The Crimson Playgoer


George Bernard Shaw's first talking picture appeared at the Repertory theatre Monday without creating anything like the stir that one might expect of the work of the man the Theatre Guild modestly describes as "the greatest living English writer." This apparent lack of interest could go down to one of the few instances of Bostonian theatrical taste. Considered from any angle, this production is dull slow and humorless. The only reason for its being filmed apparently was that Mr. Shaw wrote it, but unfortunately his reasons for indulging in its composition seem unfathomable.

In the first place, the sound mechanism sounds like a five year old phonograph record played with a needle of the same vintage. The comedy, what there is of it, is so typically Sahvian in his worst moments that it is excusable only as a commentary on Mr. Shaw. Of these the world has already seen more than enough. In other words, the picture is just another expression of Shaw the showman rather than the dramatist.

The other picture on the bill is "Stampede" which happens to be an interesting photograph of jungle life. The picture is silent, although a weak musical score has been added. It has appeared in this vicinity before but in spite of its slight age, is quite worth seeing. The continuity of a plot is worked out with surprising effectiveness and the atmosphere of "darkest Africa" is quite skillfully created. Compared with the opus of Mr. Shaw, it would seem that there is something in the primitivistic movement in spite of Mr. Babbitt.