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The Moviegoer

Chaplin Antiquely Comic in "Modern Times"; Swarthout and Kiepura in "Give Up This Night"

By E. C. B.

Charlie Chaplin in "Modern Times" has descended from the flashy banners and is now doing a routine week's term at the Paramount and Fenway. If you missed him the first time, by all means go now. But be a little cautious about indulging that vague inclination toward a second seeing. It isn't quite no funny the second time to see Mr. Chaplin dive into four inches of water mistaken for a lake, or to watch him lead a Communist parade through the accident of having picked up a red flag fallen from the hind end of a truck.

This is all very uproarious the first time, however, and if you turn down this chance you may have to wait another five years for the next picture, for Chaplin vehicles are not street cars. Chaplin is an anachronism; having learned the art of pantomime for the silents, he isn't going to give it up because some fool invented a way to make the flickers squawk. And being old-fashioned, he restores slapstick to its lusty youth. It dazzles by the force of its mad pollmell succession. The tempo is definitely stepped up way above normal; the old trick for preventing lag is remembered.

The other picture, "Give Us This Night," allows grand opera stars Gladys Swarthout and Jan Kispura to sing to one another in Sorrento by the sea. There is, to be sure, the hackneyed admixture of sacrifice, misunderstanding, running out at the last minute, and reappearing at an even later minute to displace the incompetent substitute. Also on the debit side is the fact that both Gladys and Jan know more about vocal cords than histrionics. But there are many snatches of freshness, and Jan keeps you fairly excited by a fiery vigor amounting almost to daftness. Gladys, moreover, does not invite you to shut your eyes, however rapt you may be on account of here voice. And then, both of them are glorious singers.

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