Critical Moments

Most of us are suppressed. We are timid souls, afraid to do the things we really want to do and spend far too much time regretting not our deeds but our omissions. For those of us who belong in that classification, “His Greatest Gamble,” RKO production current at the Rialto Theatre should come as a great boom. It will satisfy the wish-fulfillment urge that we all possess. Incidentally, it is a highly enjoyable film.

Richard Dix, whose recent marriage was front-page news, is the leading player in this picture based on a story by Salisbury Field. He is assisted by Dorothy Wilson, Erin O’Brien Moore, and Judith Fellows. The picture is well-acted, directed and, with the exception of a few purple lines, well dialogued.

“His Greatest Gamble” is the story of a husband (Richard Dix), a man with a zest for living who finds that his life and that of his young daughter is being held down by a nagging neurotic wife, who interprets the rules of social conduct much too strictly for her impetuous and reckless mate. He finally revolts and, kidnapping his daughter, starts off on a tour of Europe determined to give himself and his child at least one wild fling. His carefree jaunt through France and Italy is an experience his daughter can never forget. Together they do all the things the mother has kep them from doing but the mother does not so easily relinquish her hold over the pair and the husband, because of his thoughtless behavior, ends up in jail. The daughter returns to her mother has kept them from doing mosphere again encompasses her. Some time later the husband escapes from prison and again kidnaps his willing daughter telling her that her only salvation lies in breaking the chains that bind her to her mother, he then allows himself to be returned to jail.

As a reckless robust man who demands some enjoyment out of life, Dix is well cast. His air of well-being, his satisfaction with himself, his ability to please those with whom he comes in contact, is all real and believable. The role of his daughter is played by two actresses, Edith Fellows who performs the part of the daughter while a young girl and Dorothy Wilson who takes up the same role when the story calls for a grown-up daughter. Both of these actresses turn in sensitive and intelligent performances.

CINEMA NOTES

Warner Baxter in a Fox picture entitled “Grand Canary” opened at the Radio City Music Hall last night. . . . Tonight at the Strand, the new Jimmy Cagney film “Here Comes the Navy” gets under way. . . . Another of today’s opening will be Marie Dressler and Wallace Beery in “Min and Bill” at the Capitol…”The House of Rothschild” will of course, continue at the Rivoli, the first four days of business were, in the words of a producer, “Tre-mendous.” . . .

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