5 OCTOBER 1934, Page 15

The Cinema

"One Night of Love." At the Carlton THE title of this skilful American picture is mysterious and misleading. If there ever was a night of love in the story. the Censor has cut it out. The tone is light, cheerful and mildly ironic ; and the film depends for its appeal chiefly on its operatic music.

- Miss Grace Moore, who plays the heroine, is new to the screen. She is one of the few sopranos who can be trusted not only to act a comedy scene but to face the ordeal of close- up photography. She has the part of an American girl who goes to Italy to study singing and is taken up by a famous maestro, Guilio Monteverdi, who believes that he has learnt from bitter experience never to mix love with work. Mary has to toil like a slave, hating it and enjoying it, while occa- sionally she receives a visit from the rich young American- a rather difficult part well played by Lyle Talbot—who wants her to marry him. The whole of this sequence, leading up to her first operatic triumphs, is lively, vivid and extremely entertaining ; and the film only becomes dramatically uncon- vincing when an old pupil of Monteverdi appears on the scene, and Mary allows jealousy to interfere with her career. After an entirely arbitrary misunderstanding she goes off t„, New York, determined to succeed alone ; but, of course, Monteverdi turns up at the critical moment to rescue her from the panic of nervousness which overcomes her when she is about to sing at the Metropolitan Opera House.

In all these episodes there is nothing very original, but the swift and polished direction of Victor Schertzinger keeps them moving with unusual energy, and the dialogue is often neatly amusing. Considerable extracts are given from Carmen and Madame Butterfly, and evidently this is not a film for those with no taste for operatic singing ; but the singing is good and the sound-recording exceptionally efficient. Certain problems have not been solved : for instance, it is artistically a mistake for the volume of the voice to remain uniform while the camera shows the singer first in gigantic close-up and then as a small figure in the stage distance. But the music is cleverly used to give a certain sparkling fluency to the story ; and the acting, throughout, is thoroughly competent.