Movies will be rated with from one to four exclamation points (!), according to merit, and particularly from a male point of view.
!!!! Risk court martial to see.
!!! Worth three hours of any man's liberty.
!! O.K. If you don't want to spend much on a date.
! For civilians only.
At the Normandie
! ! ! !
With the shortage of new film, managers are digging way back in their stocks, and the public, for once, should benefit. If you've missed this sensitive version of Mark Connelly's play seven years ago, now's your chance to atone for your sin.
The story is the Bible, as conceived through the eyes of a backwoods Negro minister. Heaven is a place where good little pickaninnies with wings go to fish fries every day; Cain is a mean, no good, sportin' man who shoots craps and stabs his brother.
The publicity emphasizes the presence of "Rochester," but the real star is Rex Ingram as "De Lawd." His sincerity and gravity is a lesson in acting to better known Hollywood lights. Indeed, the whole picture is a model of what Hollywood can do if it tries hard enough.
At Loew's State and Orpheum
Purely on the basis of advance reviews, this one looks like a must for Lana Turner fans only. These must number well in the millions, so MGM probably isn't worrying. In any case, if you expect something more than sexy shots in a movie, you'll be disappointed. The other feature, "Harrigan's Kid," is just what the title would lead you to expect.
"This Land Is Mine"
At the RKO
! ! !
Pictures about life in occupied countries are descending upon us with monotonous regularity, and few have yet done justice to the subject. "This Land Is Mine" is a well-produced and well-acted picture, but it suffers from too much Hollywood and unnecessary poesy-feeding. Like Steinbeck's novel, "The Moon Is Down," "This Land" doesn't mention locale, and its message lease fores and directness. The picture version of Stetabook's back in still the best of the type, but Charles Laughter, Manreen O'Hara, and George Sanders give you your money's worth in this one.
"It Ain't Hay" and
"The Grest Impersonation"
At the U.T.
After one of the best double bills in history ("Saludos Amigos" and "Air Force"), the U.T. balances out the week with one of the worst. The second feature isn't so bad, but the Abbott-Costello opus would take the sting out of 20 other "A" pictures. Like Laurel and Hardy, Wheeler and Woolsey, A. and C. don't know when to stop. Right now they're riding the original wave of popularity which started two years ago, and their motto seems to be "Nothing new has been added."
The story has to do with horses and race-tracks, and Damon Runyon's name is signed to it. If Runyon knows what's good for him, he'll get back to Broadway, but quick.
"The Great Impersonation" is taken from that old Oppenheim thriller of a German and Englishman who meet in Africa and discover that they look exactly alike. Comes the war, one of them goes back to spy. The question is which, but we all know the answer, don't we?
At the Met
About the only value of this picture and "China Girl" is to remind the American public that China is also in the war. As far as tributes go, however, these are more in the way of insults. Such pictures should be taken as action stuff, lots of bang-bang, heroics, sex-interest, and a few emotion-arousing shots of pathetic Chinese babies. Even so, Alan Ladd was more at home in "Glass Key" and "Lucky Jordan."