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BBC Report About Leslie Howard's Death

[BBC Report of Leslie Howard's Death] On Saturday, July 30, I posted on Facebook the 2014 BBC report on Leslie Howard's Death ...

Catching a Glimpse of the Man Through the Reviewers' Eyes
[Work In Progress - More To Follow]

I have not included the reviewers' names for space. To see these reviews, click on the plays name and see the articles on the individual play pages.


Reviews

1913Deception by Leslie Howard • "Although there are many points that require more careful handling, the play, when acted better than it was on this occasion, should find favour in amateur circles."

1913The Perplexed Husband • "capital work was done"

1916Peg O' My Heart • "Mr. Leslie Howard's work as Jerry is excellent"

1916Charley's Aunt • "Leslie Howard...[does] justice to the [part] of Jack" • "caused much merriment" • "Jack Chesney'...[did] splendidly...presented...by Mr. Leslie Howard" • "Mr. Leslie Howard...[did] much to assist in building up the numerous situations"

1917Under Cover • "exceedingly well played" • "worthy of more than passing notice" • "fills the part...with success" • "very strong cast" • "Mr. Leslie Howard, as Monty Vaughan, a nervous young 'swell' dragged into the necklace affair, presented an effective foil" • "Monty Vaughan by Mr. Leslie Howard made a fine foil"

1918The Freaks • "played very naturally"

1918Romanticismo • "Mr. Leslie Howard, a very English Italian as the mercurial young Marquis" • "Mr. Leslie Howard, as his nephew—a true son of Italy, though a feather-brained young scamp"

1918The Morals of Vanda • "A most refreshing young man was Mr. Leslie Howard as Leonard Mortimer, who failed at Oxford and found a cattle steamer and Canada all that was left for the son of a convict. It is understood that Mr. Howard took up the part at short notice, and it must be said for him that he did wonderfully well."

1918Box B • "Leslie Howard...is excellent" • "Leslie Howard plays agreeably as the airman hero"

1918Sinners • "excellent"

1918The Title • "excellently acted" • "extraordinarily worthwhile freshness by Mr. Leslie Howard"

1919Our Mr. Hepplewhite • "Mr. Leslie Howard languidly droll as the hero of the hansom." • "The play is exceedingly well acted." • "excellent"

1919Just a Wife or Two • "Mr. Leslie Howard plays the difficult part of Victor with much skill."

1920Mr. Pim Passes By • "She had an ideal partner in Mr. Leslie Howard as a Futurist painter without a present, to whom the simple one has conservative objections. For he played with a fine flow of natural high spirits and with the absolute self-confidence that only the young possesses." • "Miss Cohan and Mr. Leslie Howard are delightful young chatterboxes." • "Leslie Howard made a hit as the young lover."

1920The Young Person in Pink • "Mr. Leslie Howard was a very pleasant and manly young fellow as Stevenage, and was concerned in some charmingly written scenes" • "Mr. Leslie Howard, who was natural in the part"

1920Kitty Breaks Loose • "Mr. Leslie Howard was amusingly true to life as a smart young sergeant" • "Mr. Leslie Howard was quiet and natural in the part" • "Mr. Howard played Wilson with the required contrast of lightheartedness and sincerity."

1920East Is West • "ever natural" Review of note: "continuing to improve as an actor...He prevented very skillfully the sentiment from becoming mawkish and handled several difficult situations with nervous dash and sure charm." Sydney Carroll, The Sunday Times, Trivial Fond Records, pg. 17

1920Just Suppose • "Leslie Howard...does splendidly. He has a genius for light comedy...as engaging as he is amusing." • "admirable" • "most engaging" • "Leslie Howard...is capital." • "gives a delightful sketch" • "The hero's companion, a member of the embassy and an old schoolmate of the prince's, is acted with captivating breeziness ...by Leslie Howard" • "It is a rather peculiar thing that Geoffrey Kerr was cast for the role of the Prince. Although he was English, you know, and all that, down to the tips of his 'boots,' one could not help but think that Leslie Howard, who played the part of the Hon. Sir Calverton Shipley, the best friend of the Prince, looked far more like the real Prince of Wales." • "Thoroughly English in 'slang' and appearance, Mr. Howard's Calverton was a 'gem,' comical at all times, yet not in any ways of the burlesque type of 'chappie'" • "I understand that several actors were sent from England expressly for the roles they are now playing, and I think the move was a wise one, for the three British characters, all of them vitally important, could scarcely have been so well portrayed by American players, unless they were talented mimics. I am referring to Leslie Howard as Sir Calverton...Not only is contrast necessary, but there are numberless little touches, which bring out the depth and significance of each role, that are essential." • "Leslie Howard as the Prince's chum was a trifle too exuberant in his comic anxieties, but he too was applauded" • "There should be a word too for the amusing and engaging Leslie Howard as the Prince's pal who, however, indulges in the most extraordinary clowning, expressing mild surprise by almost falling down and the slightest embarrassment by something strongly resembling convulsions" • "obstreperously comic"

1921The Wren • "Whatever there is, is charming and charmingly played...a singularly engaging English actor who will be remembered by playgoers who went to Just Suppose" • "He was natural and delightful. In less capable hands Roddy might have become a little rotter trying to make love to two girls at once—and one a married woman at that." • "Leslie Howard was a pleasantly irresponsible artist" • "one of the worst young actors I have ever seen"

1922The Truth About Blayds • "Leslie Howard is particularly good as the grandson" • "And that whimsical young English comedian who overplayed so shockingly when he first ventured on our stage and who learned better so quickly, this Leslie Howard should be immediately placed under contract to play nothing but Milne plays as long as the both shall live." • "Leslie Howard, the best actor in the cast, is easy and fluent and gracious as the grandson"

1922A Serpent's Tooth • "There is, by the way, a young upstart on the stage with her [Marie Tempest] in this present enterprise who is not to be sneezed at as an actor. This is the engaging Leslie Howard, who plays the son admirably, quite sharing the honours with her until the final scene, when he remains inert, hollow and unconvincing. One is inclined to suspect that this was because the playwright had not succeeded in convincing him." • "A notable performance and quite the best thus far this season is given by Leslie Howard...This young actor steps into a position of enormous importance with his work in the Richman play. O'Neill or perhaps Richman himself will before long provide this youngster with a part in which he will stand the town on its ears. There is truth in his playing, sincerity, intelligence, no exhibitionism, no trick technique. His performance is the most significant thing about A Serpent's Tooth." • "Leslie Howard as the philandering son presents a performance of much merit, a picturesque and nonchalant playing" • "Leslie Howard in the difficult role of the graceless son succeeds in being attractive, although he is true to the character always." • "Most of the honors of the piece, however, go to Leslie Howard, as the serpent's molar. He was the perfect mucker and permitted no personal feeling to interfere with a complete exposition of the character. But then we expect that kind of playing from Mr. Howard, who is, to my mind, just about the most engaging young comedian of the natural school we have."

1922The Romantic Age • "Leslie Howard, as Gervase Mallory, the young broker who comes to woo her in the guise of a fairy prince and turns out to be a mere mortal with an attractive personality, none the less, confirms the growing belief that it will not be long before he achieves starring honors for himself." • "Miss Gillmore and Mr. Leslie Howard, in look, manner and action are so delightful, and they catch the tone of their characters so well that it is a pity they are both so disappointing vocally. Miss Gillmore's monotonous plaintive delivery is indistinct too often, and Mr. Howard's voice lapses into the nasal hardness common among younger English actors today." • "Leslie Howard was pleasing."

1922 • In late 1922 into early 1923 Leslie Howard appeared in several plays that closed rather quickly, not due to any failing of his, they were just not very good plays. This caused one critic to quip: "Leslie Howard seems to be in every first night I have attended."

1923The Lady Cristilinda • "The more I see of Howard the more established I am in my original view that he is one of the very best young actors in America. There is nothing the lad cannot do, from tragedy to farce and do superbly well." • "there is fine work by Leslie Howard" • "excellent supporting cast, including Leslie Howard"

1923 • Anything Might Happen • "Leslie Howard...deserve[s] special mention" • "One of the notable features of the play is Leslie Howard's anglicised delivery of American colloquialism"

1923Aren't We All? • "the Willie Tatham of Leslie Howard may be especially mentioned" • "Excellent work, too, is done by that quiet, young comedian, Leslie Howard, as the young husband"

1924Outward Bound • "As played by Leslie Howard and Margalo Gillmore, this episode strikes a chord of tragic suffering and of spiritual exaltation which is as genuine as the little scene between Mr. Lunt and Miss Mercer, and is a thing far rarer in our theatre. To a performance which, though mundane, is wellnigh perfect in all its parts, these two young actors add a touch of deeply spiritual comprehension." • "The acting was splendid, consummate, perfect."

1924The Werewolf • "Leslie Howard is excellent as the young professor" • "Leslie Howard [is] badly miscast" • "Leslie Howard's Professor Paolo Moreira was lean and clumsily sincere, as it should be, and with a certain poetry that seemed foolish but poetry nevertheless—a good performance." • "It is a remarkably good performance by a good cast"

1925Isabel • "Leslie Howard plays well as the husband [Howard actually played the lover—maybe the reviewer was watching a different play] but there are scenes in which he does too much. Evidently there has been a feeling that since the play itself is so very slight a certain number of mugs and grimaces must be supplied by somebody—this duty seems to have been fastened on Mr. Howard" • "Peter Graham, the lover, exacted from Leslie Howard the best work that I have seen him do. His social comedy was no more admirable than of old. But his more serious intervals were played with a freedom and warmth beyond anything I have seen from him; they had remarkable poise and right feeling, with technical certainty."

1925The Green Hat • "He manages admirably the mixture of gallantry and indecision in love" • "Leslie Howard gave exactly the right value to his curious part; he is indisputably the right man for Napier." • "he went about 'like a young undertaker made somewhat uncomfortable by a sense of humor that he once possessed'" • "he seemed little like Napier of the book but 'tricked though he is out of his character, [he] might at least imitate something occasionally besides the Leaning Tower of Pisa or whatever he thinks he is when he teeters around all out of plumb'" • "Leslie Howard is exactly right in the rôle of Napier, who loves her, the only member of the cast who is exactly right."

1926The Way You Look At It • "The outstanding feature of a somewhat unpleasant play was the remarkably fine acting of Mr. Leslie Howard, who by sheer personality made a success of the part of the dissolute young man."

1927Her Cardboard Lover, New York • "Cardboard Lover belongs to Howard" • "...Mr. Howard as a blind, young fool plays buoyantly with droll flourishes and a sustaining, sardonic intelligence" • "Howard is triumphant in spite of all. He catches just the spirit of mockery and drollery that is the secret of success in this sort of play. His is a keen, beautifully simple and persuasive performance that should secure the name of Leslie Howard for years to come." • "Mr. Howard was a great favorite with last night's audience which wore itself to a shadow trying to say as much. There were tremendous calls for him and, seemingly, it was not enough that Miss Eagels led him forth again and again. It was the notion of the stubborn assemblage that Mr. Howard should come forth alone and, because the stage manager lacked sufficient presence of mind to arrange such a testimonial, it came about that again and again the curtain rose on the lovely pink and gold spectacle of Miss Eagels bowing in solitary grandeur to an audience that kept monotonously yelling 'Howard, Howard, Howard'." • "Although Miss Eagels excelled as the heroine of the event, Mr. Leslie Howard, in one of the richest roles of the season, rather kidnapped the comedy from its rightful proprietor. Mr. Howard as the determined doormat delights the eye as well as the sense of humor. He is self-deprecatory in a quaint fashion and does the most astounding things in the least astounding way." • "Mr. Wodehouse's fine hand is noticeable in some dialogue, the main ingredients of which are bestowed on Mr. Howard. Howard utters those lines as though he wrote them. And how sweet they are to the ear." • "Reverting for the moment to the widely celebrated first night when a handsome and mildly mischievous audience vainly tried to upset the traditional prerogative of the star system just long enough to see Leslie Howard take one curtain call alone, it is interesting to note that the advertisements which officially recorded the event in Wednesday's papers made no reference to that quickly suppressed mutiny. The press on Tuesday burst in to blossoms of tribute to Mr. Howard's engaging performance but, though seven critics were called as witnesses in the advertisements next day, not one of their reports on the Howard demonstration seeped past the managerial censor. The prankfulness and charm of the play itself, the loveliness and aplomb of Miss Eagels, even the managerial sagacity of Gilbert Miller and A. H. Woods—these were all honoured by effusive and costly quotations. But a playgoer would read these signboards from end to end without once suspecting that a wretch called Leslie Howard had been involved in the performance of Her Cardboard Lover. This is know as the star system." • "The ovation following the decisive curtain was such as has been rarely adventured in a modern playhouse. For ten minutes the salvos, the cheers and the bravos rang against the respectable rafters of the staid Empire. They were for Leslie Howard, the young British juvenile comedian." • "It was the first time I had ever seen a first night audience in America really take matters into their own hands" • "Leslie Howard as star" • "Howard appearing with Jeanne Eagels in Her Cardboard Lover and without billing, has made a big personal hit, with the elevation next season coming promptly as reward."

1927Murray Hill by Leslie Howard • "floundering mendacity" • "rather slovenly written" • " It sparkles, it twinkles, it smiles" • "What this country needs is more actors like Leslie Howard, more farce writers like Leslie Howard and even more stage directors like Mr. Howard." • "plenty of laughter and an enjoyable evening...excellently played...if you have a chance to see the farce while Leslie Howard is still playing [Wrigley] you will be considered a wise man. Most probably you, too, will enjoy his performance, which is as good as if not better than his playing in Cardboard Lover or in Outward Bound or in Isabel." • "There is humor in Murray Hill, plenty of it, humor nicely worded...This sort of thing has been done before. But not always with the charm that is to be found in this new dramatist's dialogue."

1927Galsworthy's Escape • "One of the fine performances of our day in the theatre is contributed by Leslie Howard...Now and then this flawless and charming comedian takes time off to remind us all (and re-assure himself perhaps) that he is also an actor equipped to scale the heights. I hear a good deal from time to time about the decay of the art of acting in our day but for my own part I ask nothing finer than the honest, sensitive and beautiful performance which Leslie Howard gave last night on the stage of the Booth Theatre. I have not often seen anything better." • "Leslie Howard gives a performance which, as if for nothing else on earth, he seems to have been born...he never had a finer part to play nor played it finer" • "the peer of the best performances in town" • "Leslie Howard plays the hounded Denant with that fine sympathy that has endeared him to the local public. He is as honest an actor as Galsworthy is an author, given to few actor tricks and gifted in characterization." • "beautifully played by Leslie Howard." • "The choice of Leslie Howard for the leading role in the Galsworthy play is a happy one. Howard is one of the most engaging players to be found in America...He is the kind of man who would land in China and make friends over night. In 1920 he came to America and walked into the hearts of everyone with whom he came in contact...Leslie Howard gives one of the finest performances of his career." • "Leslie Howard is superb in the part of the convict; one feels the hunted feeling with him, hunger and thirst and the overpowering fatigue." • "Playing Captain Denant, Leslie Howard goes beyond mere good breeding to a kind of cosmic futility—a translucent performance that surpasses anything this engaging actor has previously done." • "Leslie Howard gives one of the outstanding performances of the season."

1928Tell Me The Truth by Leslie Howard • "We saw Mr Leslie Howard last—it seems only yesterday—as a comparatively unknown young English actor who gave a remarkably fine performance in a not-very-pleasant play by Lord Lathom. He returned to us at the Ambassadors last night trailing clouds of glory from across the Atlantic as an 'idol' of the American stage, and as the author of Tell Me The Truth...described in the programme as 'a bit of tomfoolery'. To be candid, Mr Howard's own definition proved not very wide of the mark. Nor was the tomfoolery—in which he did not personally appear—of a peculiarly novel and enlightening order. However, it seemed to amuse a friendly audience, and Mr Howard was called and made a little speech of thanks."

1928Her Cardboard Lover, London • "Leslie Howard was wonderful. His comedy is exquisite. In spite of Miss Bankhead's cleverness, it was Howard's evening." • "And the astonishing thing is that, in a play of this kind and before an audience suffering from some sort of Bankhead intoxication, Leslie Howard succeeds in establishing himself as a actor. His quietness, amid so much that is flashy and meretricious, has as first the effect of obscuring him; you begin by imagining him to be an actor who has not strength enough to make his mark; but you realize very soon that his is the one figure on the stage that is genuinely worth watching. The part of André is not very much of a part and the violence of its surroundings make it an awkward medium for the expression of character. But little by little Mr. Howard builds the man up until you know him. His humor has the quality of a gentle, unspectacular but extremely sharp dig with a rapier, and out of each delicate fragment of laughter character proceeds. Whether we should have thought so much of Mr. Howard's performance if there had been rather more in its surroundings which a discerning playgoer could watch with comfort, I do not know. Certainly it seemed almost a miracle that he could preserve a little island of true comedy in the midst of so boisterous an ocean of farce and cheap emotionalism. But preserve it he did, earning thereby the gratitude of many. I hope we may see him before long in a comedy that will give a full opportunity to his talent." • "Good as her [Miss Bankhead's] performance was, the triumph of the evening was won by Mr. Leslie Howard...This was the most skilful piece of comic acting seen for a long time." • "...it was Leslie Howard's evening. I now understand how this young Englishman, who left London about two years ago, after the failure of Lord Lathom's play...should make himself in Her Cardboard Lover a Broadway star overnight."

1929Berkeley Square, London • In a dismissive review directed at Leslie Howard's version of the play: "Any greengrocer will tell you peaches should not be handled overmuch. Berkeley Square when done at the St. Martin's a year or so ago was a peach of a play" • "He [Howard] does not wear his clothes well or keep his feet at the right angle. He slurs his words modernly but in these very things he is possibly truer to the part of the young American, and he is sincere and obviously understands" • "Mr. Leslie Howard is not the answer to a maiden's prayer" • "Mr. Leslie Howard was far too matter of fact...he was 20th Century throughout...how undesirable it is to allow the leading actor to be the producer"

1929Candle Light, New York • "the most adroit and suave comedy this town has had the chance of laughing at in many seasons. Yes, it was their evening and they walked away with it" • "as amusing and expressive a bit of pantomime as one ever sees in the theatre" • "irresistibly funny" • "Leslie Howard indicates, sometimes with surprising subtlety, the comic nuances of the character of the valet." • "Leslie Howard in the course of the evening plays two different characters, though the valet he interprets is only to be one. Perhaps that is the playwright's fault. If so Mr. Howard could rectify it." • "Howard is a little too fine a type to be accepted easily as a valet."

1929Berkeley Square, New York • "Something of beauty breaks through even the stock market news"...a relief "that this play and this player should move into the Broadway scene and offer such [a] fantastical yet curiously holding drama as this. How pleasant a theatre adventure it is to feel that it is not necessary actually to believe anything or anybody. Merely to relax and accept this newer romance...What is reality? Only a seeming...An actor with the soul of a poet is a rare joy in a play that was born in the soul of a poet adventuring in the theatre." • "...there is nothing to do but remove your critical hat in the presence of so magnificent a play and so magnificent a performance as the performance of Mr. Leslie Howard. In Escape I pointed to Mr. Howard as the foremost young actor on the English speaking stage. In Berkeley Square I point to Mr. Howard as the foremost young actor on the English speaking stage." • "I am sure that Mr. Albie Booth of Yale could not begin to thrill me half as much as Leslie Howard did in Berkeley Square...[which] has the advantage of dealing with a transcendental theme, and so the spectator doesn't so much forget the price of Nevada Consolidated Copper as gain a mood in which the money doesn't seem to matter...I am only speaking in the mildest manner when I say that Berkeley Square is easily the finest play now to be seen in New York...and, among other things, the play contains the finest acting performance of the season, which is given by Leslie Howard. If you plan to see only one play this year, go to Berkeley Square. If your budget provides two evenings in the theatre, see it twice." • "In the limpid acting of Mr. Howard and Miss Gillmore it is a conflict fraught with great loveliness...As Peter Standish, Mr. Howard plays with the neatness and delicacy of his finest work. Throughout the drama, in fact, Mr. Howard acts marvelously, clarifying the story constantly by the intelligence of his own performance. For what Mr. Howard understands, his audiences understand instantaneously, and he makes his transitions by the most intelligible means." • Critique of the written play: "Berkeley Square whose intrinsic merit is hard to appraise because of the superlative acting of Leslie Howard. The printed dialogue fails to impress the reader with the wonder and delight which he experiences at the performance of this play, whose Dresden charm and delicacy are too little seen on Broadway." • "Leslie Howard...gives the most moving and completely rounded of all current performances...magnificent in the role of the hero." • "Leslie Howard plays Peter lovingly, softly, sensitively, surer of himself than ever in spite of the fact that it is not the comedy role he is so often found in. He has done nothing better." • "But thanks to Mr. Leslie Howard, an actor who gives the finest performance to be seen in New York this year...Berkeley Square emerges with such charm as has not been seen hereabouts since Barrie's plays were at their peak." • "Howard gives a superlative performance" • "Mr. Howard excelled as usual" • "superbly imaginative piece of acting by Leslie Howard"

1932The Animal Kingdom • "Mr. Howard plays with his usual ingratiating grace and freedom from histrionic fuss. Everything he does seems to be quite right." • "Leslie Howard gives one of his richest performances...[his] light touch is instinctive. [He] can communicate fervor and passion with the sincerest kind of dexterity. Leslie Howard is not only a winning performer but a conscientious artist. His portrait of Tom Collier is thorough and brilliant. The style is skimming. But the substance is solid. Mr. Howard's description of a sensitive young man who falls from the high estate of idealism is a dainty, skillful study in disintegration; it is moving without once being literal or pathetic." • [Leslie Howard] "is a luminous actor; he has grace, precision and spirit, and wherever he touches the surface of a part the light of character shines through. His portrait of Tom Collier represents the rarest sort of collaboration between an actor and an author, and this eminently disinterested department takes the liberty of feeling very proud of what Mr. Barry and Mr. Howard have created." • "[Leslie Howard] was never in finer performance than he was last night" • "Endowed with remarkable gifts of fascination, he [Mr. Howard] is one of the most competent and legitimate charmers that ever snared an unsusceptible public. Here...for instance, he glorifies if he does not altogether ennoble, what at the hands of a less aluring [sic] actor might be a selfish bounder...But even when he [Tom Collier] is sulky and rude to those about him you forget his bad manners in the magic of the star's interpretation. For, in paraphrase, Mr. Howard's...very frowns are fairer far than smiles of other actors are. Almost any player's personality is more influential upon an audience than almost any dramatist's created character. But Mr. Howard is supreme in burnishing roles that might otherwise be tarnished. I do not doubt that he would make Iago adorable or blazon the evil deeds of all the villians [sic] from Aegisthus to Simon Legree with the subtle glamour of his presence. Hence, to conscientious playwrights Mr. Howard might be an esthetic peril reversing the significance of the masterpieces. To less fastidious writers, however, he is a dependable convoy, guaranteed to protect the dramas from diaster [sic]." • "Leslie Howard...more suavely capable than ever before" • "Leslie Howard is perfect, as the d'Artagnan playboy, and the lines give him ample scope for his talent." • "It is acted with perfect taste and occasionally vibrant feeling by Leslie Howard, back from the talkies, untarnished and as surefotted [sic] as ever." • "Mr. Howard's performance is natural, warming in its human appeal, persuasive in charm."

1935The Petrified Forest • "Leslie Howard...acts the part of the writer with his usual sensitiveness" • "Mr. Howard is a superlatively gifted actor. Any drama critic who is worth his salt ought to be able to distinguish plausibly between an actor's personality and his artistic design of a part. As an actor Mr. Howard is intelligent and conscientious enough to approach each part as a task requiring fresh character perceptions; he is one of the most enlightened craftsmen in the profession. But his style of playing is such a lucid expression of his light, slender, buoyant personal appearance that I confess I am unable to tell how his acting of Alan Squier differs from his acting of Peter Standish in Berkeley Square or Tom Collier in The Animal Kingdom. In my mind all those parts are permanently stamped in the image of Mr. Howard's limpid personality. All that matters in the current instance is his power to make a theatregoer believe in the reality of the part he is playing. Although Mr. Sherwood has written some lofty phrases for Alan Squier to speak and subjected him to ostentatious behavior, Mr. Howard's shining acting persuades you that every impulse in it is true. As a man of the theatre with a number of thoughts in his head Mr. Sherwood has found a background as robust as his sense of humor, and Mr. Howard adorns it." • "[The talk] sounds good as it slips off Leslie Howard's honeyed tongue. As the pensive intellectual who is passing through on foot Mr. Howard has things to say that might sound priggish if they were not beautifully spoken. But he has long been one of the finest of the theatre's breed, and this is one of his most winning performances, and it is a pleasure to take the part at his word. If a modern writer must die for the love of a newfound maid, let Mr. Howard do it just before the curtain comes down...The Petrified Forest is an excellent vehicle for...Mr. Howard's manifold gifts." • "Leslie Howard gives perhaps the mellowest performance of his career" • "As acted—and what acting!—by Mr. Leslie Howard...Mr. Howard...does far and away the best work of his notable career. His characterization is subtle, surefooted and limpid with the overtones of approaching death." • "There is no discounting the personal appeal of Mr. Howard. A casual actor, he wanders quietly into the action, bestirs himself but little, listens while the others talk, occasionally adds a pat phrase of an eloquent period, and comes through with such honor that the audience rises and stands to applaud him at the end through a dozen calls. His is the perfect technic that conceals technic." • "Leslie Howard plays the tramping philosopher with an ease that is almost deceptive. His is so effortless a manner that we quite forget this is a part in a play; it is, we suppose, simply Leslie Howard being natural behind the footlights. And yet, no matter how light he makes the burden appear, it is evident that he carries the play on his shoulders." • "In praising Mr. Howard and The Petrified Forest I am only adding to the praise that has already been heaped upon both. Effortless, sensitive and engaging, Mr. Howard's portrait of the disillusioned novelist is by far the best work he has yet done either on the stage or screen and I can only join...in hoping that when The Petrified Forest reaches the screen, as it undoubtedly will, Mr. Howard will play the role."

Not credited to a particular performance:

"all understanding and sensitivity, and with it a faintly casual air as if his charm was nothing out of the ordinary."

"always saying something before he speaks"

"he has that marvelous power on the screen of showing his thoughts without moving a muscle of his face. It's some power that comes from within."


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