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Critical Moments

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“The Life of Vergie Winters,” based on a short story by Louis Bromfield and starring Ann Harding and John Boles, moved into the Radio City Music Hall, much to the relief of everybody connected with that little playhouse. Last week’s offering, “Little Man, What Now?” was a big disappointment. Despite generally favorable reviews and good week-end business, attendance dropped suddenly and the week ended badly. Evidently word of mouth advertising by people who had seen the picture accounted for the sudden lack of interest in this highly touted film.


The Ann Harding picture has caused some discussion in Hollywood. While it was being made Miss Harding took home with her each night the script of the scenes she was scheduled to act the following day. To her the dialogue seemed flat and lifeless, but by the next morning, when she returned to the studio, the script had undergone many changes. The director was delighted, and without looking too deeply into the matter, followed the revised version. Around Hollywood it was thought that Miss Harding had suddenly developed into a master dialogue writer. As a matter of fact she did contribute to the changes, but the major part of the work was done by one of the best writers of screen material in the country, who did it because of friendship for Miss Harding.


The “World in Revolt,” the glorified news reel that is playing at the Rialto, has caught on. First week’s business was gratifying and it looks as though the film will stay.

Mae Murray, who in silent days was one of the screen’s elect, is having her first try in many years on the legitimate stage. She is playing the role of the hard boiled prize fight manager’s girl in “The Milky Way,” at the Cort.

Pauline Fredericks, another screen and stage veteran, will try a comeback next week when she will be seen in the leading role of “Her Majesty, the Widow,” which will have its premier at the Ritz Theatre Monday evening. Miss Fredericks recently became the bride of Colonel Marmon, commanding officer of the army post at Governors Island. Incidentally a special performance of Miss Frederick’s play will be given at the Island’s Y. M. C. A, auditorium tomorrow night.

The first permanent children’s playhouse with adult professional actors in the United States will be opened in the Fall at the American Children’s Theatre on Fifth avenue. The initial offering of this group will be a Hans Christian Anderson tale, “The Chinese Nightingale.”

A new Zazu Pitts picture is on Broadway this week. It is called “Private Scandal,” and may be seen at the Mayfair Theatre. Phillips Holmes, Mary Brian and Lew Cody are among members of the supporting cast.

Katharine Cornell, who has returned from a road tour which embraced the important cities in the United States, and whose company drew more than $600,000 from theatregoers, one of the most successful tours on record, will play the Brooklyn Academy of Music next Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Miss Cornell and her company will do “The Barretts of Wimpole Street.”

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