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August 10, 1968 - Image 2

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Michigan Daily, 1968-08-10

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Pogo Two

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Saturday, August 10, 1968

Page Two THE MICHIGAN DAILY

A look at.
'The Whisperers
By Henry Grix
The Whisperers is an old style movie that brings honest tears
to your eyes. It is stubbornly and shamelessly sentimental.
But it is braced by solid metal-the brilliant performance of
Edith Evans.
Dame Edith's triumph is especially remarkable because the
actress is forced to hurdle innumerable flaws placed in her path
by writer-director Bryan Forbes.
Forbes' sincere indignation at the plight of the elderly drives
him to hammer home his point at the sake of continuity and
credibility. Obscuring the crushing loneliness of an old woman
with pointless, violent subplots, he diverts the audience's attention
4nd sacrifices the social impact he obviously hoped his film
would deliver.
The writer-director forces his star through a dispassionate,
degrading welfare system that dissects the private life and illu-
sions of a 76-year-old woman
Then he lets Dame Edith be robbed by a wretched lady, who
is, but shouldn't be, receiving welfare on the side. And as if this
were not enough, he has the thief's husband and son cart the
dauntless dame through the streets in a wheelbarrow and finally
heave her on a pile of rubbish. There, Mrs. Ross (Dame Edith)
develops pneumonia and catatonia.
After the dame has recovered, in a sterile and diagnostic inter-
lude, Forbes introduces a pair of underworld punks, who man-
handle the old woman because her husband has just absconded
ith a load of ill-gotten gangster loot.
"You're alone again, you old bitch," Dame Edith's husband
(Eric Portman) sighs, as he leaves her for the second and last
time.-
But Forbes, who obtrusively lets us hear a radio broadcast
early in the film say that the worst problem of old age is loneli-
ness, does everything but leave the old bitch alone. The peils his
heroine endures cheapen his film and detract from his social
commentary.
The adventures of Dame Edith do not look so horribly con-
strued on film as they sound on paper. Forbes is a masterful
director and Dame Edith's acting is a masterpiece. But Bryan
Forbes does not write well at all. He creates, or rather permits
Dame Edith to create, the only honest character in the film.
He peoples the minor roles with competent actors who must
preach inane dialogue, if they are good types; or sleazy, callous
lines, if they are villains.
The lines Forbes has written for Dame Edith are hardly bril-
liant either, but the actress is Most eloquent when she does not
speak at all; She is unselfconsciously convincing as she murmurs
meaningless monosyllables to herself and mouths orations that we
feel but do not hear.
Her huge eyes roam about her room seeking memories and
the unseen "whisperers." Her eyes alternately narrow and bulge
as she writhes in glorious hysteria after discovering the bundle
of money her no-good son has hidden in the room full of old
newspapers she keeps "for reference." Tiny, lifeless eyes sink
into her wrinkled face as she makes the treacherous journey to
the National Assistance Office.
But Forbes intended that there be more to The Whisperers
than Dame Edith Evans. By following a day in the life of Mrs.
Ross, he exposes the dehumanizing existence old people are forced
to endure.
However, that there is little more to The Whisperers than
Dame Edith is clear. Even Gerry Turpin's camera work-an unob-
trusively effective tool of the director-is sensitive principally when
it explores the contours of the actress' face, the leaky faucet in
her sink, or the clock on her wall that is no longer keeping time.
These timeless, faded details of Mrs. Ross' existence most
poignantly say what Forbes' inept story only whispers.
"FOR LOVE OF FUN DON'T MISS 'FOR LOVE OF IVY,",
PAqMAR PICTURES ?NTERNAT NAL --Womnens Wear Dily
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See it TODAY - Showings at
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PERSPECTIVE FROM RETIREMENT:
Niehuss reviews 40 years of U' history

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(Continued from Page 1)
Niehuss feels the University
compares favorbly with other uni-
versities in the amount of power
the faculty has. "Some adminis-
trators from other universities are
appalled when they find out most
of' our deans are chosen largely
by faculty committees," he says.
In University relations with the
outside population, Niehuss sees a
growing public awareness of the
need for higher education, but
diminishing understanding of its
workings or the amount of money
the school needs to do its job.
"On the whole the public re-
spects and believes in higher ed-
ucation, he says. However, Niehuss
recalls a study done by the Insti-
tute for Social Research several
years ago which revealed that 10
per cent of Michigan's adult pop-
ulation couldn't name two insti-
tutes for higher education in the
state.
"I would like to see that one
done again," he says.

The legislature, however, is more
informed. "Some members have
become very much aware of Uni-
versity needs," Niehus§ says.
"Everyone I have worked with
wants to see the University get
an appropriate amount.
"But what that is is another
question. You have to keep in
mind the increasing demands on
the state as well as the Univer-
sity.
"In 1939-when the University
budget was $4 million - we were
getting almost 12 per cent of the
entire state budget. Now, the
state is providing much more med-
ical aid, social security, and other
forms of welfare. In recent years
there has been an urgent demand
for aid to the city's.
"So the state starts out with its
total budget, subtracts what is ab-
solutely has to spend on these
other thhings, and whatever is left
just might go to higher educa-
tion."
"Actually," Niehuss says, "the

University is doing very well com-
pared to the post-war years."
However, he points to a recent
revival in the legislature of an old
objection to admitting out-of-
state students and not charging
them a higher percentage of their
education costs.
This controversy is not new,
Niehuss says. In 1867, the legis-
lature was up in arms over the
fact that 60 per cent of the Uni-
versity's students came from out-
of-state and they were charged
no tuition at all.
But in the last few years, revival
of this controversy has been, ac-
cording to Niehuss, "most dam-
aging financially, and the basis
of much lower appropriations for
the University as 'compared to
other state institutions, simply
because we take more of these
students."
How does Niehuss answer the
legislature's objections? "They're
hard to dispose of in material
logic," he says. "You almost have,

to believe it's a good think for
a university to have a cosmopoli-
tan atmosphere-like giving mon-
ey to a church."
Niehus does not believe, as has
been charged by some fiscal-
minded critics of student activism,
that demonstrations on campus
seriously affect state appropri-
ations.
"In the early history of the Uni-
versity, there was a legislative'
controversy over a student who
became deaf as a result of a
hazing. In the thirties and forties,
when Communism hit the campus,
the atmosphere was far more crit-
ical. The legislature has always
made its feelings very clear, but
I don't believe they have allowed
them to seriously affect their ap-
propriations."
"I can't say it will happen
again, though," he says. "People
keep asking me, 'Why don't you
kick these student out? They don't
appreciate their education any-
way.' But as I told one business-
man in Lansing-if your key
workers struck, would you fire
them?"

STARTS WEDNESDAY
WALT DISNLEY' 1b1 W!
A Half-Hour Laugh Fest!
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The Daily Official Bulletin is an School of Music Degree Recital -
official publication of the Uniter- William Dederer, Trumpet: School if
sity of Michigan for which The Music Recital Hall, 7:00 p.m.
Michigan Daily assumes no editor- School of Music Degree Recital -
lal responsibility. Notices should be Orlando Cora-Zeppenfeldt, Trumpet:
sent in TYPEWRITTEN form to School of Music Recital Hall, 8:30 p.m.
Room 3528 L.S.&A. Bldg. before 2 *Department of Speech University
p.m. of the day preceding publi- Players - Ben Johnson's The Alchem-
cation and by 2 p.m. Friday for ist: Lydia Mendelssohn Theater, 8:00
Saturday and Sunday. General No- p.m.
tices may be published a maximum MONDAY, AUGUST 12
of two times on request; Day Cal- School of Music Degree Recital -
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dent organization notices are not School of Music Recital Hall, 4:00 p.m.
accepted for publication. For more School of Music Degree Recital -
information call 764-9270. Paula Dodez, Violin: School of Music
Recital Hall, 8:00 p.m.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 10
Day Calendar General Notices
SRecommendation for Departmental
*Cinema Guild-Warner Baxter, Bebe Honors: Teaching Departments wishing
Daniels, Ginger Rogers, Dick Powell, to recommend tentative August grad-
Ruby Keeler, Guy Kibbee, Ned Sparks, uates from the College of Literature,
Allen Jenkins, Henry Daniel in 42nd Science, and the Arts, for Honors or
Street: Architecture Auditorium, 7:00 High Honors should recommend such
and 9:05 p.m. Students by forwarding a letter to the
School of Music-Contemporary Di- Director. Honors Council, 1210 Angell
rections-Sydney Hodkinson, Conduc- Hall, by noon, Friday, August 16, 1968.
tor-George Balch Wilson, Musical Di- Teaching departments in the School
rector: Rackham Lecture Hala, 8:00 p.m. of Education should forward letters
School of Music Degree Recital--Mar- directly to the Office of the Registrar,
ibeth Gunning, Piano: School of Mu- Room 1513 LS&A Buuildlng, by 11:00
sic Recital Hall, 8:00 p.m. a.m., Friday, August 16, 1968,
*Department of Speech Uinive>rsity
Players-Ben Johnson's The Alchemist: Attention August Graduates: CollegeI
Lydia Mendelssohn Theater, 8:00 p.m. of Literature, Science, and the Arts,
ISchool of Education, School of Music,
SUNDAY, AUGUST 11 School of Public Health, School of
School of Music Degree Recital - Business Administration:
William Hazzard, Percussion: School of Students are advised not to request
Music Recital Hall, 2:30 p.m. grades of I or X in August. When
School of Music Degree Recital - such grades are absolutely imperative,
Sister M. Magdalena Ezoe, O.P., Pi- the work must be made up in time
ano: School of Music Recital Hall, to allow your Instructor to report the
4:30 p.m. make-up of grade not later than 11:00
School of Music Degree Recital - a.m., August 20, 1968. Grades received
Roy Johnson, Organ: Hill Auditorium, after that time may defer the student's
4:30 p.m. graduation until a later date.
I I

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BRYAN FORBES' Production of
"THE WHISPERERS"
"BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS"
-1968 New York Film Critic's Award
"ONE OF THE YEAR'S 10 BEST!"
New York Daily News-National Board of Review-Newsday
"BEST ACTRESS OF THE YEAR"
Hollywood Foreign Press Association
"HERE'S NOT MERELY THE PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR,
iT IC T KIn WFE TI.E TDIII V (DAT PRFbANAWC RY

Starring
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