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The University Theatre presents two very worth while pictures this week: Nancy Carroll and John Boles in "Child of Manhattan," and "Hallelujah, I'm a Bum" with Al Jolson and Madge Evans. The first of these pictures is a witty, sophisticated story of life in the big city and points west. The lines in it are good with occasional touches of double meaning. The plot, while a trifle emotional, is not at all dripping; in fact in some touching scenes, where usual University audiences would laugh, there were moist eyes.
The story concerns itself with Paul Vanderkill, whose name is also a telephone number, and Madeleine McGonegal, whom he meets in the Loveland dance hall. After a whirlwind courtship and marriage, time elapses until the birth of their child who dies at the hospital. Madeleine, very distraught, believes that Paul no longer loves her, that her last hold on him is gone, and that the only solution is to go to Mexico, where divorces are quick and quiet. There she meets Panama Kelly, of Tulsa, Oklahoma, whose perennial proposals were formerly the bane of her existence, but new are most welcome, as she wants to get married in order to get out of the mess her altogether too obliging divorce lawyer concocted for her. At the wedding Paul shows up, Panama disappears like a gentleman, and Madeleine and Paul have another "appointment." Curtain.
In "Hallelujah, I'm a Bum" Al Jolson does some of his best work; to tell the truth, this is the only Jolson picture that the reviewer liked at all. Al, as mayor of Central Park, extols the virtues of the open air, while his friend, Frank Morgan, in the role of Mayor Hastings of New York, although converted to Bumper's care-free life of leisure, is tied down by official and private responsibilities. Complications on sue when June Marcher, Madge Evans in screen life, jumps off the bridge when Bastings unfortunately thinks that she is not faithful to him. Bumper rescues her, she has amnesia; Bumper reforms, gets a job, and she is about to marry him. But, Bumper's friend, the Mayor, is almost frantic when June isn't found and is about to commit suicide, and so in typical Al Jolson style there is a happy reunion for all except Bumper who is left out in the Park.
One of the best shots of this quite admirable program is in the news-reel of the recent English flood, showing two small puppies adrift in a wash tub. Even if both shows were terrible (and they certainly are quite the opposite) this shot is well worth the price of admission.
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