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THE MOVIEGOER

At the Metropolitan

By Brenton WELLING Jr.

Danny Kaye, according to Howard Barnes in Sunday's Herald Tribune, is the first real comedian to reach the screen since W. C. Fields in "Million Dollar Legs." More specifically, Barnes said Kaye has just arrived at the peak of his career in "The Inspector General."

This is a dubious assertion. "The Inspector General" is a good technicolor musical but it is no comedy masterpiece.

Of course there is little resemblance between this movie and the original play by Gogol. There is little meeting ground between Russian drama and Kaye with his capers and patter songs and mugging. But this is beside the point--Danny Kaye has always stood on his own feet.

The fact is that the Kaye routines are suffering from old age. The patter songs are not what they used to be, the special quality of this original actor is beginning to pall on audiences that have seen him before. He is no longer a bombshell.

Not that many of the individual scenes aren't funny. Chief among these is a takeoff of the Ink Spots in which Kaye sings all four parts in different voice ranges and in four separate bodies at the same time.

Kaye fans are bound to see this movie anyway. Others who want relaxation will do all right if they don't get their hopes up for a comedy epic.

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