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The Moviegoer

"Shipmates Forever" Is Saved by Ruby Keeler. "Harmony Lane" Is Sentimental Trash

By J. M.

This week the bill presented at the Paramount and Fenway to all and sundry bears a definite stamp of of mediocrity. The chief picture, "Shipmates Forever,"concerns itself with the life of a downtrodden midshipman, personified by Dick Powell. As an ex-crooner goaded into enter the Academy by a navy father (chief of the fleet, no less) and family traditions, he suffers a severe lacing from the less musically-minded upperclassmen. Despite much bitterness of heart and loneliness, offset only by the presence of Ruby Keeler, he finally comes out topside and, as might be expected, is ready to and almost does, die for the dear old navy. Certain interludes when Ruby Keeler tapdances, Dick Powell sings, and several fine photographic shots of Annapolis do much to relieve the tedium of an ancient story replete with flag-waving. Unless one can see intrinsic beauty and goodness in battleships, however, pleasure in seeing the picture will be marred by the most obvious kind of propaganda.

"Harmony Lane," the other picture, is a piece of sentimental trash. Supposedly concerning the life of Stephen Foster, this picture should receive applause only from the most susceptible tearjerker addicts. Studded with an incompetent cast headed by Douglass Montgomery and Evelyn Venable, directed with incredible stupidity, and put together like a patchwork quilt, the movie was almost enough to make this Spartan reviewer join the chorus of groans coming from some neighbors in the aisle. Even Foster's magnificent folk-songs--and this is the crowning infamy--were rendered wretchedly. After seeing "Harmony Lane," even "Shipmates Forever" seemed to approach the requirements of good movie fare.

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