7 SEPTEMBER 1934, Page 14

"The Affairs of Cellini." At the Leicester Square Theatre THE

best moments in this Hollywood charade occur when the hero arrives at a place called " Cellini's Mountain Hide- away." The goldsmith has escaped from an awkward situation in the apartments of the Duchess of Florence and has brought with him the lovely Angela, after rescuing her from the attentions of the Duke. His hideaway is a shepherd's hut, and his efforts to rouse the emotions of his prosaic protegee with romantic rhetoric are punctuated —and punctured—by the persistent baa-ing of sheep. .1 little more of this irony would have greatly improved the rest of the picture, for although the treatment of Medici Court affairs is flippantly modern, there is always an underlying attempt to present Cellini as a genuinely romantic figure.

Little attention, however, is paid to the historical Cellini ; Mr. Fredric March is asked merely to leap about in the Fairbanks manner, to dispose of ten Florentine gangsters in single combat, and to visit ladies by climbing up balconie. He does it quite well, but he could have done it equally well in any costume and any period; and Miss Constance Bennett, as the Duchess, represents merely Hollywood's usual idea of a fine lady with no conscience. Her part is skilfully conceived to offer a maximum of satisfaction to those of her admirers who will want to picture themselves in her shoes, for what could be more wonderful than to-be able to summon handsome lovers at will, and then coolly to decide whether to grant them favours or to have them executed ?

This mixture of fantastic adventure and serious seduction sticks to the palate and spoils a film which might have succeeded as a swiftly light-hearted comedy.