Daily News from Los Angeles, California on April 9, 1947 · 25
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Daily News from Los Angeles, California · 25

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Los Angeles, California
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Wednesday, April 9, 1947
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25
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Virginia Wright Drama Editor It haa taken critidam from abroad and a drop in tha nar tional market to put the motion jflctura induatry in tha mood for aelf-appraiaaL Ona of tha troubles, aa Julea Daaain aeea it, ia Hollywood's refusal to learn tha leaaona before ita eyes. 'Tha director points apecifically to tha technique of the documentary another term for honeat reporting which won a world audience during tha war, and which, if puraued, can raiae the level of Hollywood'a product to the point where foreign competition' will ceaae to be a threat. Daaain expressed hia viewa before the' Screen Writers Guild Special r r o gr a m committee meeting last month, and re-emphasized them the other day on the set of Brute Force which he is directing for Mark Helling-' er Productions. - I am ashamed of some of the things I was Jockeyed into making while bound to a contract,'1 he admitted, and now that he ia free Dassin ia determined to fight for honesty on the screen. By this he doesn't rule out comedy or melodrama or light musicals. Every tvpe of entertainment has its place, but even within a light frame he wants to see human beings portrayed as such, and not as glamorized stereotypes. Darsin puts his faith in the few creative minded producers in Hollywood, and in the creators themselves, the writers and directors. We can't look to the front office for leadership, but to screenwriters who must give .us the stuff of reality, and to directors who by casting and handling of the material will create an honest picture. On Dasain's first post-MGM assignment he is putting hia theories into practice. Brute Force ia violent melodrama, but the characters created by Robert Patterson and . screenwriter Richard Brooks, are real people, he feels. "And Hellinger haa been Wonderful about the casting. Many of the playera VTent well known, but they're exactly right for the parts, and they're being photographed realistically. With Burt Lancaster. Hume Cronyn and Charles Bickford; starred, Dassin haa drawn ai good many of hia supporting players from the Actors' Lab. Not because the Lab people are particular friends of mine, he explains, but because I think the best actors around are with the Lab. Roman Bohnen, chairman of the Lab board, plays the warden; Whitner Biasell, featured recently in one of the Lab's one acta directed by Dassin, (and the Scot in the Biltmore production of The Hasty Heart) haa an Important self-sacrificing role; Howard Duff, a young actor who worked under Dassin in another Lab play, makes hia WTeen debut; Art Smith, veteran of the Group Theater and one of the mainstays of the Lab, plays the prison doctor; James O'Rear, Jeff ' Corey and Sam Levene, are among the others. The women in the picture are Ann Blyth, SUa Rainea, Yvonne de Carlo a (id Anita Colby, who appear in flashback sequences. Dassins feeling about, honesty of characterization Ja reflected in hia handling of extras. His work with 500 of them in the prison riot scene last week was typicsl. Because the guild couldn't supply the necessary numbers men' were recruitpd from unemployment agencies. Some of them knew nothing about the making of motion pictures, but the usual method la to turn them over to an assistant director for quick instruction. Dassin doesn't work that way. In hia ..exceedingly quiet voice he asked for quiet" over -the microphone. Then, treating the assembled prisoners" aa intelligent human beings, he proceeded to give them the background of the story, and took time to read long passages of the script. When he was through every man knew not only what he was to do, but why. The director haa a habit, too, of asking none of the flayers to do anything he wouldn't do. When Cronyn, playing the hated head guard, agreed to take a 14-foot fall from the prison tower (instead of using a stunt man) Dassin insisted upon trying it first to see if it was safe. It was. Fossibly, the young director's feeling for actors goes bark to hia own beginnings In the the-atrr. He first made up his mind lo be an actor whin he saw the work-being done by a Yiddish theater in New York. He went around to inquire how he could become a part of it. Do you understand Yiddish? the management wanted to know. - No, but X can learn, the boy (Continued on Paga 29, Col. 1) A TOUGH GUY AND HIS STOOGE-John Keltoq play under-world stoogs to Dick Powell, a hardboiled gambler in' "Johnny O'Clock," today, Orpheum, Balmont, El Ray, Apollo, Million Dollar. LOVE ON THE PLAINS-John Wayne, and Gail Russell are ro-jnantic couple in "Angel end the Bedmen," western adventure story with new twist, which bows tomorrow at both Paramount Theaters. IFil review - 'I Am a Fugitive By MARIE MESMER .-Cantinfias proves on the screen that no matter how lowly a mkn'a beginning he may reach acclaim with fortitude plus, in thia particular instance, the uae of hypnotism. Mexico's favorite comedian in Soy Un Profugo" (I Am a fugitive) plays the typicsl role of the down and outer who starta life aa a bank Janitor. In the evening, after the bank la dosed, he discards his chores to take over the president's chair and tackle imaginary high finance over the telephone. He turns down offers of a million dollar profit with the mere shrug of a shoulder, as only this actor can-do it. When he strays from pantomime into excessive dialogue, which thia film haa he loses effect Unhampered, by script, he Is his funniest and beat. The bank is blown up one night by hoodlums and the mite of a man is Jailed because his pet parrot repeats the word dynamite. The parrot caught the word when the would-be-world-beater explained one eve-. ning to hia sidekick the terrific effect of the atomic bomb.' He escapes from Jail, however, and is picked up by a gangster's moll who strangely believes the man Is a tough hombre in spite of the dangling trousers and hat resembling an abstract symbol in a Dali painting. She. blond and scintillating. Is assigned to find out the wizardry of his art as a safecracker. They samba beautifully together and Cantinfias, in order to encourage a budding romance, bluffs by telling her he is a hypnotist With this newly given power, which really works for him, he is able to dear himself of the crime and emerge a hero. Emilia Guiu as the vixen, who leads Cantinfias astray, is a new type of heroine on the Mexican screen. Usually 'the actresses .ate brunets. Miss Guiu. a platinum blond with upsweep hair-do, blue eyed and stacked In the right places, succeeded in getting a "GI whistle from the masculine gender. Overheard was muy linda" (okeh!). Chock full of tomfoolery, the film should park the California and Mason and the Roosevelt theater, which the management , has engaged to please the increasing Cantinfias fans. The photography la the best seen here In recent weeks, the seta have polish end the production ea a whole ia tiptop. .v . :m tr-: V COMEDY PLAY Nancy Conover plays one of the Important roles in Patterson Greene's "Pape Is AH," which inaugurated run lest night at El Patio Theater. Stage review will appear tomorrow. Music review By MILDRED NORTON Brasil's red-headed songbird, Bidu Be yao, packs a lot of charm Into a few inches, and also packs a goodly amount of artistry Into the notea she aenda across the footlights. Both were well to the fore at last night's recital in Philharmonic Auditorium, where she appeared aa part of the current season's Behymer artist series. The Philharmonic Is infinitely better suited to her voice end style than the huge Shrine, in which she battled . vainly last fall to make her topee carry past the 15th row during the San Francisco Opera season. For ita own part, her voice now eppeara to be In much better condition than it wee then. There ia greater steadiness in her tones, and the signs of fatigue evident at her earlier appearance have disappeared. Last night her singing recaptured the brightness, the winsome humor and the tenderness which we have found in it in times past. These qualities go far to relnforre a voice which was not designed for vocal tours de force, but they are of less significance than the mimical intelligence which ehepea her repertoire and Its delivery Into contours that enhance the good DISTRESS Madge Meredith comei to the aid of wounded Robert Ryan, when outlaw attack town in 'Trail Street," western drama beginning first run Friday at Pantagei and Hillstraat Theaters. BLITZ HERO Brian Aherns portrays psychiatrist on war duty during the London blitz in this scent with beautiful Laraine Day in "The Locket," which moves today to tho Four Star Theater. Creighton Pect NEW YORK, April 8.-(Exclusive) -George Abbott has been raiding tha nursery again, and come upwith a new collegiate musical, Barefoot Boy With Cheek, a gay, "noisy and generally satisfactory evening. As usual,' Abbott has collected singers and dancers full of charm and bounce -sometimes their vitality . fairly seems to lift the. roof. The story is from a book by Max Shulman, whose humor eeema to be quite ee collegiate as the cast, as can be gauged from the fact that it all takes place in the Alpha Cholera House, where 8hyster Fiscal ia the treasurer, and Asa Hearthrug the young hero. He is pursued by . a comic Communist, Yetta Samovar, and so it goes one funny name after another. ' A nice-looking lad sitting next to me thought all this convulsively funny, and once beat me on the back, mistaking me ..lor some character born 20 yeara later. Nancy Walker does aoma nice bits of clowning, and Billy Redfield, the boy, le pleasant and engaging. All in all, Barefoot Boy With Cheek le a smooth, fast show, as much like all other collegiate- musicals as ona car ia like the others on the . same assembly line. Put, even without any distinction, it fills a place on Broadway. After all, not all those who wart to can see Annie Get Your Gun" every sight. . i A few . years ago a little comedy like Tenting Tonight, which ia about the efforts of some veterans to coax a chemistry professor and hia wife into letting them move In with them o that they can go to college, might have been a big success. But, despite the fact that Frank Gould's lines are bright and amusing, and his characterizations sufficient to serve, hie play will have a hard time on Broadway. Its the kind of adequate Grade B Item you pick up In a neighborhood house for 40 cents with a famous well-developed blonde, and a famous muscular lad doing the .work. And If you wait another six weeka till prices really come down, you will probably get a, start on a . set of dishes again, Just liks tha old days. To get back to Tenting Tonight, it haa Jean Muir, a lovely asset to any stage, and Dean Hsrena and Michael Road, also both known In the film studios. points while minimising the weaker ones. Her Mozart, represented by Voi che sspete" end Non so piu from '.The - Marriage of Figaro, was agreeably disciplined, never forced, end phrased with purity. Among her attributes, also, are a melting pianissimo and a flexible imagination which make her singing of . Debussy and Faure almost first rate. That it la not entirely so Is due to the slight over-eweetness which pervades much of her singing and which would seem to be more a matter of temperament than of interpretation. Her choice of Donlzettl'a II faut psrtir" as her operatic excerpt wee a happy one, and she ssng it with tenderness and restraint I could not share the audience's enthusiasm for her group of modern songs la English, but five Brazilian, folk songs, sung in their native dialects, made a unique and rather impressive conclusion to the program. , i i. ' . datYy tlewi 5-- I.OS ANGELES, CAUFOKNIA WIPNUDAT. AHIl f, 14J IK ran Ik IE Benedict Bogeaus' (and the Cagneys) sale of General Service studios to James Nasser of v the northern theater-chain In-tereats will entail a minimum of realignment, according to word from that lot ' Bogeaus, apparently, will merely duck ou( of the studio, operations end to concentrate on picture-making, while Nas- .. aer will step in, with Intent to . make a few himself. The for-mer haa sewed up more than enough shooting, apace for his production! to be! Right now, the flrat to go (about June .15) will be an Ida Luplno vehicle and not the previously announced The Queens Necklace. Bogeaus has Just acquired Louis Bromfieids romantic drama of Boston aristocracy, Early Autumn, a Pulitzer prize-winning novelqjT, which will be given priority. United Artists, which has Its offices on the lot, win remain there as will the seven produe- ; tlon unite releasing through . UA: Golden Productions, Hunt ' Stromberg, Sam B 1 a e h o f f, . Charles R. Rogers, Hops long -Cassidy Productions, the Cagneys and Bogeaus. Bogeaus bought the lot back . ' In 1939 or so fora reported 2450,000 at the time. -The current purchase price has been announced as 92,500,000. . When the Cagneys bought Into the lot last fall and moved over from Goldwyn studios, the money was used to remodel : an old stag Into a pair of small -eoundatagea. Tha lot's present even soundatagea can accom- " modate three pictures provided they aren't tew ambitious ixf cope of production. Nasser plana to put 2500,000 . into completion of a skeleton tags 100 by 150 feet, and for remodeling purposes. 1 The .recently completed ' Stromberg film with Inciiie Ball . and George Sanders, Personal Column,, was originally a Nasser "property, and knocked,, around on . that lot for soma ' ttma before it was put on celluloid by the pair. While on the subject of that lot we may as well pass on the - -good word that Bea Lillla is act to play a key role, right up her alley, in Goldens "Texas, Heaven . . and Brooklyn, formerly "Eddie and the Archangel Mike. The darling of the plushier salons will bring her dry-ice wit to bear-on the Barry Benefield story about a 'Jerkwater town -. copyre ader (in Texa of course) ' . 1 who leaves for New York, only , to wind up in Brooklyn. . Although a July Starting date . has been set, neither director , nor romantic . leads have been named to. date. Mias Lilliea role win be that of a reformed pick- . pocket, who belongs to an aristocratic southern family. Incidentally, the fantasy 1 la being exorcised from the orlgi-nal by scripter Lewis Meltxer ' - no doubt because that theme has only been used by about a dozen other producers In the lest season or two. ' Mannerhouse, one of twngo Thomas . Wolfe , pieyd, and announced last summer by producer Rudolph Joseph, win get a fall production locally and will hava John Ireland In the leading role. Depicting the rise and fall of an aristocratic southern family' during the Civil War period, the three-acter - has been edited lightly by Joseph. Considerable . Interest was evinced both locally and In New ' . York at the Initial announcement, and depending bn avail-' ability of a showcase, Joaeph may Just taka the production to Broadway. It will be a world -premiere. ' With tho studio beating the drums mightily on sneak preview reactions to The Hucksters, Clark Gable will return 1 from hie four month between pictures hiatus to go Into the Sidney Kingsley original, Homecoming of Ulysses, created as . a vehicle for Clarki manly talents. Paul Osborn (who adapted The Yearling) le working on the screenplay and Sidney Franklin will produce. Jack Conway ia mentioned aa a likely candidate for the - directorial post, and a September starting date ia tentatively aeL Gable will play an ex-Army surgeon who faces postwar problems of readjustment Including some of the romantic type. Some people are eo enthu- aiaatlo over The Hucksters". , that they believe a re-teeming of Deborah Kerr Is inevitable, -or at least plausible. e Our colleague on this page, Marie reamer, says tha composing room did away with that E' irt of recent review that . uded youthful crooner Bill Lawrence when he tang on the Million Dollar atage. And now the young Sinatra has won him- (Continued on Fsge 28, Col. 4) 4 -

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