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The Times (18/Feb/1924) - The Film World

(c) The Times (18/Feb/1924)




The White Shadow, a new British production, is recommended to the public on the ground that it is the work of the same producer, author, and staff, and that it contains the same hero and heroine as Woman to Woman, which was recently criticized in The Times. In spite of that, however, it is to be feared that it is not so good a film as its predecessor. Its inferiority is in the main due to the weakness of its story, for the production is, on the whole, excellent, and the acting of the leading characters leaves nothing to he desired. Miss Betty Compson is as good as ever in an unusually difficult part, or, rather, in two parts, for she has to represent twin sisters, one of whom is virtuous and the other decidedly the opposite. The way in which she does so, especially in scenes where both her contrasted selves have to appear, is a tribute both to her artistry and to the skill of the producer, Mr. Graham Cutts.

The two big situations, however, are so obviously machine-made that they are a little farcical. In the first we are shown the soul of the virtuous sister actually passing from her dead body into the body of the other, and all the photography in the world cannot prevent the scene from being slightly ridiculous. In the other we are shown an admirable example of film tradition. It is necessary that a father, who has gone mad under the stress of domestic affliction, should he restored to sanity, and so, after a lapse of many years, he is casually knocked down by a motor-car driven by his own daughter, whom he has not seen for a long time. The result is obvious. He is not only restored to his normal state, but at once recognizes his daughter. In spite of the weakness of its story, however, the film is worth seeing for the excellent acting of Miss Compson and of Mr. Clive Brook, and for the cleverness of the production.