Production Company: Warner Bros.
Distributor: Warner Bros.
Top Billed Actors: William Powell, Kay Francis, Frank McHugh
IMDb Rating: 8.2
*Exclusive Award Winner*
Won 1 Oscar:
Best Writing (Story) - Robert Lord
Nominated for 0 more
Plot: A condemned murderer and a terminally sick woman ride on a boat, smash martini glasses and fall in love (in reverse order).
It goes without saying that the plot is interesting. The story won itself an award. Robert Lord pens a tale of a terminally ill woman and a sentenced criminal falling in love. They happen to find each other on the same ship sailing from Hong Kong to San Francisco. If the woman experiences any excitement or shock, she is at risk of dying. The man, played by the brilliant William Powell, sacrifices his bid for freedom in order to not put the woman, played by a modest Kay Francis, in death's shadow. There is too much romance for my taste, but it is still a pleasurable experience all the same. I also enjoy the recurring sequences such as the two breaking their cocktail glasses on the bar and Frank McHugh's drunkenness slapstick comedy.
As I mentioned above, this is a very short movie. The plot would have benefited with some more length. Lord does a great job with the pace of his writing and Tay Garnett puts his vision on film wonderfully, but I think a little more substance could have been had. The interactions between Powell and Francis were often brief. A little more development would have made me feel for both characters at the end of the movie. The acting by Warren Hymer also detracts from the overall product.
Overall, the story is engrossing and Powell amazes. There is even a Christopher Nolan moment at the end (did that really happen?). The brief length is a minor downside to an entertaining film.
My Score: 7/10