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At Loew's State this week is a well rounded program featuring a satirical romance of Clarence Buddington Kelland called "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town," with an S.S. Van Dine thriller filling out the bill. In the first, a gem of pure wit in Kelland's best Satevepost style, Mr. Deeds is a country boy from Vermont whose uncle's death leaves him a fortune of twenty millions, complete with town house and a regiment of vassals from a major-domo to a pair of plug-ugly bodyguards. With a bank account that "will do in a pinch," he locks the guards in a closet and sets out on a series of binges in New York that put the metropolis in a tremble.
But in the course of feeding doughnuts to cab horses and leading a "back to nature" movement along the main stem, he falls in love with a female reporter (Jean Arthur) who stars him in her gossip column for the local yellow press. Disillusioned at discovering this, he takes a gallant fling at the modern social structure by giving his money to the deserving poor. At this point relatives step in with a motion to ship him off to an insane asylum. In the uproarious sanity trial which follows he is accused of everything from abnormal mental depression to "pixylation" (state of being followed by pixies), but Jean Arthur breaks up the proceedings at the last moment with love and kisses and saves him from the confines of the sanatorium. Altogether the plot and dialogue abound in amusement, and the supporting, cast puts it over to perfection.
In "The Garden Murder Case" Philo Vance (Edmund Lowe) sets about solving the death of a gentleman jockey, but he finds himself with two other murders and what he considers a lovely girl (Virginia Bruce) on his hands before he is through. Yet in spite of a plot that confused our untrained mind, and a few stray remarks like "Elementary, m'dear Watson," which belong to Doyle, not Van Dine, the picture is a satisfactory piece, and rounds out an entertaining program.
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