Unsigned Review
New York, 9 October 1929



  Metro production and release. Based on play by Kenyon Nicholson and John Golden, "Eva the Fifth." Directed by Edgar Selwyn. Photographed by Arthur Reed. Featuring Bessie Love and Raymond Hackett. Sounded by Western Electric. At Loew's Metropolitan, Brooklyn. Running time 74 minutes.

  Somebody done our little Bessie Love dirt. Because this filmfoto is just bad. Even the Brooklynites who saw this thing on this day could be heard calling the picture names


right in the theatre. Believe it, all right, all right, it's sad, when they get together a cast that includes besides Bessie Love, such players as Jed Prouty, Ford Sterling, Mary Doran, Edward Nugent, Lucy Beaumont and several others, and then turns out a piece of baloney.

  Of course there was Raymond Hackett, too. But he didn't help the picture much. He's still Mary Duganning. This player, unless he is tipped off, bids fair to become a photomaton. He's still the champion high school orator whose voice catches a sob and lumps up on the right note whenever the director swings his baton. He ought to forget that he ever played a lawyer role.

  Just one more crack. The direction was terrible, that is judging from the finished stuff. And the story wasn't so hot either.

  It's all about an Uncle Tom's Cabin troupe managed by Ford Sterling. Bessie Love is the Eva character. Hackett does Legree, Jed Prouty is a big undertaker and furniture man in a small Kansas town and the other roles don't matter.

  The gang gets stranded when a washout that isn't filmed happens and Sterling trips off alone. Prouty by this time has somersaulted for Bessie. He offers to be chained and balled if Bessie will quit the trouping. Being an honest-to-goodness show girl, Bessie decides to take the vows with Prouty just to save the gang from hunger and provide schooling for her little sister, Oriole, who is traveling with her.

  But—a guy in the troupe, played by Hackett, has Bessie's heart and she his'n. So there come some knots in the situation.

  Just as the Western Electric is about to record the wedding chimes, the hero, Hackett, crashes with the announcement that the gang can act again. And—well, it's tradition, ain't it, that an actor would rather act than eat? So the nuptials are called no contest and the show goes on that nite—but not with Bessie, it is little sister, Oriole, who plays Little Eva.

  This makes Bessie mad, you can guess. Here four of her ancestors have been Little Eva and now she's gotta give up the role. So she feeds her little sister some candy. This makes the kid sick to her tummy and she falls down in the middle of her part. So Bessie goes on and knocks 'em dead—all for pride and love. And Prouty steps out of the picture in favor of Hackett.