Cinema: New Faces of 1930

Act One, as more than a million people who read the book know, is the rags-to-nouveau-riche story of the late playwright-director Moss Hart and his historic subway trip from The Bronx to Broadway. Hart was a shrewd, witty, candid and flamboyant theater man. As played on the screen by George Hamilton, he seems reserved, artless, uncertain. The movie audience is asked to imagine him as the boy wonder who collaborated with Writer-Director George S. Kaufman on the 1930 comedy smash, Once in a Lifetime. It's hard.

The fault lies less with Hamilton, perhaps, than with Dore Schary, who wrote, produced and directed...

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