The vocal eccentricities of Ethel Merman and the antics of the Ritz Brothers, now a bit frayed about the edges, are the chief assets of "Straight, Place and Show," which opened yesterday at the Metropolitan. On the debit side are a great deal of fake photography, a lack of any dialogue and the galling fact that Miss Merman loses her man to Phyllis Brooks. The race track farce, similar in many ways to the Marx Brothers' "Day at the Races," reaches hilarious heights only in three or four sequences in which the Messrs. Ritz hold the screen alone.
A surprisingly good companion piece, in the form of "Broadway Musketeers," presents Margaret Lindsay, Ann Sheridan and Marie Wilson as a triumvirate of "women against the world." Graduated from the same orphanage but into very different walks of life, the three are thrown together and their reactions to a common interest are well conceived and excellently portrayed. Star of the picture, however, is six-year-old Janet Chapman, who lacks the publicity-wise sophistication of Hollywood citizens twice her age.