Critical Moments

The Mayfair Theatre, whose garish front dazzles the walkers on Seventh avenue and Times Square, is the showing place for Helen Twelvetrees’ latest picture, called “She Was A Lady.” Fox Films are the guilty producers and the program notes carry the information that the picture is an adaptation of a novel written by Elizabeth Cobb, the daughter of Irvin Cobb, the humorist. Your first impression might well be that Pere Cobb had attempted to inflict a gigantic practical joke on cinema patrons but a further investigation finally convinced me that Fox made the film in dead seriousness.

“She Was A Lady” is one of those silly impossible things that only a film cutter could love It concerns the weepy tale of pretty Sheila Vane (Helen Twelvetrees) whose father, an Englishman of high birth had married one of the servants in his father’s home and had been unceremoniously booted out. America, the land of opportunity, was the asylum he came to with his wife and where his daughter Sheila was born. But even in Democratic America her father’s sin lives on and the social elect will have no part of winsome Sheila. For reasons kept carefully hidden Sheila decides to visit the home of her parents. Virtuous but attractive Sheila has a difficult time defending herself from the baser natures of some of the men in that profession but she perseveres and arrives in England intact only to be coldly received by her aunt who can’t stomach the idea of Sheila living in the same house with her grandfather on her mother’s side, who is the butler.

Our heroine perturbed but unbowed, returns to America and falls in love with a rich young American. She is about to marry this lad when his father develops qualms and refuses to accept the lass into his family. By now Sheila is pretty discouraged and gets herself a job as steerer for a gambling house and at this point another film mystery comes into being. The father of the young man suddenly gives in and consents to the marriage. The only reason I can find for this recapitulation on the part of the father was that the old man had never been able to find a good gambling house and hoped that his daughter-in-law could keep him informed.

Miss Twelvetress, a better than average actress, and Ralph Morgan save the film from becoming sheer rot but at that it will tax your sense of credulity to the breaking point.

SCREEN AND STAGE NOTES

Here is good news to film fans—British-Dominion Films have acquired the picture rights to “Escape Me Never” the play that has been such a smash hit in London and in which Elizabeth Bergner had been playing all these months. United Artists will release the film in this country. Miss Bergner’s husband Dr. Paul Czinner will direct the production—incidentally “Escape Me Never” will be seen on the Broadway stage this Fall under the managerial direction of Selwyn and Franklin…

Most of the American film companies that had branch offices in Germany are closing them up as they find they cannot do business under the insane restrictions of the Nazi regime…

Starting today Michel Fokine’s Ballet Russe which caused riots up at the Lewisohn Stadium, will play a week at the Capitol Theater. Robert Montgomery in “Hide-Out” will be the feature picture…

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