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The Crimson Playgoer

Hart and Kauman's 'You Can't Take it With You" One Part Philosophy, One Part Love, Five Parts Farce


Without laying embarrassing stress on its merits as a drama, it is easy to say that the "St. Louis Kid" is good Cagney; and good Cagney, as an unfortunately large number of people know, may be depended upon to include turmoil among the gendarmerie, wisecracks in a welter, fisticuffs in the boudoir, and a pace so rapid as hopelessly to outstrip the plot. Shamefacedly, we admit to a general liking for all these inevitable ingredients, as well as for the toothsome Patricia Ellis and the dogged Alan Jenkins, Mr. Cagney's perennial henchman. The Kid himself, may best be described as presenting an able impersonation of James Cagney. We particularly admired the chivalry with which, in the last reel, he permitted his bride a pretty attempt at assault.

The supporting item on the bill, Mary Roberts Rinehart's "The State Versus Elinor Norton," seemed designed to convey a message; it is useless to join the army, since it is almost impossible to get killed. Incidental impressions conveyed by this drama of polite neuroses were that Hollywood has not yet run out of battle scenes, and that no matter how plentiful the circumstantial evidence, a good woman has yet to be convicted. As the prosecuted Elinor Norton, Claire Trevor remains resolutely good before the advances of a clean American friend, an orchid-ridden Brazilian lover, and (apparently) a shell-shocked and otherwise unstable British husband, whose demise provides Miss Rinehart with a court-room scene and a paralleled denouement. Of all the picture's conclusions, the plainest was that Miss Trevor is worthy of better things than the forcible feeding of pap to the public.

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