Tonight's feature is Captain Kidd with a killer cast
It seems only yesterday that Charles Laughton, crisp and overbearing, was treading the quarterdeck of the Bounty, berating a mutinous Clark Gable. Well, sir, the salt is still in Mr. Laughton's veins and speech, to judge by "Captain Kidd," which hove to at the Globe yesterday. As Mr. Laughton puts it, once he comes aboard H. M. S. Adventure Galley, "it's good to feel the roll of a stout ship again." And it's very likely that the boys, both young and old, will be glad he put to sea again. For, as the fabulous pirate, Mr. Laughton makes sovereign use of the picture's title role, being as much the posturing comedian as the blood-thirsty, buccaneer. Swashbuckling, naturally, is the word for this cruise, but there's also an uncommon lot of talk and much potential excitement is missing. The good ship Adventure Galley is becalmed pretty often.
Writers Norman Reilly Raine and Robert N. Lee have parlayed fact and fancy to bring Laughton from piracy to his eventual end on London's Execution Dock. He is a spuriously sanctimonious rascal, who, commissioned by King William III to protect honest shipping off Madagascar, turns the tables to rob the craft he is sent to protect. And, his covey of cutthroats, recruited from Newgate Prison, run into all the standard adventures, from treasure buried by moonlight, swordplay and sinking galleons to the beauteous damsel, saved in the nick of time by the standard hero.
Randolph Scott is properly convincing and dashing as that grim and well-born hero, who finally brings Captain Kidd to Justice. John Carradine and Gilbert Roland, as Kidd's henchmen, take to their roles as to the manner born, while Reginald Owen plays Kidd's "gentleman's gentleman" with taste and quiet efficiency. Rowland V. Lee has directed the Benedict Bogeaus production leisurely and with meticulous regard for seventeenth-century decor and manners. "Captain Kidd," however, is strictly Charles Laughton's vehicle. The rest of the crew are merely along for the ride.
At the Globe
CAPTAIN KIDD, screen play by Norman Reilly Raine, from an original story by Robert N. Lee; directed by Rowland V. Lee; produced by Benedict Bogeaus for United Artists release.
Capt. William Kidd . . . . . Charles Laughton
Adam Mercy . . . . . Randolph Scott
Lady Anne Falconer . . . . . Barbara Britton
Cary Shadwell . . . . . Reginald Owen
Orange Povey . . . . . John Carradine
Lorenzo . . . . . Gilbert Roland
Boyle . . . . . Sheldon Leonard
Blades . . . . . Abner Biberman
King William III . . . . . Henry Daniell
Bart Blivens . . . . . John Qualen
Lord Albermarle . . . . . Ian Keith
Rawson . . . . . William Farnum