Mr. George Arliss Renders Excellent Portrayal of George Arliss In "The Working Man"
This is a dissertation on Mr. George Arliss. Several years ago George Jean Nathan said a last word, almost an epitaph, over Mr. George Arliss. Nathan had just seen the celebrated actor in a famous part, and he jotted for his journal the simple comment that Mr. George Arliss splendidly portrayed Hamlet as Mr. George Arliss. That is all that need be said of "The Working Man" now playing at the University Theatre. It is a typical Arliss play, about a self-made old gentleman who still holds his own in the world and proves to his worthy whippersnapper heir that he is capable of competing with the young folk and of out-smarting them. In the course of events he shows what a chivalrous fellow he is by rescuing from a sharper the children of his old rival thereby uniting the firms and making peace and prosperity the lot of all. The pot-pourri contains a bit of romance, a bit of humor, and a lot of George Arliss. In Russia it will be correctly appraised as capitalistic propaganda, but the men who made it never thought of that, nor had they ever heard that there is in the cinema an art which can rise above the dead mean of pleasant, entertaining comedy.
The "Phantom Broadcast" is a cheap and melodramatic misshandling of an idea weird enough to have provided interest had it been intelligently treated.
Typical of the director's bungling was flatulent humor immediately following a murder, just preceding a bathetic attempt at a pathetic end.