Excerpted from "A Picture Pleads for Peace," by Beverly Hills, in Liberty, 18 February 1939.
Bob Sherwood's Pulitzer Prize play was a strong attack on war, on jingoism, on dictator egomaniacs -- and it pictured, from a lonely mountain resort in the Italian Alps, how a strange and variegated assortment of guests reacted to the sudden outbreak of a new world conflagration. Now the location is Nowhere -- in brief, the mythical-kingdom idea carried to a new high -- and I mean high. The natives speak ESPERANTO, and the film is a guarded plea for peace.
In what was the small Hotel Monte Gabriele you still find Harry Van, honky-tonk Vaudeville entertainer, and his travelling troupe, Les Blondes, otherwise six dancing girls. Present, too, is a Russian countess, mistress of a prosperous international munitions and poison-gas seller. Besides the dealer in death, there is a German scientist anxious to get back to his laboratories, a French pacifist confused by the world's collapse, and a motley assortment of others...
The ESPERANTO chatter was supervised personally by Joseph R. Scherer, president of the Esperanto Association of North America.
[To read another review of this movie, see Ravo de l' Idioto.]