« Les Misérables (European) »
The premiere of the Film de France super "Les Miserables” which has been secured by European (Universal), occurred at the Hippodrome. This Trade Show marks a distinct upward movement on the way these things are done here. Europe in the last few months has repeatedly won recognition outside the film world for its presentations, notably in the case of "The Midnight Sun", "The Flaming Frontier" and “The Cohens and the Kellys."
The premiere was attended by officials from the French, American, Italian and Swiss Embassies and Legations, while the French Ambassador, proprietor of "Le Matin," the producer of the picture and the leading people were guests at a banquet held at the Metropole hotel the same evening.
The "presentation" of the picture by Clayton Hutton, a member of U’s European staff , was in itself noteworthy. The rise of the "tabs" disclosed Victor Hugo, who, in a brief soliloquy, spoke of the work he had done for humanity, while a small boy listened attentively. The weary poet slept and the boy tiptoed across the stage and stealthily opened a huge volume of "Les Miserables.”
Immediately the leading character, Valjean, burst through the pages before the terrified kid, crossing the stage. This was followed by the other leading characters, Javert, Thenardier, Fantine, Cosette, Eponine. Each character crossed the stage and exited, to reappear in a tableau on a miniature stage erected behind the sleeping poet. The presentation was greeted with bursts of genuine applause as the players, the original French artists of the film, burst through the leaves of the huge book. The orchestra of the British National Opera Company in its entirety accompanied the picture under the baton of the composer of the music Fernand Heruteur.
The film itself (it took four hours and a half to run at the Hippodrome) is a very artistic and sincere following of Hugo’s novel. The production work and huge crowd scenes are alike, brilliant and the acting is very far above the average. This feature, to be put out to the cinemas in two parts, will be followed by "Michael Strogoff" and Eugene Sue’s "The Wandering Jew”, both of which will, in all probability, be handled here by European (Universal).