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Critical Moments

Although “The Life of Vergie Winters,” the current offering at the Music Hall this week in which Ann Harding plays the leading role, is said to be based on an original story by Louis Bromfield, it has many elements that bring to mind Theodore Dreiser’s “Jennie Gerhardt.”

A tearful tale that will elicit many weepy moments from an audience in the proper mood, it traces the #ad career of Vergie Winters, a small town girl (Ann Harding) and her lover, John Shadwell (John Boles). When Vergie first meets him, he is a small town politician and already married. Vergie is a milliner and devoted solely to John, who eventually becomes a Senator. A child is born to the couple and is adopted by the Senator’s wife (Helen Vinson). Vergie is willing to stand by and watch the child grow to womanhood. After her marriage the Senator asks his wife to divorce him so that he can marry Vergie, but he is refused. He threatens to divorce her anyway, and she follows him to Vergie’s shop, where she shoots him, Still self-sacrificing Virgie takes the blame and is sentenced to prison.

Mrs. Shadwell, on her death-bed soon after, tells the truth to her adopted daughter and Vergie is released from prison in as happy an ending as could be expected under the circumstances. Set in 1910 and carrying through to the present “Vergie Winters” gives Miss Harding a chance to play the roles of a young girl, a matron and finally an old woman. Miss Harding again executes her roles with her usual skill and manages to breathe life into a film that seems slightly dated.

ROTHSCHILDS GO ON TOUR

Tomorrow night at the Aster Theatre, 20th Century’s production, “The House of Rothschild,” will terminate a run of fifteen weeks, one of the longest engagements enjoyed by a film in years. This does not mean that you will not be able to see the film in New York. As a matter of fact it will play the popular priced houses in about two weeks and you will be able to see it without pawning the family car.

Maxwell Anderson, Pulitzer Prize winner and author of the play “Mary of Scotland,” has been hired by United Artists to adapt Tolstoy’s “Resurrection” for screen production. The picture will be called “We Live Again.”

Mark Hellinger, Broadway columnist, has written another story for Hollywood. It is called “Broadway Bill” and will be made by Columbia Pictures. Frank Capra will direct.

“Kongo Raid,” the screen adaptation of Edgar Wallace’s “Sanders of the River,” a saga of the Belgian Kongo and British East Africa, will soon go before the cameras at London Films studios in England upon the return of Zoltan Korda from a year’s stay in Africa, where he filmed exteriors.

Korda will direct the production at the studios where “The Private Life of Henry VIII” was made. His expedition to Africa, made hazardous by sickness, jungle droughts, impassable rivers and other obstacles, included complete portable sound equipment, and three aviators, and planes, headed by the European flying ace Udet.

Leading members of the cast are yet to be chosen, but work on the production in the matter of assembling African sequences continues. “Kongo Raid” will be released through United Artists in this country.

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