Peter Pan. At last Maude Adams has a rival. Absolute as was her Peter Pan-American sway, its end is near. Betty Bronson, obscure child of cinema chance, whom Barrie picked for the part from a photograph, will be the Peter the present and succeeding generations of U. S. childhood will cherish. From the greatest cavern of the city auditorium to the stuffy second-floor hall of the farm village Miss Bronson will scatter her gospel. She will scatter it through the medium of an uncannily adapted personality blended into a great picture that is at once beautiful, wise and faithful to its great tradition.
For the benefit of those who know the name and not the substance of the Peter Pan legend, let it be said that Peter is a figure of eternal youth who takes certain mortal children to his strange Never Never Land and there introduces them to curious adventures with Indians and Pirates. In the end, the mortal children leave him and he bids them adieu from his home in the Never Never treetops.
With the exception of Ernest Torrence as Hook the cast was on the whole previously undistinguished. Each in his own way contributed brilliantly to the whole. The direction of Herbert Brenon gave heart once more to those who still argue that there is imaginative intelligence in the picture industry.
The Lighthouse by the Sea. Just as Life has run dog pictures for years successfully, often with somewhat irrelevant humor, so dog pictures on the screen will prosper no matter how pertinent the application. This present sample has a superbly absurd story about the blind ancient who keeps the light, his lovely daughter, her marcelled boy friend. Smugglers and kidnapping. Police Dog Rin-Tin-Tin does most of the rescuing, lights the beacon on the fatal night. For most people he is an all-sufficing hero.
The Dixie Handicap. Southern gentleman story, usual type. Beautiful daughter, race horse, no money. Young man saves race horse from rich enemies. Race horse wins $50,000 at Latonia. Young man wins daughter. Familiar; just a little better than usual.
Classmates. Richard Barthelmess, a love story and West Point blend competently into one of the better routine entertainments. The military academy turned out in force, supplied background, students, atmosphere. For those who know West Point only in the Sunday supplement the film is an excellent and animated revue. Mr. Barthelmess plays well as the poor boy who comes to join the Army.