler in most of . the anti-Nazi films, serves loyally in the capacity of Uniformed Guard; Kurt Katch. the sinister killer of "Quiet, Please. Murder." gives a remarkable vignette of Marshal Timoshenko in a remarkably few seconds. Ivan Lebedeff remember when he was a star? appears self-effacingly as one Rosengoltz; Francis Picrlot. veteran of a hundred plays and pictures, has a memorable bit under the simple designation. Doctor. Huston Dominates Thirty-odd actors have much more to do, and do it eminently well. Walter Huston, of course, dominates the film a feat in itself as Ambassador Davies. and Ann Harding is quietly and charmingly effective as Mrs. Davies. Eleanor Parker is their attractive daughter and George Tobias their faithful chauffeur. Maria Palmer makes her presence vividly felt as beautiful Tania LitvincfT. The cast is studded with actors so skillful and sure of themselves that they are willing to subdue their personalities and prestige to the needs of the drama. Oscar llomolka is outstanding, nevertheless, as Litvinoff, having caught that roly-poly diplomat's manner and character to the life. Victor Francen, a great star in the French theater, shines brightly as the prosecutor in the purge trials, and Helmut Dan-tine, the fierce, fanatical Nazi of "Edge of Darkness" is transformed into a virile but likeable Russian major. Competent Veterans Henry Daniell. a name full of honor in the English stage, contributes a neat tketch of Rib-bentrop. The ever-reliable Gene Lockhart does the expected as Molotov, and so it goes through s line-up. Some noteworthy impersonations were required by the photoplay, and actors were found to do them. Most unusual bit of casting was that which placed Dudley Field Malone, liberal lawyer and crusader for many causes, as Winston Churchill. Mannart Kip-pen is the aloof, somber, formidable Stalin, and the old Bolsheviks who figured in the treason trials found their likenesses in Kan-stantin Shayne (Buhkarin), Ivan Tresault (Tukhachevsky ), Daniel Ocko (Yagoda) and David Hoffman (Radek). Emile Ra-meau is the living image of Pad-erewski, and Felix Basch greatly resembles Dr. Schacht. Charles 'Trowbridge again makes capital of his general resemblance to Secretary Hull and Capt. Jack Young once more gives his uncanny imitation of President Roosevelt's voice. Cast For Fitness There is a moral in all this, and it is easy to see. "Mission to Moscow" would be a great picture, regardless of its political implications, solely on the strength of the acting in it. The reason is. that it was cast for fitness and not for types. The man best suited to the job got it. There was no rewriting of roles to match an actor's regular screen personality. It proves, taken with "Forever and a Day." that type casting is a major affliction and stumbling block. Once its hold on Hollywood is broken, an amazing store of great acting will be made available to a public which is bound to appreciate and treasure it. i L X j4r l t ill! y v -loh? r (; - a ' n, i i tiiiiw i- ml Iw r - iii 1 I ill . 'Li Vt ! iiimii ill imr.t,m Wearers of the frontier attire are roles in the film Harry James Sprang From Big Top By KATE HOLLIDAY Hollywood. HARRY JAMES was washed up in his career at the age of 6. Up to then he had been a shining light in the Christy 3rothers Circus, of which his father was No. 1 bandmaster and his mother a trapeze artist. Harry had been billed as "the youngest contortionist in the business." He was an infant eel, a childish pretzel. The customers loved him. Then came a mastoid operation and the doctors declared a moratorium on odd physical convolutions. The ex-star was desolate until his father came to the rescue, thrust a pair of drumsticks in his hand and instructed him in keeping time. From then on, young Harry was a musician. But his real ability wasn't manifested until he was given a trumpet at the age of 9. Shortly after, the beautiful high wire queen found a new note in the corny music beneath her act. Harry was a membe- of the circus band. W ent To Town Early His father saw to it that he had lessons. Lennie Hayton. one of the finest musical directors in Holly waod. 's he is "extrem well-grounded." In his early teens, Harry took over the No. 2 musical group of the show, donned a braid-coverc coat and went to tovn. When the b!- top began to see lean days, the James family retired to Texas. There. Harry attended school and began beating it out with some of the boys not oomph-oomph but jazz. The world was just discovering it. Ben Pollack offered him a Job. And, on Christmas Day. 1937. Gi amor By KATE HOLLIDAY Hollywood. LANA TURNER is the headline girl of today's Hollywood. She wishes they would give the spot to someone else. "For a beginner, glamor is swell," she says. "It gets her more attention. But I've had the build-up for five years. It's time the public knew that I could do something besides go to night clubs." I went to see Lana because, after viewing "Slightly Dangerous," 1 realized suddenly that she could act. She had turned in a comedy job that was nearer the perfection of the late Carole Lombard than anything I had yet seen. Looking For Answer I was surprised, frankly. And I wanted to find out how come. I found a girl in short slacks, a blue sweater, a white shirt, dark hair, and little makeup who said, seriously, "I want to be an actress and nothing else." This girl was not the "Queen of the Night Clubs." She looked like a girl of 21 who was waiting for her first baby, and who had a lot of plans for the future. Lana has many facets. On one side, there is a high-school girl who had fame, money and position thrust upon her, who was as confused as anyone would have been under such circumstances. On the other, there are headlines, Henry Fonda anu Marc Lawn-nce, who have leading being exhibited at the New Theater Harry got a wire from Goodman to join him in New York. James was in the big time. Good Deal For Benny His -wn band came into being three years later. He borrowed $i,500 from Goodman "thus giving Benny a third of the outfit), and went inti the cold. Last February he had the pleasure of buying back Goodman's share to the tune of $20,000. In October. 1941. he made a recording of "You Made Me Love You," which sold over a million copies. That was followed by "I Don't Want to Walk Without You," a theater tour, a stint at the Hollywood Palladium, a breaking of records at the Astor Roof in New York, and three pictures. Unchcnged By Fame The external vestiges of this success range from being voted top trumpeter in a magazine poll to having 167 Harry James fan clubs spread across the country. One of these recently gave him a gold watch for his birthday. Harry is only 26 years old. and fame hasn't changed him. He remains a quiet boy who loves to blow a horn. He also talks well, reads a lot, has outside interests and is intelligent. His men like him. "He's not a boss," one says. "He doesn't bully us for what he wants. He doesn't try to be a big shot. And he sure can blow!" He's thrilled by his success, of course. I remember watching him one day when he was told that a national radio show was going to give him a special award. The trill on that trumpet was glorious to hear. But he's also amused by his fame. When he was told that he Pallinq On some of them caused by bad advice, some by her own confusion. Lana admits that, until she landed the role of "Flatbush" in "Zicgfeld Girl." she was worth little more than her glamor build-up alleged. "But that part had everything." she says. "It got me interested in acting for the first time. I don't think it happened overnight but, sine then. I have wanted to learn my business." She began going to Lillian Burns, the studo coach. " 'Burn-sie' was more than a coach." says Lana. "She still is. She is a friend I go to when I have a new script. "We don't read lines and scenes together. Instead, we try to get behind the character I am going to play: What prompted her to say this line and not another? Why is she doing thb or that? "I never did this before. But I'm asking 'Why?' to a lot of things now." Willing To Obey At the beginning, she had the great advantage of taking direction. If she hadn't, the world probably would never have heard of Lana Turner. "I unconsciously imitate other people," she says. "But that backfired on me. It was something that 'Bernsie had to break down. She told me to add my own impulses to a performance, not just stick to what the director suggested. "The last three years have would not only play and act but dance in "Best Foot Forward." his comment was: "That will be the greatest routine ever to hit the cutting-room floor!" Outside of music, his ruling passion is baseball. He was crushed when the Dodgers lost the pennant. He was blissful when his band team beat the Music Publishers of Los Angeles, 10 to 8. In the halcyon days before curtailment of one-nightcrs, he and his group used to throw a ball around on the slightest provocation. When their bus got a flat tire a game was organized while it was fixed. He has even hired men because they could play ball. Blond "Corky" Cprcoran, one of his saxes, was only 17 when he was considered for a job. His age made things difficult from a legal standpoint. But, Harry agreed to become his legal guardian when he found that Corky was a terrific shortstop. Another of Harry's greatest loves is "burnt" steaks, a bit of a problem at present. He lives in Beverly Hills with his manager. Peewee Monti. They usually go out to eat because they can't find meat at the stores. Leaders He Admires He likes Ring Lardner and the funny papers. He likes to listen to other bands, says it's necessary in his business. Tommy Dorsey, Duke Ellington and Jimmy Lunceford arc high on his list. Another passion is clothes. No one is quite sure how many suits he has, though off the stand he is usually seen in slacks and wild tweed jackets. His tails cost between $125 and $150. arc midnight blue. He also designs the uniforms the boys wear. At present they have nine outfits. Despite these tokens of fame, he's a simple sort of guy. "It's only about a year ago that we really started to hit." he says, seriously. He's quiet a moment before he starts to talk again. L ana opened a great many doors which I would never have opened myself. I've covered seven years emotionally, instead of three. I think I'll be a better actress from now on. "If the public knew me. I wouldn't be as glamorous as I'm painted, and I wouldn't be as scatterbrained. "Getting married again was the least flighty thing I have done in my life. I was thinking of the future of my child and my husband." Just Waking Up To an outsider, Lana gives the impression of a youngster who has been hit on the head and is just beginning to see things clearly. The word "youngster" is used advisedly, as I believe the public is prone to forget that she is. after all. only 21. She talks about the publicity-created Lana Turner as if she were someone else. Could be. For Hollywood delights in a snowball of words which grows larger and larger until the basic truths are lost within it: It's difficult to break out of this, of course, and Lana is finding it out. Her main worry at present is whether she ever will be able to be normal again, whether the public will forget, and take her on her own merits as an actress. "They have Lana Turner painted as well, she's crazy!" she says. "And I don't think she really is." Anne Baxter and Franchot Tone appea r in this scene from what will be the Keiths Theater attraction beginning Wednesday at midnight First-Run Current CENTURY "Bataan." The war ' in the Philippines, with Robert Taylor. Second week. HIPPODROME "The Desperadoes." Horse opera in color with Randolph Scott and Glenn Ford. On the stage: "Knick-Knacks of 1943." MAYFA1R "You Can't Escape Forever." Murder and the press. George Brent and Brenda Marshall. NEW "The Ox Bow Incident." The real West and a real lynching bee. A powerful and bitter adaptation of the best-selling novel. STANLEY "Mission to Moscow." Behind the scenes in one of the biggest diplomatic Karnes of this generation. From the book by Joseph E. Davies, former United States Ambassador to Russia. TIMES "A Night for Crime." Described as "gay and ghoulish." Glenda Farrell and Lyle Talbot. ROSLYN "The Black Room." With a blucbeard in it. Boris Karloff. Current Revival KEITHS 'The Pride of the Yankees." Coming CENTURY "Pilot No. 5." The war in Java. Franchot Tone. Gene Kelly, Marsha Hunt. Opens Thursday. KEITHS "Fire Graves to Cairo." Hollywood pays its respects to the world's fastest f?r t-rJi.ril Added: CLARK CABLE PluS. in "WINGS UP" 31 imparl Bq. Wd. AlAN IA0D "HITltR, lta- Starts Tugs. at Midnight "TERROR HOUSE" 1700 N. Charlis OPEN until 4 A. M. 1 ItEH7 QTEP I eg m m mm m. m m iT' V"5 Hun - f?f,32!Srt- IHfjrj22 ALARMS' CLARK 4 ly I CABLE HS;r Wing Uo I SiW I ' 1 Tod.iv. Men. & Tiim. j 4600 YORK WO. , TT1 1 TODAY TOMORROW TUESDAY Cthrl Wattn and "HoehMtfr" m i rut: sky 20c Adult Every Day to P. M. 20c H ouses backward running general, impersonated by Eric von Stro-heim. Opens Wednesday at midnight. MAYFA1R "Tonight We Raid Calais." A British agent blows up a French factory, with some difficulty. John Sutton and Annabella. Opens Thursday. TIMES "Terror House" A fiend on the Yorkshire moors. Opens Tuesday midnight. Studio Covers Up With Black Canvas Hollywood. J. M. Lav in is turning his studio's lot into a tent. Because of coastal dimout regulations, the studios cannot shoot outdoors at night. To simulate darkness, all outdoor night shots are. paradoxically, filmed in the sunlight. That's where Lavin's genius enters the picture, for it's his job to cover an entire outdoor set with black canvas to give the effect of night. For "The Last of the Touhys" outdoor scenes. Lavin and his crew strung about 15.000 square feet of black canvas over a set area which covered approximately an acre and had a ceiling three stories high. until oiiniuiiin NUWonuwiNb nlOSSflOCIIn CilQSCOH former U. S. Ambassador JOSEPH E. DAVIES WALTER HUSTOH-ANNHARDIIIG . DONALD ,JKP VS, ! O'CONNOR A VNIVIIIAI r-iCIUfl CCEDT1H13--SOON! Hitler Didn't Want Lang As An Enemy New York. WHEN Fritz Lang wrote and directed "The Last Will of Dr. Mabusc" in Berlin, in 1932. Adolf Hitler and Dr. Joseph Goebbels were yet to rise to power. But propaganda involving their ideology was well advanced throughout Germany. Lang did not believe a word of it and there was no word of it he did not hate. He was and is an individualist, a painter of Vienna who. while at work in Paris, made his first acquaintance with the film medium of story telling. Eventually making his way to Gpnnany he became a leading film director and producer. This was immediately after the war in 1918. He conceived "The Last Will of Dr. Mabusc" as an opportunity to counteract Nazi doctrines. Accordingly, he put them all into the mouth of the principal character, an inmate of a lunatic asylum. By the time the film was in thtj can it was 1933. Nazi rule was completely established and he heard that his play would be confiscated before release. No Laughing Matter Fritz Lang laughed. "I. Germany's greatest director! I have a film confiscated! Pfui to that!" But he soon found out. He received a polite summons to to the Bureau of Propaganda where he found both Hitler and Goebbels awaiting him. They were courteous, even cordial. But if the director had any idea they had missed the delicate irony of having a lunatic voice the tenets of their Nazi dogma he soon discovered his error. Yes. they had confiscated "Dr. Mabuse." so they informed him pleasantly. It might have an undesirable effect. Herr Lang was too great a man to resort to such nonsense. Work much more wortny of his genius would be devised for him while, at the same time, he devised on his own account. They were very ingratiating as they talked. They made apparent their appraisal of Lang as a alued artist who had merely permitted story values to run away with his better judgment. Watching The Clock Lang was equally pleasant. Yes. that probably was so. He was sorry, and hereafter he would look forward to a very pleasant and mutually beneficial association. As he talked, his eyes from time to time covertly sought the clock for a reason that will appear. It was nearly 3 o'clock but try as he would he could think of no good excuse to break up the conference. When he departed the hour of 3 had passed. Lang had been concerned about the hour because Berlin banks closed at 3 o'clock and all the money he had made in Berlin in fifteen successful years was in one of those banks. Very welL He shrugged. It must be left be hind. He could not wait until the morrow because he knew that never again would he be able to stomach with smiling fortitude any suggestion that he violate in film work, or in anything, his principals of democracy. So he must go white the going was good. Returning to his apartment he Ai,i:p nnmiER dims. DOORS OPEN 1.30 P. M. stowed a German passport with a French visa into his pocket, packed a trunk and left Germany forever he hopes. Established for a time in Paris and London where he wrote and directed film plays not at all to the likin; cf the Nazi Government, he came to the United States nine years ago and has been a citizen four years. Of his American films. "Fury." "Manhunt." and "Western Unioa will be remembered. His latest film. "Hangmen Also Die." written in collaboration with Bartold Brecht. the refugee German poet, was done in cold fury, says Lang, a characteristic of other of his films assailing Nazi rule. Laid in Prague, it relates the assassination of Rein-hardt Heydrich. Reichsprotector in Czecho slovakia. Tale Of Horror "It is rather a horror tale." says Lang. "But how can anyone write a story of any country occupied by the Nazis and escape horror? How can anyone escape hatred and vengeful lust? I dread to think how Germany will pay after war is done. The country will be a shambles and no one can stop it. Men there are already marked. They will pay." ALL CARS AND BUSSES 110 T8 LOEWS WC SELL BONOS DAY AND MICHT? - A Tribute to - Tc. . . uwiuc riyins ,Tn 'WIN" u, STARTS THURSDAY! SCARING. ROARING CHMA! PILOT & FRANCHOT TONE MARSHA HUNT NOW! 2nd WEEK! Acclaimed ai lh year's Finest Metis Picture THE HUMAN COMEDY st.m.1 MICKEY ROONEY in T I ftomanUc Mi $mk Apleati! r tame i William HcWcn Men Sawnjtoywarfiy LAST COMPLETE STA6E All SCREE1 SHOW TCIICHT 10 P. N. R0LLICK1K3 KIRTH3UIKG U inr.wifAruf .(lAtM r he RADIO RAMBLERS a Hcffsan-Pal Sflviaf j DOROTHY KELLER V 16-Rbylhm Rocke!s-16 j ALL HEW PANCI Jj $ . -.V- pi U J RANDOLPH SCOTT E fctAIRE TREVOR CLEM FCRD V tfj ECGAR E'JCHAIM lR

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