Review: ‘Lights of New York’

This picture got pretty billing in Warners describing it as 'The first 100 per cent all-talking picture'. Every character speaks, more or less. But it's not an expensively made picture in appearance, either in sets or cast.

This picture got pretty billing in Warners describing it as ‘The first 100 per cent all-talking picture’. Every character speaks, more or less. But it’s not an expensively made picture in appearance, either in sets or cast.

This is an open-face story with roll-your-own dialog. It’s underworld, starting in a small town and moving to a nite club on the Giddy Wild Way. There are bootleggers and gunmen, cops and muggs, the latter a couple of simps falling for con men back home in a hotel about twice the size of the town – from the looks of the set.

The cast of nearly all vaudeville actors talks the best they may, in lieu of legits or picture actors who can’t talk. Gladys Brockwell, as the mistress, runs ahead and far, with Robert Elliott as the detective second. Bryan Foy directed – his first full-length talker. And there’s some credit in that for him, considering there’s no class to story or picture.

Helene Costello, in the fem lead, is a total loss. For talkers she had better go to school right away. Cullen Landis, opposite, seems to talk with much effort. Wheeler Oakman as the legger gets through fairly, burdened with much of the bad dialog. Mary Carr in a bit as the mother gives an illustration of what may be accomplished from experience. Tom McGuire nicely plays and looks a police chief, with hardly anything to say.

Lights of New York

Production

Warner. Director Bryan Foy; Screenplay Hugh Herbert, Murray Roth; Camera E.H. Dupar

Crew

(B&W) Extract of a review from 1928. Running time: 57 MIN.

With

Helene Costello Cullen Landis Gladys Brockwell Mary Carr Wheeler Oakman Eugene Pallette
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