With scenes perhaps more hauntingly realistic than even the most devoted Cervantes lover could imagine, the English version of the foreign-made "Don Quixote" comes to the Majestic screen. The most popular escapades of the scatter-brained knight-errant have been chronicled; they assume full stature due in most part to the photographic genius of Nicholas Farkas. Every shot conspires to emphasize the romantic Knight of the Mournful Countenance; landscapes receive the treatment of the Old Masters so that all interest converges on Don Quixote.
It is well, too, for the true Don Quixote actually lives in the tall, spare-frame of Feodor Chaliapin. Singing little, but acting much, he has recreated the lovable old idiot. Nothing could be more purposefully ridiculous than the skeleton-like Chaliapin, with his wild hair and corkscrew beard, crawling out of an attic window buttocks up to find himself facing his pursuers--in his nightshirt. Nor could anything be more pathetically humorous than the armor-clad knight as he revolves in a large circle slowly about the windmill, stuck fast in one of the sails. And so scene after vivid scene until from the flames of his burning books on Chivalry rises the volume, "The Tragical and Wittie Historie of Don Quixote do la Mancha," to live forever.
Chaliapin plays a lone hand for his support is woefully weak; but this only serves to further emphasize the haunting beauty of his performance. Particularly are the other players impeded by their accents, which immediately put them out of character. Sancho Panza, in the person of George Robey, talks Cockney. And Carrasco with his Oxford lisp seems more the bespectacled grind than the heroic flance. These too noticeable incongruities make it difficult to imagine oneself in the Spain of the seventeenth century.