The New Pictures, May 7, 1945

  • Share
  • Read Later

Salome, Where She Danced (Universal) has got practically everything except the rise of Silas Lapham and the decline & fall of the Roman Empire, and there seems to be no reason except pure niggardliness that they should not have been worked in too. Items: defeated General Robert E. Lee telling a Confederate soldier (David Bruce) that "we must move with the ages"; a Berlin correspondent for Leslie's Weekly (Rod Cameron) scooping the world on the opening of Bismarck's Austro-Prussian War, with the help of a dancer named Anna Maria (Yvonne de Carlo); Anna Maria emerging from a shell to the strains of The Blue Danube to dance some elementary ballet; an energetic cavalry battle in which her lover, a Hapsburg Prince, loses the war and his life rather than cause her political embarrassment in Berlin; a scene in a raw Western U.S. town, in which Anna Maria calms the beavered natives by executing, as Salome, the hootchy-kootchy; a scene in which she reforms the quondam Confederate, turned local bandit, by her snarling contralto rendition of Der Tannenbaum (Maryland! My Maryland!); San Francisco in its heyday, which includes 1) an infatuated Russian multimillionaire (Walter Slezak), 2) the attempted pirating of a Chinese junk, 3) its sagacious proprietor, who speaks Oriental proverbs in Edinburr dialect, 4) a duel with rapiers on a blood-red floor, 5) a hair-raising stagecoach chase, 6) a happy ending. This does not, perhaps, give a very clear idea of the story, but that is no great loss. One of the odd things about this odd picture is that there really is an Arizona town called Salome—Where She Danced. It was named; however, after a native, a Mrs. Grace Salome Pratt; and it is called, for short, Suhloam. The oddest thing of all, though, is that the show is quite a lot of fun. Most of the color and costuming is garishly pretty; the dialogue is richly flavored with such tongue-in-cheek lines as one man's description of the heroine: "She was always a great artist—but above all—a woman." Miss de Carlo, a newcomer to the screen, is not exactly persuasive as the great artist, but as a woman, especially in her Salome number, she brings the house down.

Dillinger (Monogram) is the story of a Public Enemy No. i whose misbehavior seems so innocuous, beside the work of later international candidates, that you can almost smell the sachet along with the tear gas and gunpowder. The picture recalls how this born delinquent knocked over a string of banks, a mail train, a harmless elderly couple and two of his associates; and how at last his girl betrayed him to G-men, who shot him down as he walked out of a nickelodeon. Fortunately, this old-fashioned story is told in an old-fashioned way. The result: a tough, tight, tense, tricky little melodrama.

  1. Previous Page
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3