18 MAY 1929, Page 12

The Cinema


Submarine, an F.B.O.-Columbia production, now being shown at the Marble Arch Pavilion, is one of the most exciting films I have seen. .

The story is of two petty officers in the American navy : they are "pals" of the rather sentimental type, which we have learnt to associate With American war films. They frequently love the same girl, 'and at One time the situation between' them is strained to breaking point when one of the " pals " discovers the other one making love to his wife: The ." love interest," however, is not of any great importance to the film, although the story—such as it is—hangs on it, , What are of importance, and of intense interest, are the shots. of the actual life on a submarine, of aeroplane carriers (one can watch a seaplane being let down on to the surface of the sea to take off on its flight) ; the magnificent and beautiful shots of the fleet, of submarines-like great whales- gliding through the waves, of cruisers making a smoke screen, and of iltiversIdoing daring deeds in- the depths of the sea. Every detail'Is interesting. The submarine; in which one of the " pals " works, is rammed by a cruiser during some manoeuvres, and sinks with rapidity to the bottom of the sea, some four- hundred fathoms in depth..' The captain and the crew shut .theniselyes up in the magazine room and courageously await death. They know that only Jack Dorgan, the other Of the " Pals (a diver with a reputation for standing terrific pressure); can save them. In the meantime, we watch on the surface the rescue party sending down diver after diyer, in a vain attempt to reach the unfortunate subiriarine. crew. They come up - eichausted and defeated. At last, Jack Dorgan arrives on the scene in an aeroplane. Confident of success, he dives deeper and deeper down to the Stranded crew (I could • almost feel my ears buzzing with-the pressure), and eventually reaches them just as the _Captain has suggested that they should shoot themselves as a preferable death to suffoeation. An air pipe is lowered td "tlie• diver, who attaches it to the submarine. I breathed again-'—and So 'did the crew. It was a great moment, and the dramatic situation was not missed,'

Submarine is a Synchronized Sound Picture. Occasionally . people sing, and occasionally the noise of a crowd or of the crew is reproduced, but this does not in any way assist in the telling of the story. In fact, the crowd sounds as if it is Much fartheraway than it looks, and this produces a rather grotesque effect. - • There is a certain strength about this film, due not so much to the acting of any individual—which was not in any. way remarkable—or to the plot, as to the practical and essential part which aeroplanes, submarines and diving contraptions play in the story. It is always good to see instruments, created by man, being used to the fullness of their capacity in the outwitting of nature.. •

Refuge, a Ufa production directed by Carl Froelich, at the Avenue Pavilion is also well worth seeing. The interest of this film lies chiefly in the character of the heroine, a fine brave working-class girl who rescues, protects, mothers and finally sacrifices herself for her lover, a man of- aristocratic birth, -who has quarrelled-with his family and come down in the. world. Arne's great, unselfish love for Franz is moving and, beautiful, perhaps the only beautiful thing in the film. There is not much beauty in the squalid slum setting in which the story is enacted; there is not much beauty in most of the slum types who live there ; but there is beauty in the characters of those who have the Strength to get above the sordidness of their environment. Refuge is a film of real life; it is not a "film of escape."