The Crimson Moviegoer

Scenes Of Panay Bombing Are Headline Attractions While Astaire and Burns-Allen Shine

A brilliant example of one of the most potential sources of war that has hit the nation since the British propaganda bureau was established in New York during the war in now on display here in the form of the complete pictorial scenes of the Panay bombing.

Few people can witness these blood curdling photos by Norman Alley without realizing immediately that the yellow scourge of the Japanese must be wiped off the earth. As commentator Graham McNamee so succinctly puts it, it was a savage affront to American prestige and to rights fully protected by international law and definite treaties. And so on and so on far, far into the night.

McNamee calls the attack vicious. Few with an objective viewpoint can call his running description less than vicious. It is a definite incitement to war. Preceded by a resounding ballyhoo of advance publicity the pictures seem definitely keyed to a war hawkian pitch. Few will deny the American people the right to see the pictures, but it is hardly too much to ask that the producers do not attempt to stir up a war fever in an effort to sell their pictures.

Companion films are "Damsel In Distress," a P. G. Wodehouse offering, and "Spy Ring." The first stars Fred Astaire and the silly pair, George Burns and Gracie Allen. Astaire is as debonair as ever and his dancing clover. The picture ranks as first rate entertainment if you don't mind the silly two.

The producers find a certain amount of difficulty in fitting in the dance sequences without straining the plot, but Astaire has to be given a chance to dance somewhere. Burns and Allen assist him in a couple of his dance scenes and are generally able to keep up to his nimble feet.


With emphasis being laid generally on the Astaire dancing, there is a consequent tendency to neglect the humorous parts of the movie. It is not so funny as a Wodehouse novel, but it's worth the price.

The second feature, "The Spy Ring," is about spies. It's actually worse than most second run features. The opening scene given definite promise that the picture will develope into something pretty miserable, and the spectator is not disappointed. There are chases in the night, airplanes, motorcycles, machine guns, and just everything. In between times, the gay dashing and apparently (from this picture) boring life at an Army post is depicted to the point where people start getting restless and rustling paper candy wrappers. Plan to miss it.