The screen version of S. N. Behrman's "Biography" fails to make its point as strongly as did the play. Its softened portrayal of an intolerant young man who is made to see the indiscretion of his attitude by an older woman who has the opposite viewpoint of life, leaves the audience either to ferret out the real meaning of the episode or to take it as merely an entertaining picture. Robert Montgomery is happily less rambunctious than usual and Ann Harding while still sweet, is not nauseatingly so.
Marion (Ann Harding) is a sophisticated artist, whose affairs had been construed to be slightly Bohemian, and therefore to Dick Kurt (Montgomery) the hardboiled magazine editor, presented themselves as good copy. Leavening this wheat of Mr. Behrman's, Una Merkel and Edward Everett Horton as fiancee and ponderous senator-to-be prove entirely successful. The "senator" also becomes the butt of the editor's vituperation on the political and economic condition of the country--which elicits merited approval of the audience.
"Charlie Chan in Paris," with Warner Oland and a mediocre supporting cast, pulls itself up by the bootstraps from the sludge of the usual detective thriller by a feeble tug. Replete with the Paramount Paris sower set, the Paramount Paris hotels, policemen and nightclubs, the plot alone has the virtue of making this an entertaining picture, Typical shots--a lame masked man peeking over window ledges. A gloved hand poking the muzzle of a gun through a crack in a door, a spurt of flame, a clutched hand, female screams . . . certainly not the equal of the immortal "Thin Man."