Grace Conway on Films
HAPPY GO LOVELY (WARNERS: Certificate U) Director : Bruce Humberstone HOPES have been running high about the first Anglo-American Technicolor musical to be made in this country (1 refuse to include the disastrous " London Town " in the category) and they are certainly realised. Without being too slavish an imitation of the American product, with its fantastic and complicated routines, " Happy Go Lovely," with the delightful, snub-nosed, actressdancer Vera-Ellen, is colourful, tuneful, satisfying. It begins rather feebly, after some lovely opening shots of Edinburgh, with some wan young men dancing in white kilts, but is soon bowling happily along with Cesar Romero, David Niven (at long last back to his old form), and British Diane Hart leading a gay, light-hearted team.
To he sure. there is the usual hammy plot about the show which can't open because the impressario is broke, but it has been given a new twist and is carried off deftly by David Niven, whose timing is perfect.
APACHE DRUMS (GAO/40NT AND MARBLE. ARCH PAVILION:
Certificate A) Director : Hugo Fregonese
WE are still in the Technicolor belt—it has been a colourful week.
The white man's progress across the Mexican desert is being harassed by the " Apatchies" who, one of the character says, "are a dying race, Their women .are barren. The men believe that if they hurl themselves to death they will beget many warrior sons in the next world!"
While the acting is routine West
ern stuff, some quite lovely pictures and groupings occur at intervals. arguing a nice sense of colour and composition.
It all takes about 72 minutes—a perfect length for this type of picture.
THERE IS ANOTHER SUN (GAUMONT AND MARBLE ARCH PAVILION: Certificate A) Director: Lewis Gilbert
A DARK, gloomy affair about
life in a funfair with Maxwell Reed as the usual "menace," which he always seem to play, some boxing, an exciting " wall of death" sequence, and speedway racing.
Not what the doctor ordered as a cure for the blues, although Hermione Baddeley as a fortune-teller has her moments.
ON THE RIVIERA (ODEON, LEICESTER SQUARE: Certificate A) Director : Walter Lang
I SUPPOSE one of the most difficult things to do in the cinema world now is to build a picture round Danny Kaye.
He has had the most brilliant personal success of all time, and yet his last film was not very good. This one will probably be more than a disappointment to his " fans."
To begin with, he has been given a feeble story, based on a play by Rudolph Lothar and Hans Adler. It may have been actable in the original but on the screen it degenerates into a synthetic hybrid farce with clichedotted dialogue and everyone talking to each other in broken English.
Sumptuous Technicolor Riviera scenery and clothes, one or two
numbers done with the famous Kaye flair, an extremely clever "doubling act" (he plays the part of an American cabaret artist and also a French ace flyer)—these are on the credit side. And also a puppet show with Danny as the chief clown.
FOUR IN A JEEP (ACADEMY: Certificate A) Director : Leopold Lindtberg THE title suggests some gay,
inconsequential Hollywood lark. Actually it contains the quintessence of 20th century tragedy—man's inhumanity to man in a Europe slashed in tWia by the Iron Curtain.
The " four " are military police operating in the international zone of Vienna—a Briton, an American, a Frenchman and a Russian, whose job it is to patrol the district in a Jeep.
It is the Russian's week to give the orders. and when the American interferes in the search of an Austrian woman's flat, he goes off at once to his headquarters to report.
Back in the canteen, the three Westerners discuss the Russian's behaviour.
This is no crude anti-Soviet propaganda but just an essay on the virtues of practical pity and compassion.
The American, aided by more than mere benevolent detachment by the French and British soldiers, sets out to save the woman and her husband. who is expected in the next hatch of prisoners from Hungarian camps.
That American headquarters get a terrible headache and that the Russians raise the roof about this " insolent Western interference " is a natural consequence. What is less expected, and very welcome, is the promise of a break in the shellac covering of the Russian's heart even though it takes a fight almost to the death to bring it about.
A hotly topical film, brilliantly directed and with great acting by Viveca Lindfors, Ralph Meeker (the American), Yoseph Yatin (Russian), and our own Michael Medwin as the irrepressible British soldier, whose Cockney spirit saves many a crisis from boiling over.