In a very well-balanced program, the Fine Arts Theatre this week presents two features, "Mirages de Paris," and "Dawn to Dawn," in addition to an unusually charming and ingenious Mickey Mouse cartoon entitled, "The Picnic."
Directed in the vivid, light style of Rene Clair and Ernst Lubitsch, the French film is a musical romance which manages to maintain its delightful simplicity and humor, although it does show a definite Hollywood influence by including a chorus scene of the standard Busby Herkeley type. Excellent photography and really amusing sequences more than atone for the nature of the plot, which is too juvenile to justify elucidation.
The second feature. "Dawn to Dawn," was known earlier in its life as "The Black Dawn." Filmed against the solomn background of a desolate middle- western farm it is a profoundly stirring drama. The farmer, an invalid in mind and body, has developed a powerful and selfish love for his daughter and his every effort is directed toward keeping her for himself. The girl, excellently portrayed by Julie Hayden, has grown up in the barren solitude of the plains, and until the strange young man appears, she seems mechanical and devoid of emotion. Her casual meeting with the traveler arouses all her suppressed feelings, and the climax is reached when the father discovers the two together. The girl turns against her father, and he dies. The young man goes on his way, and she is now completely forsaken. Classic in its simplicity and directness, it bears eloquent testimony to the possibilities of the screen.