Critical Moments

“In the Land of the Soviets” is the latest importation sent to this country by Amkino from Russia and, I must hastily add, one of the best non-plot films to come from that turbulent and exciting land. At the present moment it is being shown at the Acme Theatre on Fourteenth street and anyone who wants to see a graphic and exciting picturization of everyday life under the Soviets should not miss it.

No attempt has been made to inject propaganda into the film, but by showing such things as the daily life of a Russian peasant on a collective farm, a winter sports meet in Leningrad, workers going off on a vacation, the May Day celebration and other activities of the Soviets, the producers of this film have been able to create a favorable impression of living conditions in Russia today.

In addition to showing the workers in various spheres of endeavor and pleasure, the newsreel man was called in to make shots of current events, such as the cruise of the ice breaker “Chelyuskin,” the reception accorded Ambassador Bullitt when he arrived in Russia and the long trip from Moscow across the Kara Kum desert made by Soviet-manufactured automobiles. These interludes add to the general interest and enjoyment of the film.

HUMAN BONDAGE AT THE MUSIC HALL

Commencing today, RKO pictures will bring a picturization of W. Somerset Maugham’s famous novel, “of Human Bondage,” to the Music Hall. Leslie Howard who can always be relied upon to turn in a fine and sensitive performance, will play the lead. Bette Davis, France Dee and a large supporting cast assist Mr. Howard.

Another picture opening today that sounds as though it might be exciting, is “The Thin Man” at the Capitol. Adapted from Dashiel Hammett’s very outspoken detective story William Powell and Myrna Loy are used in the leading roles. This same couple, incidentally, will be featured in the forthcoming S.S. Van Dine’s “The Casino Murder Case.”

THEATRICAL NOTES

“The Milky Way,” the comedy that Harmon and Ullman brought into the Cort Theatre some months ago and for which I cast one dissenting vote, will close tomorrow evening after a mildly successful run….

The Theatre Guild will go “hillbilly.” For one of their plays for next season they have bought Albert Bein’s “Let Freedom Ring,” which is based on Grace Lumpkin’s novel of the southern mountaineers entitled “To Make My Bread.” Mr. Bein is the promising young man who has had his fling with a few novels and plays, not any of which quite made the grade…..

You have no doubt read about it in other sections of this paper but for the one reader who devotes himself entirely to this column I must announce that the outdoor symphony concerts at the Lewisohn Stadium up on Amsterdam avenue and 137th street are being given nightly….

Block and Sully, the vaudeville team who started the “Look at him” vogue, have given up four shows a day to make some pictures. They will be seen in the new Eddie Cantor picture, “Kid Millions,” and are also scheduled to take part in the forthcoming Jack Benny film.

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