The back and heart-breaking struggles of the early settlers of modern Palestine, who returned to the Promised Land determined to carve out an existence for themselves, are vividly and dramatically set forth in “Chalutzim,” the first Hebrew talkie made and filmed in Palestine. It is now being shown at the Acme Theatre near Union Square and according to the management it will not be shown in any other New York theatre this season.
HABIMAH PLAYERS IN CAST
The Habimah Players, whose plays in Hebrew were produced in this city a few years ago, make up the cast of “Chalutzim,” and in choosing this talented troupe the producers used fine judgment. Their acting is exceedingly fine and understanding. The work of S. Finneil and A. Miskin is especially gratifying, while the direction of Alexander Ford would pass muster even under Hollywood standards.
“Chalutzim” is done in the epic tradition and the plot is unimportant. It unfolds the terrific hardships undergone by the pioneers, who were literally forced to dig their way to a livelihood. Their first concern is a water supply and the film recounts in detail their search for this precious fluid. The country is new to them and is undeveloped the Arabs are unfriendly and are only too willing to blame all ills on these newcomers. How these young and hopeful Jews outwit their enemies and finally accomplish their objectives makes this one of the most stirring pictures that has come from abroad in years.
A TREAT FOR LINGUISTS
Three languages are used in the dialogue: Hebrew, Polish and Arabic, Realistically the producers have made the characters speak in their native tongues, but English titles have been superimposed and American audiences will have no trouble in following the picture. This introduction of three languages is not the only realistic feature of “Chalutzim.” The background and the atmosphere is authentic and believable. The dancing of the Arabs and the carefulness used in the details all add to the general excellence of the film.
OPERA WAVE SWEEPS NEW YORK
A wave of grand opera threatens to engulf New York. No sooner did the doors of the Metropolitan Opera House close when two companies broke forth with the usual collection of arias, tenors, et al. At the Hippodrome the Hippodrome National Opera goes on every day under the direction of Pasquale Amato. The program changes daily and tonight you may hear, at prices ranging from twenty-five to ninety-nine cents, “Traviata.” Tomorrow it will be “Carmen”; Saturday matinee “Martha” and on the same evening “Aida.” The company is versatile, competent and well trained. There is a large symphony orchestra, a ballet of twenty-four and a chorus.
The popular price opposition to the company at the “Hip” is the Broadway Opera Company at the Broadway Opera House, Which ##under the direction of Alfredo Salmaggi. This company came from Chicago and also will give a different performance daily. There is little to choose from between the “Hip” and Broadway Opera companies. The latter has a smaller orchestra but can boast of better scenery. The audiences at both houses have been to date almost embarrassingly enthusiastic.