With storm signals flying from the Charles River to the Divinity School, refugees are running to the Widener Library Reading Room to pick out some extra information from past years' exams, but they discover to their dismay only an incomplete and rather mutilated collection of midyear exam booklets. The rest are missing or lost among hundreds of people in the room. This state of affairs exists in part because the University Press stopped binding all midyear exams in 1934, and since then, the supply of bound exams is only kept up thanks to the efforts of the head of the Reading Room. Although the University Press continues to bind the final exams in whole and half-year courses, they have disregarded the fate of the midyear papers which, consequently, are completely lacking for the year 1936. And since the recent exams are always the most significant, the college is deprived of the most useful part of the collection. At the same time, such booklets as there are, usually are taken to some undiscovered portion of the reading room, or else they are torn apart because someone is too lazy to copy the exams, and therefore simply rips them from the binding instead.
Yet none of these evils is necessary. Certainly it would be no great inconvenience or expense for the University Press to resume binding all midyear exams, and it is far more reasonable for them to do it than it is for the head of the Reading Room. As a result, there would be no great gaps in the collection. Moreover, if the two or three tables nearest the exam windows were reserved for those who want to read the booklets, it might be possible to locate an exam. The rest is up to the college, up to them to respect the pages of a book rather than tear them up to suit their wishes. With these complications removed, the exam collection would more nearly fulfill the purpose for which it was put there; to show distracted students how much they do not know.
If you like burlesque and Annabella, relax for three hours at the University; if you dislike to see Shakspere used to confound the unenlightened, and to watch English producers get horribly involved in their machinations to make a mystery picture mysterious, fidget and repent that you did not go elsewhere.
"It's Love I'm After" has the virtue of being acted well, but also the fault of occasional banal dialogue. It is too much to expect, of course, that the scenario writers can make each line original as well as humorous; but just the same, you are conscious of the presence of well-wrinkled repartee. It doesn't make Bette Davis look prettier to hear her say: "I'll swallow my pride and go to him"; after the first laugh Leslie Howard seems a bit silly to say, when a knock on the door finds him in the arms of his stage partner, "Your husband." Perhaps you are the kind who can overlook the bad and remember only the good; then, you will long enjoy such lines as the one by Mr. Howard kissing the lovely Olivia de Havilland, who at the same moment espies her rival Miss Davis looking on with great interest: "Don't be shy."
The story is that of a great young Shaksperian actor who regains his self-respect by acting like a beast in a household not used to people who speak Elizabethan words over a kippered herring. Satirizing himself with grace, Mr. Howard tries hard to make a crazy Ophelia fall out of love with him, so that she will fall back in love with her fiance. At the same time Mr. Howard is pressed to keep the love of "Joyce," while Eric Blore packs and repacks bags, makes bird noises, and sticks his tongue out at a little girl who knows every keyhole in the house.
Annabella is the principal star in "Dinner at the Ritz," and not one in a thousand will disagree with the statement that no matter how unfortunate the picture, she still appears beautiful. The English have considerable in Annabella, but since "Wings of the Morning" they have found nothing decent in which to cast her. It is disturbing to see her as three different women,--as a Spanish marquesa, an Indian princess, and a petite French blonde (which part seems most natural); it is more disturbing to have her moved from Paris to Monte Carlo to the yacht "Seagull" to Pringle's-by-the-Thames in one plot.