13 DECEMBER 1935, Page 14

The Cinema

"Page Miss Glory." At the Regal.—"-A Fire Has Been Arranged." At the Capitol. —"Here's to Romance." At the New Gallery. "The 'Port of Five Seas." At the Forum TitErtE's not really Much to write about in the .3,OssiPColumn this, week. Page Mies Glory is meant to be funny and is quite

funny, except that Mr. Pat O'Brien pops up again : I couldn't hear what he said most of the time, his voice gets louder and faster with every film, and anyway something about him makes my flesh creep. The story is .of two down-and out promoters who win an advertising competition with a composite photo-

graph 'of an imaginary girl they call Dawn Glory ; the plot beComes agreeably crazy when radio firms, reporters, picture companies, kidnappers, all begin to bribe and blackmail for the use of her services. Miss Marion Davies acts the .part of

a plain chambermaid who is transformed by a beauty treat- Ment. • I liked her eyelashes and her Dawn Glory hairWave, and

there was one particular coat with kind of square cPauletfcs . . but I don't know how to describe it.

A Fire Has Been Arranged is meant to be funny and is very, very dreary. Flanagan and Allen seem to be famous comedians, some people laughed, but, like most, English farces, it made me embarrassed. I wanted to stop everyone and tell them they oughtn't to play the fool in public ; a private joke should not be repeated noisily before strangers. I felt rather sad and outcast, as I do on the rare occasions when I look at English comic weeklies. Perhaps it was that associa- tion which made me feel at the end that I had been ;waiting a long, long while for a haircut and had come away without ones Here's to Romance is not meant to be funny, but it is very funny indeed. Unconsciously epicene, with delicate little conversational love-makings; like wisps of lingerie, with such tendernesses, such male oglings and male trippings and little bursts of happy song, only the late Ronald Firbank could have done justice to its pansy graces. It is the tale of a young Italian singer and his rich American patroness, who Sends him to Paris to study, and how he doesn't understand her intentions until his eyes are opened by the girl he whimsically loves (Miss Anita Luise). The scene when Nino comes trilling up the stairs to have breakfast with his love in her " cute" apartment, bearing two tall arum lilies in a pot, is perhaps the most deliciously characteristic in the film.

The Port of Seven Seas is a Russian documentary describing the cutting of the White Sea canal through tiftY Mile's of rock by gangs of prisoners. It is high-Minded, •absurd'and rather sad ; it can hardly be accused of propaganda ; it is only too grimly veracious, one feels certain as one reads in the caption how " In the forefront of the leaders' attention 'stoOttreereation and cultural training" and watches a eilloinittee Woman, with spots and long straggling hair, teach another ungainly girl, in 'a tiny wooden room plastered With newspaper emit t ings and photographs of eminent Ogpu leaders, to play a game or draughts. One can't call these pictures cinema ; they are . all, with the possible exception of the last, just flickers ; but I don't want it to sound too unhappy a week., Page Miss Glory is a good film to see after a good meal, and Miss Anita Imise is the kind of perfect, groomed blonde, who, howcVfr silly. her part, ,gives the same.satisfactionon the screen as a good

advertising design in an. American magazine. And then,

Of course, there's always a lot of quiet fun for time anthologist in film journalism.


" I've atWays been a terrific filth fan. It used 'to be a hit of a peso once, but now it's genuine. In the days when no respectable people went .to pictures we used to go regularly to that little cinema .off Shaftesbury Avenue, in Windmill Street, and see all the German and RUSSian silents. We' thought it terribly clover' then tO'boos'Cifiein. It's not quite so much fun now, when every- 'body goes to pictures. The excitement of defending' thorn is over, but I always enjoy-them, I suppose I'ni a bit -of ,a, highbrow .I prefer picturesIihe illaqkerack and the Chopin film ; they're so soothing." (Afr. jelin i e lgud. )