Mr. George Bancroft and Miss Evelyn Brent will probably go down through the ages as the players who made "Underworld," one of the tastiest cinematic hors d'oeuvres of all time. Meanwhile, however, they are devoting their efforts to making other and, it must be admitted with a wistful sigh, worse pictures. But since the decline from "Underworld" is of considerable extent their products are not so bad.
"The Showdown," now on view at the Metropolitan, is obviously modelled on the first Bancroft-Brent opus. Unfortunately it doesn't quite come off: it is an entertaining film and in places a very good film, but it suffers by comparison. Bancroft looks extremely roguish and in spite of the fact that he is cast as a Diamond in the Rough he manages to leave the impression of good clean villainy. Miss Brent, playing a girl reeking with refinement for the first part of the picture, redeems herself by going slightly but uncontrollably native in the latter half. Which brings us to a point we have been trying to reach for some time--to wit: the locale is the indefinite tropics and there are many sinister references to "what this country will do to a decent woman." The local color includes a good deal of rain, one Chinese boy inserted presumably for comic interest, and many dark squat bottles lying around in handy places.
The stage divertissement offers Our Gene in front of some of the best scenery that every emanated from the Publix studios. The exact idea is rather difficult to grasp but it seems there was a hunting party. Mr. Rodemich's frenetic drummer is quite delighted with his little hunting cap. It's a good thing too--the boy has not been a bit contented since he wore that toga plus a hair-ribbon come these two weeks ago.