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It is conceivable that Warner Brothers had some trouble in finding an actor for the title role of "The Perfect Specimen," current offering of the University, and it is also conceivable that they were mistaken in finally choosing Errol Flynn for the part. Be that as it may, the picture is one which may be guaranteed to keep the audience awake and moderately amused until the Mickey Mouse comes around.
The plot centers around a young man who has been brought up in seclusion by his eugenically-minded grandmother (May Robson) in the vain hope that he will attain perfection. Miss Robson is thwarted in this by Joan Blondell, who drags the specimen into a strange world we finally deduced to be Hollywood.
There was no mistaking it. The triangle is immediately visible--the third corner gallantly supported by Beverly Roberts--and to it are added a prize fight, a regiment of California State Highway Police, a rain storm complete with sound effects, Hugh Herbert, and a strong dose of Hollywood's kind-hearts-are-more-than-coronets philosophy. All this tends to make the picture somewhat confusing until the fuller significance of the thing is grasped; it is an answer, almost a rebuke, to James Hilton; it shows in no uncertain terms how dreadfully dull Shangri-la would be in actual operation, how inevitably the inmates would be in actual operation, how inevitably the inmates would return to the World.
Mr. Herbert and Edward Horton compete for honors in the comic relief, and the verdict goes to the former. An hospitable divorce, living on alimony, Mr. Herbert always cashes his guests' checks, but has a "No Funds" stamp of his own to save him the trouble of going to the bank. The plaster on his little farmhouse was somewhat cracked, "but it reflects my personality. Whoo-whoo!"
In "Alcatraz Island," the second feature, we have an absorbing social problem not hitherto brought to the attention of the public. It paints the difficulties of a racketeer (John Lithel) in bringing up his daughter (Mary Maguire) on the correct intellectual and cultural level. He finally sends her to Europe with his mistress, and she returns in time to fall in love with the District Attorney and free her father from "the Rock." This picture is not guaranteed.
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