7 SEPTEMBER 1934, Page 14

The Cinema

"Blossom Time." At the Regal WHATEVER may happen in Austria, the traditional atmosphere of Vienna is safe on the screen. There the Danube is always blue ; music and singing are heard in the cafes from morning to night ; smartly-uniformed officers are forever clicking their heels in salute to fascinating young ladies ; and either Strauss is conducting his orchestra or Schubert is cOmpOsing at his piano. Blossom Time is about Schubert, Who is played by Richard Tauber, which .means that hi has' to he presented almost purely as a song composer, and a Composer who actually sings his own songs in public. The whole film is constructed in this somewhat arbitrary style, and does not attempt to come very near either to the character of Schubert or to the spirit of Schubert's music. It lacks almost entirely the intensity and the poetic. atmosphere of Unfinished Symphony, another film about Schubert made on the Continent and shown recently in London, but it is a very skilful Medley of familiar themes and popular items.

Herr Tauber looks his part and sings well, though purists might not approve of some of his mannerisms ; Jane Baxter is graceful and attractive as the dancing-master's daughter who captures Schubert's heart only to marry his rival, the handsome young dragoon ; and Athene Seyler is in excellent form as the plain-spoken Grand Duchess. The production, from the British International studios at Elstree, is dressed and staged in handsome style, with a luxurious ballroom scene at the beginning and a spacious cathedral scene at the end. A severely critical taste will find here nothing very new or very striking, but this will not affect the film's certain success, for it is keyed down into just that mood of mildly romantic sentiment which most screen audiences prefer.