The immortal Bergner appears this time in a celebrated piece from the pen of the Immortal Bard. For the stage effects, the minor characters, and for the pleasure of rehearing Shakespeare's poetry it is well worth seeing. By and large, as theatre, it does not go.
Mr. Kraska assures us in his advance circular that Fraulein Bergner has acted the part of Rosalind in the legitimate theatre a tremendous number of times. If this is true it is just unfortunate. There was nothing, well, almost nothing, that Miss Bergner could do to spoil one's enjoyment of "As You Like It" that she did not do. She spoke her lines with a heavy German accent, rendering at least half of them unintelligible. She simpered so with Celia (Sophie Stewart) (and Celia simpered back) that one squirmed in one's seat. She acted the part of Ganymede with great unreality, squealing and mincing so that an unfortunate stage convention became even more flimsy and unenjoyable than it is ordinarily to the modern eye. The tedium of her performance was relieved in only a few places, such as her advice to the shepherdess Phoebe, and her arrangement of the triple marriage.
Mr. Lawrence Olivier, a very handsome and athletic Orlando, was not much better. Only a few characters--the fool (McKeuzie Ward), Audrey the shepherdess (Doris Fordred), and, most of all. Leon Quatermaine as Jacques, escape a deadly conventionality in acting which oppresses the majority of the cast. Jacques's superb rendition of the "All the World's a Stage" speech makes a dull-evening a happy one. But for the others a tremendous consciousness that they were acting Shakespeare seemed to add pounds to every word, gesture and expression. The feeling assailed one after the first few lines and remained rarely contradicted throughout.
There are also a Movietone News and the December March of Time.