"Divine Spark" on Life of Musician Bellini Has Many Good Times."
"The Divine Spark" is another Gaumont-British production built on the life of a great musician, this time Vincenzo Bellini. He has the misfortune to be portrayed by Phillips Holmes, any doubts of whose utter inability to act will be dispelled as he is seen going through the throes of tender passion, man of purpose, and artistic intensity.
But for a tendency on the part of all the cast to ever act, there are many excellent scenes in "The Divine Spark." Bellini's best music has been well adapted, and the singing of Martha Eggerth, star of "The Unfinished Symphony", is often beautiful. The daughter of a wealthy Neapolitan, she sacrifices her love for Bellini for the sake of his career. "Italy needs geniuses," she says, and refuses to elope with him. He climbs the ladder of success, his loveliest music inspired by her memory. And when he tries to write an opera based on hate, to prove his independence of her the audiences unpolitely reply with catcalls. At the last minute, unknown to him, she substitutes a song lie had written for her. The result is that the opera is acclaimed. Her death soon after deprives him of all but the divine spark of her inspiration.
Gaumont-British has surpassed itself in the excellence of the musical recording, the splendor of the scenery, and in the sense of continuity which is maintained throughout.