GRACE CO1%WA1 Looks at the Films
for the defence not hanging the table once.
Unfortunately emotionalism rears its ugly head when it transpires that one of the reasons the " traitor " could not take punishment was that his father (an embarrassed looking Walter Pidgeon) never showed him any affection—never kissed him. So we have just one more crazy, mixed-up soldier.
Alt the same, this is an honest film that proffers no over-simplitied solution. Men do break under duress—physical or mental—and War Ministries must not try to ignore the fact.
PATTERNS OF POWER Certificate A: Gaumont Director: Fielder Cook
ARE there such things as Wall Street Chimes? The opening. with the camera travelling up and over the stony precipices qf New York's big business centre, is accompanied by mellow bells ringing a tune to which we often sing the " Tantum Ergo "—by Haydn, think it is. But any association of ideas splits in twain as one of the windows is pinpointed and we are introduced to the jungle of jiggery pokery and high finance.
A new young " production genius " (Van Heflin) arrives from Ohio to he groomed for the place of an ageing vice-president (Ed Negley), though neither knows about it. He is given a palatial office in the palatial suite where the various executives are waited on by a company of female slaves (Yes. sir; No. sir), who move about with an air of reverence and stand. waiting, pencil at the ready, for the commands of their lords. Talk of equality of women in America. This is more like the atmosphere. in a nabob's palace. And there is a nabob. too. Played with watchful eye and tight drawn mouth by Everett Sloane, he has turned the humanely run concern founded by his father into a relentless money machine.
Horrified, the young Ohio recruit, who thinks of the human element behind the machines, sets out to fight the system on behalf of the man he has been brought in to replace. It is a battle to the death. But it is not they who die.
" Patterns of Power " is an absorbing tale of a conflict of wills between two mighty wrestlers. Well acted. tautly directed, it is simultaneously an argument against and for the corporations that employ millions and make millions.
Sack a few hundred men, whether their families suffer or not, so that in a year's time you can employ thousands. . .
And you are left to work it out.
THE NAKED SEA Certificate U: London Pavilion Director: Allen H. Milner OH, dear! Why will Hollywhod over-dramatise? This film about the Portuguese sailors of San Diego who go tuna-fishing—a wellmade and often exciting documentary—is made ridiculous by one of the most turgid commentaries I've heard yet.
Think of the restraint Pierre Loti used in his story about the Breton sailors who fish in the Iceland waters. Then listen to the verbal accompaniment here. You'd think World War Three was already upon us.
Yet the man who made it, Allen H. Milner, was a combat photo,,
erapher in the Pacific, so he can
hardly regard tuna-fishing as the last word in danger.
After seeing the thouands of these enormous fish being hooked and listened to them drumming out their death floundcrings on the ship, their presence among the hors d'uuvres should be regarded with a certain awe. Especially now that we learn they are the mystery fish of the sea and take trips from Alaska to the Caribbean and (proved by tagging certain of them) are world travellers.
Mr. Milner, his tuna operation done, now is filming atom bomb tests. Rut there will be no more verbal thunder left for that commentary.
WICKED AS THEY COME Certificate A: Leicester Square Theatre Director: Ken Hughes
YOU'D think that Arlene Dahl, reputed to be the most beautiful girl in the world (I met her years ago and she really was a picture) would be given the full camera treatment in gorgeous colour. But this was made in England and we all know women. no matter who they are, get short shrift. So this one is in black and white and no nonsense about camera angles.
Miss Dahl plays the part of a winner of a beauty contest who in her youth had been assaulted by a gang of young criminals. So she makes up her mind to take it out of men in general by " giving so little and getting so much," as one of her victims puts it.
The climax of the film, when she shoots her husband, thinking he is a prowler. recalls a recent newspaper sensation.
No black or white ending—only a dark grey which is a point on the credit side of a rather mediocre affair.