A palatable dish with all the ingredients of good drama, well served, constitutes the piece de resistance at present on the Metropolitan menu. In fact it is hardly possible that Pola Negri of "The Woman on Trial" would not whet the jaded appetite of the most sophisticated of the devotees of the silver screen. And jaded indeed does the appetite of the average spectator at the average motion picture become; picture succeeds picture, plot follows plot with an abysmal shallowness of invention, and a dispiriting similarity of spirit. It almost seems as if the chief advance of the art were in the decoration of the theatre, rather than the quality of the picture.
"The Woman on Trial" differs very little in plot and invention from innumerable other pictures the reviewer could enumerate if he had a memory for names. Enough, that it plays in Paris with scenes from the Place de la Concorde and the Latin Quarter. It seems unnecessary to examine the plot further. In spirit, to use that nebulous word, it differs, however, from the other fruit on the family tree. That new spirit is due without any doubt to the presence of Pola Negri. She is not pretty the bathing beauty sense, yet it is perhaps her face which gives the tone to the whole picture. There is in it a look of passion and tragedy without which "The Woman on Trial" might be interchanged with any other similar picture and no one would care much, even if he noticed the difference,. But there is a difference, and it is just the difference between the good and the poor.
As for the rest of the Metropolitan's "Greater Entertainment," the divertissement, so to speak, it remains rather hazily in the mind; in fact it succeeded excellently in diverting the attention from what was taking place on the stage. There guesses what it was.