Cinema: The New Pictures: Jun. 29, 1936

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And Sudden Death (Paramount) takes its title from the article by Joseph Chamberlin Furnas on the evils of fast motoring which appeared in The Reader's Digest and has since, in a reprint by Simon & Schuster (after screen re-enactment in The March of Time for last October), reached a circulation of three million copies. It does not venture to translate into pictures much of the lusty and horrifying blood-reek of the article, but it does present, within conventional limits, an energetic little sermon on good highway manners. Lieutenant Knox (Randolph Scott), head of a police traffic department, meets Betty Winslow (Frances Drake) when she is arrested for driving 72 m.p.h. in a 30-m.p.h. zone. His efforts to educate her to caution involve a visit to the morgue and the exhibition of a police newsreel of traffic smashups. When her alcoholic brother Jackie (Tom Brown) smashes into a school bus, killing the young son of the cop who arrested her for speeding, she takes the blame and goes to jail for murder in the second degree. The denouement consists of Knox's successful efforts to force Jackie to admit his guilt. None of the crash scenes are stock shots. All were made by professional stunt people, strapped in the seats of the cars they wrecked.

Sins of Man (Twentieth Century-Fox). Sad, simple and superfluous, this picture depicts the mishaps of one Christopher Freyman (Jean Hersholt), bell ringer in the Tyrolean town of Zanebruck. Christopher's wife dies, his younger son is deaf & dumb, his elder son gets killed in a plane crash, Zanebruck is wiped out by a war bombardment and, by 1935, poor old Chris is no more than a Manhattan bottle-washer. His deaf son, cured by the roar of guns, then turns out to be a great composer, recognizable to his sire by a symphony, The Cathedral Most lugubrious shot: Chris and a friend (Allen Jenkins) making the jeering louts in a Bowery flophouse kneel down to pray.

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