The Crimson Playgoer
Paramount and Fenway
What should a woman do when her husband begins to desert her for a showgirl? There are many attempted solutions to this problem which provides the plot for "Journal of a Crime" at the Paramount and Fenway Theatres. Ruth Chatterton could be expected to appear only in that drama where the solution was "a desperate act." It is not fitting that she should adopt the simple formula of Dorothy Dix--"give your husband a little something to worry about." Miss Chatterton seizes a solution that would command the hearty approval of Oswald Spengler--she pulls the trigger on her rival.
We have seen Miss Chatterton give some thoroughly unpleasant performances in the not too recent past, but in "Journal of a Crime" she seems to have resurrected the restraint that characterized her early hits and the result is a satisfactory piece of acting. Adolphe Menjou is his usual dignified self, but in those wistful eyes of his seems to be a yearning for a lighter part, perhaps a chance at humor. An unusually fine "bit" is contributed by Noel Madison who gives a poignant nonchalance to his role of the convicted murderer that registered deeply in the audience.
The other half of the Paramount-Fenway program is "The Last Round-Up," based on Zane Grey's "Border Legion." It would be easy to criticize the plot and the "acting" of the hatchet-faced lass and the Arrow-collar youth who take the leads and whom Paramount Pictures attempt to introduce as "Stars of the future," but to do this alone would give an unfair impression of the presentation. There is action, hard-riding, good scenery, fast shooting, and here and there a hard right to the jaw. Insofar as "The Last Round-Up" is a step back to the sweeping action and vivid scenery of the silent picture days and away from the courtroom, drawing-room limits that seem to cramp the current crop of talkles, it deserves at least a few words of encouragement.