"The Hollywood Revue", at the University for four days, easily takes a place among the best screen musical shows, in spite of a somewhat tiresome manner of presentation that involves letting the curtain fall every five minutes. But this straight revue method fortunately prevents any attempt to graft the customary inane plot on the picture. The individual scenes are introduced by Jack Benny and Conrad Nagel, who for the most part are successful in making this barren role humorous. The acts themselves are excellent, with the exception of a peculiarly irritating sob-ballad by Charles King.
Probably Bessie Love, Marie Dressler, and Polly Moran carry off the honors over the other ladies of the cast, because they have more opportunity to be funny than the rest have to act. Joan Crawford, Anita Page, and Marion Davies are all acceptable in less distinctive parts. Laurel and Hardy present a little highgrade slapstick, and Buster Keaton's burlesque of the exquisite jewel dance that precedes him, outdoes them.
The handling of the chorus scenes is outstanding. Even the uncolored half of the picture, especially the dance accompanying "Singing in the Rain", makes effective use of shadows and silhouettes; and the closing scenes, employing an enlarged screen, are among the few good bits of technicolor the movies have thus far offered. "In Orange Blossom Tinte", with its beauty of color and brilliant shots from strange angles, particularly makes one realize that artistic photography did not altogether pass out with silent pictures.