Critical Moments

Tonight at the Astor Theatre “The House of Rothschild” begins the third week of its Broadway run. Inside the box-office enough good cheer has been radiated nearly to melt the steel bars that separate the cashier from the impatient movie fans who want to buy tickets.

This cheerfulness is completely mundane and is inspired because since opening night the picture has been a complete sell-out. From the offices of United Artists Pictures come the word that the film starring George Arliss has piled up the best gross of any attraction the theatre has housed since the liberal days of “The Big Parade.”

TO GO ON TOUR

United Artists, pretty happy over what is going on, have decided to send prints of the picture out on the road. Arrangements have been made whereby the inhabitants of such cities as Miami, Utica, Cleveland, Boston and Los Angeles will have a chance to see the picture within a month.

As you would suspect, the audiences that have come pouring into the Astor have been in great part composed of Jews, but the large sprinkling of Gentile faces has convinced the producers that “The House of Rothschild” has more than a mere racial appeal.

ORIGINAL ROTHSCHILD HOMESTEAD STILL STANDS

There have been so many angles connected with the exploitation of the picture that some of the items got lost in the shuffle. In looking over the press releases I came across the information that the little old house in Frankfort, Germany, where the original Rothschild boys were born, still stands. It has become a haven of refuge for the needy and hungry. Today this now ancient dwelling, with its “red shield” proudly displayed, is a center for the dispensation of the Rothschild charities, and the saying goes that no deserving applicant has ever been turned away empty handed. A replica of the exterior of this house was built in Hollywood for Joseph Schenck and Darryl F. Zannuck for use in the picture.

ARLISS’S GOOD LUCK CHARM

In writing about “The House of Rothschild” I can’t let this chance go by without telling one more George Arliss story. Actors, in common with ball players, steeplejacks and gamblers, are exceedingly superstitious and most of them carry good luck charms. Arliss has an original idea that his lucky piece is a fellow actor–Charles Evans and Arliss refuses to appear in a picture or play unless Evans is in the cast. In “Rothschild,” Evans plays a minor role, the part of Nesserolde. The reason that Arliss regards him in this light is that more than twenty years ago Arliss wrote a vaudeville sketch in which Evans played. Under various titles this sketch is still being acted. It was Arliss’ first attempt at dramatic authorship.

THEATRE NOTES

Millicent Green will be the only white woman in the cast of “Stevedore” which the Theatre Union will produce shortly. The rest of the cast is composed of Negroes….”No More Ladies,” a comedy which I thought was only mildly amusing, has played 75 performances thus far and looks as though it is good for 75 more…Don’t miss “New Faces,” the musical review. The lyrics may be slightly off-color but they are clever…Mr. Hugo Block of New York objects to the use of the word “unfortunate” in describing the Millen brothers. He say that Jewish criminals should be criticized, “if anything, with more severity than those of other races.” Mr. Block is correct, except that in this country criminals are not criminals until they have been convicted and then ???unfortunate??? is not always a connotation of sympathy.

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