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One Perfect Night

            A deserted street, the show is well under way. A
          film of moisture seeps over the face of the concrete
          verandah of the Capitol, the road beyond glistening in
          reflected light. If this is a Saturday, the rain has been
          the excuse for older children to be let off their
          gardening or other outside chores, and instead go to a
          day session at the wonder theatre. Now it's the adult's
          turn to be snug inside.
            Co-architect Marion Mahony predicted that the
          Capitol would be the new cultural heart of Melbourne.
          For many people it was.
            Paramount had a winner both times with Beau
          Geste; first in 1926 and then with this version, which
          started at the Capitol Saturday 4 November 1939 and
          ran five weeks. The suspense of the first minutes, when
          a column of legionnaires halts at the gate of a strangely
          silent fort, can still send tingles up the spine.

          Footnote: The Canadian censor considered banning
          the film outright on the grounds that it was bad for
          wartime morale - three English brothers go off to fight
          in the French Foreign Legion, but only one returns.
          - William Gray
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