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The river Shannon flows down the center aisle, shamrocks float from the ceiling, and Loew's ushers shout "Ireland for the Irish" at the State and Orpheum this week. Clark Gable's cars and Myrna Loy's nose star in a pea-soup fog--that's all there is to "Parnell."
Mr. Gable in the title rose plays the historical part with sincerity but is hopelessly miscast. Miss Loy as the attractive Mrs. O'Shea who disrupts the unity of the Irish Home Rule Party looks fetching in tears and bustles, but her presence on the screen doesn't seem to make much difference one way or another.
The film aims at the portrayal of a country's worship for their leader in a time of oppression. When their god falls for another man's wife with the weakness of any love-stricken being, their trust in him is shattered. That they should feel thus seems only natural, but the picture tries to make the situation highly dramatic. Does Parnell betray Ireland or Ireland Parnell? That is the question. The result is a hopelessly wishy-washy conflict between mass admiration and the illegal love of a party champion. With both sides in a deadlock, the script solves its problems by killing off Mr. Gable that Ireland may profit from his plight.
The photography is the only redeeming feature of this very poorly constructed film. Shots in the House of Commons with Mr. Gladstone speaking are excellent. When Mr. Gable makes his impassioned pleas, he looks like a fish out of water. At best "Parnell" is a very mediocre excuse for a two hour moving picture.
Ida Lupine, Walter Connolly, and Ralph Bellamy star in the second feature, "Let's Get Married." The plot deals with the love of a politician's (Mr. Connolly) daughter (Miss Lupino) for a weather forecaster (Mr. Bellamy). The whole film depends on the weather and, like the weather, it never rains but it pours."
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