Tenderloin. Sputtering, squealing, the first night audience squeaked in their seats. They were looking, listening, to Warner's new talking cinema.
They saw Dolores Costello as the pure dancing girl asleep at midnight. Entered the villain demanding the stolen money. With hand to throat, she vows innocence.
The audience then heard this gamey dialogue:
"All rightyou're not bad to look at, and my night shall not be wasted."
"Not thatnot thatsurely you have a sister."
Director Curtiz had opened this picture with such simple symbolism as a skinny cat sniffing garbage pails, following with a tale whose luridity dated back to the Black Crook, famed thriller. This one paraded the emotions of Rose Shannon, night club dancer who loved a handsome bank robber (Conrad Nagel). Eventually, wildly, wrongly, she is suspected of stealing, is arrested, scared under the third degree, where the spoken dialogue is first heard. To end this whole experimental footage, the actors use the academic, classic embrace.
Of the voices, Cinema Critic Harriette Underhill wrote: "The fact that all screen talking devices give the characters a certain lisp, slightly detracts from the serious effect. So, when the beautiful heroine clasps her hands, rolls her eyes and cries, 'Why do you perthitht in perthecuting me? I am innothent!' it sounds funnier than if she were speaking her lines in 'perthon.' "
The Secret Hour. There is no denying the cinemart of Pola Negri, but it is a shame to see her put into cotton stockings and handing out coffee in a San Francisco lunch room. Nonetheless, JLuigi (Jean Hersholt), potent orange grower, is attracted by Waitress Pola. He writes her a letter inviting her to his farm, enclosing a photograph of his handsome house man, Jack. Then he gets full of giggle water and drives his car into a creek while going to meet Waitress Pola at the railroad station. Of course, Waitress Pola inevitably finds the arms of good-looking Jack. It is all rather diverting. Sidney Howard wrote it, using his successful play, They Knew What They Wanted, as a basis.
The Heart of a Follies Girl should not be touched with a forty-foot pole. The plot is like a last year's fresh egg. The captions are like nice round soup dishes full of soup. The girl (Billie Dove) is like a seven-course dinner in which each course is a can of condensed milk.
The Night Flyer. Speedy, thrilling is this picture of how the mail train raced to Medicine Bend. Director James Cruze routed from the round house the engines of pioneer railroad days as a setting for a story as primitive as that of Casey Jones.
Jim (William Boyd) was a fireman, Bat
(Philo McCullough) an engineer. Both loved snub-nosed Kate (Jobyna Ralston) daughter of the lunch room lady. Jim warns Bat to go slowly round the curve. Bat speeds up, skids, smashes into the ditch. Unhurt, Jim fires up old Engine No. 99, hauls on the mail bags, rushes to Medicine Bend on time, winning the contract and Kate.