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THE MOVIEGOER

At the U.T.

By J. H. K.

As "The Women" deals with the fair sex in the cynical thirties, so "The Old Maid" takes its problem back into Civil War Days and the mauve decade. It is characteristic of the two periods that while Clare Boothe's hell-cats are desperately trying to get themselves out of marriage, Edith Wharton's bustled and be-snooded felines spend their time clawing their way in. The old maid, Bette Davis, never quite makes the grade, and the ensuing complications make grim and glorious fare.

A pervasive aroma of bitter hatred drifts through the whole picture, seeping deeper and deeper into the characters until, psychologically speaking, the sets are covered with the groaning bodies of the wounded. Perhaps the mental gore is overworked in spots, for climax follows climax with exhausting rapidity, putting considerable strain on the acting abilities of even the Misses Davis and Hopkins. Yet the conflict of their two vivid personalities--the essence of the plot--is basically so well presented that the foibles of direction and script-writing are subordinate.

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