French POW Dumaine is sequestered near the castle of a prideful Prussian nobleman, Count Reinmacher, who lives for the day that his four sons will march triumphantly into Paris. Axelle, the...
See full summary »
Peggy and her friend Millie are strolling down Broadway while Jimmy and Mac are trolling Broadway, and the four get together. Jimmy and Peggy get together in many romantic ways and Peggy ... See full summary »
Truck driver Bugs Raymond organizes the trucking associations and takes protection money. Now rich, he decides to marry socialite Dorothy Stone. She rejects him for another, so he makes plans to kidnap her on her wedding day.
While the teacher is faced towards the blackboard, one of the students makes some funny noises. The teacher can't find the person who did that, so he decides to dismiss a group of students ... See full summary »
Hedayat Matin Daftari
The last of the once wealthy Spottiswood family are siblings Albert and Harriet, who try desperately to spruce up the crumbling old family mansion, where they hope to impress the ... See full summary »
Edward Everett Horton,
Edna May Oliver,
Cheri-Bibi is an escape artist wrongly imprisoned for murdering the wealthy father of his admirer Cecile. The real murderer is Cecile's fiancé, so how will Bibi escape his death sentence and win back Cecile?
French POW Dumaine is sequestered near the castle of a prideful Prussian nobleman, Count Reinmacher, who lives for the day that his four sons will march triumphantly into Paris. Axelle, the daughter of one of the sons, makes periodic goodwill visits to the prison compound, and by-and-by she falls in love with Dumaine.
When an eager young interviewer tape-recorded James Wong Howe in 1970 and asked him whom he considered to be the best director he'd ever worked with, he was startled beyond measure to hear Howe reply, without the lightest hesitation, "William K. Howard." My eager young friend had expected the cinematographer to name Martin Ritt or John Frankenheimer or even Daniel Mann. But he'd never even heard of William K. Howard! Yet Howe went on to explain that in his opinion, Howard was by far the most imaginative and talented director he'd ever come across. A director who had visual style, flair and know-how!
Howe was in China when talkies arrived, shooting backgrounds that were later used in Shanghai Express. "When I came back, I had no experience with sound pictures and I couldn't land a job. After a year out of work, I met William K. Howard. I made some tests for him and he hired me to work on Transatlantic. That was something remarkable. I used wide angles and deep focus throughout, long before Citizen Kane. When they saw Transatlantic, critics pointed out that the camera had finally started to move in the talkies."
After films for Howard Hawks, William Cameron Menzies and Raoul Walsh, Howe was re-united with Howard on Surrender and we can see exactly what Howe meant by imaginative direction. Visually, the picture is a feast for the eyes, as the camera swoops, glides and dollies through the enormous Reichendorf sets. The film editing is often equally swift, innovative and effective.
Unfortunately, the script is somewhat dated. But worse, the acting is not so hot. A director can do little with his script, but his players are entirely his responsibility. Leila Hyams is a most lovely girl, but her acting seems neither confident nor convincing, although she improves as the plot progresses. Sir C. Aubrey Smith, on the other hand, makes the opposite error. He plays his part at full volume, shouting and ranting as if he were on a theatre stage not a movie set. Warner Baxter mouths his dialogue with clarity, but with little or no expression. Only Ralph Bellamy and Alexander Kirkland impress.
8 of 10 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this