A-G-E Film Society of Toronto
1st Season – 6th Program
Sunday April 8th, 1956, 8.30 p.m.
The Music Professor (Le professeur de musique)
National Film Board of Canada, 1953, 6 mins.
Producer: Bernard Devlin
Director: Gil LaRoche
Photography: Lorne Batchelor
Music: Maurice Blackburn
Commentary: Leonard Forest
Faces of Canada series
With The Photographer, this picture is the best of the series because it does not strain for effect. Its portrayal of a tired music professor who wonders whether his life has been worthwhile trying to teach children with no aptitude for music to play the piano is underlined with a quiet charm and feeling. When the pupil with a gift for music does come along, his work brings him satisfaction again. The professor’s life and background are revealed quickly and visually, and the entire study is beautifully created. Sam Payne’s pleasant voice complements the mood and the character.
Gerald Pratley in The Canadian Forum, Dec. 1955
Christopher Crumpet’s Playmate
UPA, Columbia Pictures, USA, 1955, 6 mins.
Direction: Robert Cannon
Story: T. Hee and R. Cannon
Music: Dennis Farnon
Mr. and Mrs. Crumpet develop a great affection for Christopher’s imaginary playmate–a full-sized elephant. The mean-minded Bilgewater, an officer colleague of Mr. Crumpet, reports the elephant to their boss, hoping to win promotion at Crumpet’s expense. But the boss, with cherished memories of his own imaginary playmate–a hyena which he sets on to Bilgewater–promotes Mr. Crumpet to full partnership. A striking return to form on the part of UPA. The drawing–thick line and flat washes–is of a high standard and very expressive, and the story and characters have the char of a highly sophisticated naivete.
Monthly Film Bulletin, February 1956
An Adventure to Remember
Warners, USA 1955, 11 mins.
Script and Direction: Robert Youngson
Editor: Albert Helmes
Narrator: Dwight Weist
Sound recording: Kenneth Upton
Capssule version of another of Warners’ early “talkies”. The film abridged here is Isle of Lost Ships (1929 directed by Irving Willet), a melodrama apparently devoted to all-out action, in which hero (Jason Robards), heroine (Virginia Valli) and a detective are stranded aboard a drifting liner which carries them to the centre of the Saragasso Sea, the last resting place for a variety of battered and derelict hulks. Trouble follows with a gang of renegades commanded by Noah Beery, and an escape is finally made by submarine.
Isle of Lost Ships, to all appearances a naive and eventful sea story, has less intrinsic interest than some of the pictures previously shown in this series. Curiosity to see the whole film is hardly aroused but the highlights affectionately preserved here are fair examples of the vigorous, uninhibited action typical of the film’s period.
Monthly Film Bulletin, February 1956
The Love Parade (1929)
Paramount (released November, 1929) American
Produced and directed by Ernst Lubitsch
From the play “The Prince Consort”
by Leon Xanrof (pseud, of Leon Fourneau) and Jules Chancel
Screenplay, Ernest Vajda and Guy Bolton
Music, Victor Schertzinger and Clifford Grey
Songs include “Dream Lover,” “My Love Parade”,
“March of the Grenadiers”, “Anything to Please the Queen”,
Let’s Be Common”, “Paris Stay the Same” and
“Nobody’s Using it Now”.
Cast: MAURICE CHEVALIER, Jeanette MacDonald, Lupino Lane and Lillian Roth
MAURICE CHEVALIER–a native of France since 1889 and a citizen of Show Business since 1901–is a charming entertainer as well as an entertaining charmer, whether on stage or screen. The longevity of his popularity is proof that Chevalier’s art–like Chaplin’s–is both timeless and timely. It was The Love Parade, Chevalier’s second American film which brought him into a successful collaboration–both artistically and financially–with Jeanette MacDonald and Ernst Lubitsch. Their scintillating association on the screen terminated in 1934 with The Merry Widow–perhaps more Lubitsch than Lehar, but nonetheless a most delightful operetta.
As with any performer–good, bad or indifferent–Chevalier appeared in a number of mediocre vehicles, among them Love Me Tonight, A Bedtime Story, and The Beloved Vagabond. The latter was made in England in 1937 and featured a young and promising actress–Margaret Lockwood. Besides the two films noted above, his other worthwhile efforts included Innocents in Paris (1929) his American film debut, The Smiling Lieutenant (1931) based on Oscar Straus’ A Waltz Dream with Claudette Colbert and Miriam Hopkins, and Folies Bergere (1935) with Merle Oberon and Ann Sothern. This was his last American film and in it Chevalier played a dual role. This story was to serve 20th Century Fox with two subsequent re-makes–That Night in Rio with Don Ameche and Carmen Miranda, and On the Riviera with Danny Kaye. Unfortunately, motion pictures did not give full scope to Chevalier’s priceless pantomimic art, but enough of it has remained in a number of outstanding screen performances to ensure him a permanent place in film history.
JEANETTE MacDONALD–although the leading lady in a number of early screen musicals which included The Lottery Bride with John Garrick and Joe E. Brown, and The Vagabond King with Dennis King and Lillian Roth, seemed to hit her stride when teamed with Chevalier and later with Nelson Eddy. As a solo actress she fared less fortunately. Even her appearances in Monte Carlo, The Cat and the Fiddle, The Firefly and San Francisco were dimmed by the bright performances of her co-stars, Jack Buchanan, Ramon Novarro, Allan Jones, and Clark Gable respectively.
Miss MacDonald is now in semi-retirement, fulfilling an occasional night-club or concert engagement. She is, however, scheduled for a Broadway musical next fall entitled My Royal Past.
LILLIAN ROTH’s “This is Your Life”, plus her biography, I’ll Cry Tomorrow, and the eventual film version of it, are well known. Strange as Fate may seem, Miss Roth is perhaps a better known personality today than she was a quarter of a century ago, when her film roles were relegated to a secondary nature and many of them in third-rate productions. Her best remembered portrayal was “Huguette” in the afore-mentioned Vagabond King.
LUPINO LANE–a member of the great acting family of Lupinos, was a popular comedian in Hollywood films during the 20’s. His niece Ida Lupino has carried on in the acting tradition, adding directing, writing and producing to her filmic chores. The Love Parade marked Lupino Lane’s exit from the American screen.
For the Studio Cinema – Bob Lester
Aldo Maggiorotti Gerald Pratley Elwood Glover
BA. 1-7325 HU. 8-6583 HU. 902268
The A-G-E Film Society is a member of the Canadian Federation of Film Societies, affiliated with the Canadian Film Institute.
The directors of the A-G-E Film Society are gratified by our members’ response to the first series of pictures. We hae therefore booked the following films for next season, and hope you will reserve a membership and join us again next year. The program will be made up of eight films for $5 (no doubles) or nine for $6 for those members who would like to see the special showing of the two westerns mentioned at the last screening.
November 4 THE BLACK PIRATE Douglas Fairbanks 1926
November 25 BLOOD AND SAND Rudolph Valentino 1922
December 16 RIDERS OF THE PURPLE SAGE Tom Mix 1925
December 16 WILD BILL HICKOK William S. Hart 1923
January 6 QUEEN CHRISTINA (sound) Greta Garbo-Gilbert 1933
January 27 THE FRESHMAN Harold Lloyd 1925
February 17 THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA Lon Chaney 1925
March 10 THE LAST COMMAND Emil Jannings 1928
March 31 THE STUDENT PRINCE Norma Shearer-Novarro 1927
April 21 NAUGHTY MARIETTA (sound) Nelson Eddy-MacDonald 1935
Please reserve a membership for me in the A-G-E Film Society for 1956-1957; (membership fee may be paid at later date)
(PLEASE MAIL TO 448 DAVISVILLE AVENUE OR LEAVE AT THE TABLE IN THE LOBBY OF THE STUDIO THEATRE ON THE EVENING OF APRIL 8TH. THIS RESERVATION WILL GIVE YOU PRIORITY WHEN THE FORMAL ANNOUNCEMENT IS MADE NEXT SEPTEMBER.)