The Crimson Playgoer
Thunderous Farce about Amazons Heads University Movie Bills for Last Half of Week
It is extremely unfortunate that this picture at the University Theatre presents such a one-sided view of Amazons; such a terribly glittering twentieth-century burlesque of an old fable which had its really tender and artistic sides. Modern society views the overwhelming dominance of women in this story of Hippolyta and her court, or in the play of Lysistrata, as unnatural to the point of ridiculousness, and so in the "Warrior's Husband" we have a ridiculous farce, bubbling with mirth and Broadway wit, but none the less, reminiscent of an Elk's pageant in a small town. For all the entertainment they give, Amazon's pictured here might do more than just swagger around and say "Oh Yeah" in chesty voices, and administer hefty slaps on hefty female backs. The farce is neither brilliantly conceived; nor delicately done, it is rough and masculine, making a vaudevile turn out of a fruitful theme.
As a stage success "The Warrior's Husband" is chiefly remembered for the Hepburn. Miss Hepburn is the rrrrrr rise of a new stage type, Katherine 'Hepburn. Miss Hepburn is the most obvious Amazon, except for Amelia Earhart, in the public eye, and in her Hollywood ventures she has been cast as a ratchet-voiced tomboy whenever possible. It is an extreme disappointment then not to find her in this picture, but it is the more a misfortune to find Elissa Landi in the Hepburn role of Antiope, dashing young warrior and gallant lover. This reviewer last saw the lovely patrician Miss Landi as a major Saint in Cecil DeMille's evangelistic triumph, "The Sign of the Cross". At that time he decided that Miss Landi had few equals for quiet feminine charm, for quiet sincere acting, and self-effacing hard work. To pick her for the leading light of the Amazonian younger set was as much of a mistake as it might be to put Douglas Fairbanks in the part of Sapian. Yet she was capable, spirited, and a success.
Indeed Mr. Fairbanks might have done as well as Mr. Truex had no been cast in the part which Truex does so naturally, the fawning, effeminate, degenerate, and heavily-tressed and dressed male in Amazon-land. For Mr. Truex though good, was not what he might have been. The most satisfactory figure in the film, to this reviewer's mind, was Hercules, a broken nervous wreck of a man, standing six-foot-six in bearskin and beard, holding his monstrous cub in his right paw, and biting the finger nail's of his left in panicky fear of a small chorine trundling a wooden sword in his direction.