Cinema: The New Pictures: Sep. 18, 1933

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an elderly apple vendor named Mrs. Nellie McCarthy to have her hair marcelled, lunch at the Waldorf-Astoria in a silk dress. To exploit Bureau of Missing Persons, First National promised, in advertisements, to pay $10,000 to Manhattan's missing Judge Joseph F. Crater in case he asked for it in person at the box office. Detectives from the Manhattan Police Department's Bureau of Missing Persons—whose Captain John H. Ayers wrote Missing Men on which the picture is based—were on hand to identify Judge Crater. He failed to appear. Unlike Captain Ayers' book, the picture has a plot—about a brash detective named Butch Saunders (Pat O'Brien) who falls in love with a girl (Bette Davis) who comes in to ask about a missing husband. Presently Butch Saunders learns the Chicago Police Department wants the girl for murder; then that the man she is looking for is not really her husband but the person she has been accused of shooting. All this is as engrossing as the normal detective cinema but what gives Bureau of Missing Persons substance and makes it interesting journalism as well as adequate fiction are convincing shots of how a Missing Persons Bureau works. Captain Webb (Lewis Stone), Butch Saunders' superior, is a skillful and intelligent policeman. The picture shows him giving good advice to a child violinist, a man with an overenthusiastic wife, a fussy old bachelor who has lost his housekeeper, an old lady whose daughter has run away. If disappointed because no Judge Crater came for the $10,000 last week, First National nonetheless had reason to be satisfied with its advertising trick. Captain Ayers, who saw the picture while waiting for claimants to appear, pronounced it authentic and ingenious, complimented Actor Stone, pointed out that his underlings, unlike Captain Webb's, are forbidden to chew gum. Penthouse (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer). Cinemaddicts who have never been there must have confused ideas about Manhattan. Lady for a Day exhibits the city as a paradise for addle-headed apple vendors. Bureau of Missing Persons show's gentle detectives tenderly dissuading vague citizens from intentional amnesia (see above). In Penthouse the New Yorkers are types with whom cinemaddicts should be more familiar—two important gangsters, a socialite lawyer and miscellaneous strumpets, all briskly engaged in alcoholism, murder and adultery. Lawyer Jackson Durant (Warner Baxter) loses his fiancee because she disapproves of his friendship with a jolly gangster named Tony Gazotti. Not especially disheartened, Lawyer Durant presently has a chance to laugh last. His fiancée's next admirer (Phillips Holmes) is accused of murdering a onetime sweetheart at a penthouse party. The real murderer is another gangster, rival to Gazotti, named Jim Crelliman (C. Henry Gordon). Lawyer Durant brings him to justice, forms what looks like a lasting attachment with the sleek underworld girl (Myrna Loy) who helps him. Adapted from a story by Arthur Somers Roche and ably directed by William S. Van Dyke—whose specialty heretofore has been wild animal pictures— Penthouse is good, straightforward Metro-Goldwyn-Mayerdrama, with glass doors and modern furniture. Most exciting shot: one of Crelliman's underlings (George E. Stone) squeaking and wriggling when he gets the third degree. The Passion of Joan of Arc (Société Général des Films), with
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