Question:

A 1930s movie about a young couple on the ship.

by Guest4215  |  earlier

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Hoping you can help find out the title of very old movie... maybe 1930s. Storyline of mixed group of people on a cruise ship, but no one seems to be aware of the destination. A central focus of the movie is a young couple, and late in the film we learn that they were suicidal and that all people on the ship are deceased. My husband and I saw this film probably 20 years ago, and would be very interested in learning the title.

 Tags: 1930s, couple, Movie, ship

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  1. Tom Reeds

    This sounds very much like a relatively forgotten Warner Brothers film from 1944 called \"Between Two Worlds\". Based on the 1924 play \"Outward Bound\" by Sutton Vane, it starred John Garfield, Paul Henreid, Eleanor Parker, Sydney Green street and Edmund Gwenn.

    Made in black & white with a running time of 112 minutes, it was directed by Edward A. Blatt. Here is a basic story outline.

    \"A group of passengers are killed when the vehicle taking them to their trans-Atlantic ship is destroyed by a German World War II air raid bombing in London. Simultaneously, the distraught Henry Bergner (Paul Henreid), unable to obtain passage for his wife Ann (Eleanor Parker)and himself, chooses suicide for both.

    They all awake aboard a strange ship which will deliver each of them either to Heaven or h**l. Their lives and stories are revealed as they individually begin to realize where they are. Interestingly, the Bergner's are the only passengers that suspect from the beginning that they are dead, having chosen their own fate.

    Edmund Gwenn plays the ship's steward, whose job it is to deftly allow the passengers to understand their fate as they come to realize what happened to them. And on hand to pass final judgment is The Examiner, Sydney Green street in a perfectly cast role.\"

    I only ever saw this film once myself (about twenty years ago on television), but I would love to see it again. It's not the best film ever made, but it's certainly one of those that is too good to be forgotten, and it has developed a bit of a cult status amongst film buffs!

    There was an earlier version which, unfortunately, I haven't seen, so I don't know if the storyline differs at all. Although I doubt it. This was called \"Outward Bound\" and was made in 1930, also by Warner Brothers, and starred Leslie Howard, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Beryl Mercer, Dudley Digges and Helen Chandler. (Howard, Digges and Mercer had starred in the 1924 Broadway stage production).

    Below is a review of the 1940 version I came across that mentions the earlier version in comparison.....

    \"This is a remake of the 1930 early-talkie \"Outward Bound\", which was based on the hit 1924 stage play. This version updates the period from the 1920's to the 1940's, and incorporates WW2 elements into the story --- a totally unnecessary tactic; the original play was quite good on its own and didn't need to have topical elements awkwardly sandwiched in. In fact, one of its strengths was that the entire unworldly experience seemed to take place in an unspecified time.

    Aside from those objections, though, this is one of the few remakes which tops the original in nearly every department. Without exception, the actors in this version outdo the stiff, primitive early-talkie performances of their predecessors, and this may well be the only film in which Paul Henreid, normally not the most charismatic actor, gives a finer performance than the then-awkward Douglas Fairbanks Jr. did in the same role that Henreid plays here.

    Especially outstanding are Edmund Gwenn as the ship's steward, Isobel Elsom as a rich, elderly, bitchy woman, Sydney Greenstreet as a mysterious character whose identity will not be revealed here, and Sara Allgood in one of the most sensitive performances of her career (she acts rings around Beryl Mercer from the 1930 version). George Coulouris, a reliable villain in those days, is sinister and pompous as a greedy tycoon. And John Garfield is excellent in the Leslie Howard role, altered some to fit Garfield's tough, bitter on-screen persona rather than Howard's ultra-sophisticated, debonair one.

    One unfortunate aspect is that the photography in this version never becomes as eerie as that in the 1930 version, with its striking light and darkness effects. But none of these faults should keep you away from this film, which deserves far better than its relative obscurity in comparison to the other great Warner Bros. classics as well as other films dealing with the afterlife.\"
     

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