Come to England’s Hollywood (1935)

Come to England’s Hollywood

By Henry Albert Phillips


There’s been no end of rejoicing in Elstree as well as all over England, over the return of Britain’s prodigal son, Leslie Howard. A test of Mr. Howard’s personality was evident throughout the filming ot that gigantic spectacle, “The Scarlet Pimpernel.” Whether in the picture or in looking on, the popular actor was always the cynosure of all eyes. To me, there is always something appealing about Leslie Howard. Seeing him in his grotesque make-up at first made me laugh, but the next minute I could have cried as readily. He records and elicits the most sensitive impressions and emotions of any artist we have today before the camera.
I asked him, “Have you come to any actual conclusion as to the relative merits of screen and stage art in putting over a truly fine idea ?”
“Yes,” he told me. “I think that the film today can say all that is to be said on the boards. But it can go farther, deeper, and show so many more facets to the thought beyond what the stage offers. lt can carry the audience to the top of the highest mountain and to the deepest sea and bring ten thousand persons to reinforce it–like they have brought hundreds into the mobs of the French Revolution in this picture. Listen to them sing the Marseillaise!–the stage could never give certain tonal values to the story like that.”


(Screenland, April 1935)