Shirley Temple, the very young screen star, may be billed third in the advertising done for “Now and Forever,” which is playing at the Paramount Theatre in New York but without that little lady and her now famous “sparkle” (that is what her mother tells her to do when the director calls for action) the film would be nothing more than an ordinary, implausible cinema. Miss Temple, with her amazing naturalness and undeniable charm, makes “Now and Forever” an entirely enjoyable picture.
The tall, almost too handsome Gary Cooper and the beautiful Carole Lombard support Miss Temple. Confronted with the problem of competing with Miss Temple for attention Mr. Cooper who acted so woodenly in other films unbends and gives a surprising facile and sympathetic performance. He is cast in the role of Shirley’s father, a suave confidence man whose only interest in life is in having a good time. His first plan was to allow for a price his brother-in-law to adopt her but he falls in love with the child and decides to bring her up himself. This necessitates a change in his mode of living and he is soon pictured working as a real estate salesman in France and happy with his second wife (Miss Lombard) and Shirley. At the crucial moment however he weakens and lies to his daughter but before the film is over he makes the supreme sacrifice and does right by our Shirley.
All of which sounds pretty trite and melodramatic, but the dialogue, except in the scenes between Miss Lombard and Mr. Cooper, which are rather forced, is crisp and exciting. The action is rapid and often enthralling and the directing is excellent.
GARDENER’S HOWLING DOG AT THE RIALTO
Erle Stanley Gardener, a gentleman of middle age who a few years ago determined to give up his law practice and make a living as a writer, will see one of his detective stories on the screen. At the Rialto Theatre tomorrow, his “The Case of the Howling Dog” will have its premiere. Warren William, Mary Astor, Helen Tren-
“Howling Dog” was published in book form by William Morrow and is one of series of detective mysteries revolving around the cases of a lawyer who combines his skill at deductions with his knowledge of law. Mr. Gardener’s books have enjoyed fine sales and they have great screen possibilities.
OTHER CINEMA NOTES
Paramount announces three $500 scholarships open to college students. The idea behind this award of $1,500 is to increase interest in Cecil De Mille’s “Cleopatra.” The student must write one theme based on one of three ideas to witâ€”1. To what extent is a dramatist artistically justified in changing historical data in order to make a more effective drama? 2. (And this one tickles me) compare the fashion in which four dramatistsâ€”Shakespeare, Dryden, Shaw and De Milleâ€”have handled the story of Cleopatra? 3. Show to what extent De Mille has been faithful to history as well as to artistic canons. That last question is going to be very tough to answer, especially to students who have taken any courses in aesthetics.
“Are We Civilized,” Edwin Carewe’s anti-dictatorship film which played a short time at the Rivoli last spring, may now be seen at the Central Theatre. This is the film that gained the support of so many liberal, pacifistic and anti-Fascist organizations.
Jackie Cooper in “Peck’s Bad Boy” is playing a second week at the Roxy and tonight, “The Count of Monte Cristo” moves out of the Rivoli.
LOST HORIZON AND OTHER STAGE COMMENTS
Last night only one show opened on Broadway. It was Harry Segall’s “Lost Horizon,” an elaborate production with twenty-one scenes, three revolving stages and a cast of over forty. The St. James’ Theatre was the scene of this activity. It is said that a picture company paid $15,000 for the screen rights before seeing it produced and that after its run it will be made into a film.
This is to report that the D’Oyly Carte company’s second production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s “The Mikado,” which will continue all through this week, is rendered in the usual expert and wholly delightful manner to which we have become accustomed. It will not be given again and you cannot afford to miss it.
Milton Berle, who was recently seen in “Saluta” and who promised to foresake the stage, evidently changed his mind. Commencing tomorrow evening he will be seen nightly at the Casino de Paree.
The crowd you saw in front of the Palais Royal didn’t want to get in to eatâ€”simply the answer to an advertisement for chorus and show girls for the new revue.