Tuesday, September 23, 2008

One Way Passage (1932) Film Review

Plot Summary - Terrific precode romantic melodrama which mainly takes place aboard an ocean liner. Kay Francis and William Powell play Joan and Dan, a sophisticated couple who first meet in a Hong Kong bar over Paradise Cocktails where they start themselves a tradition of finishing the drink and then breaking the glasses, leaving the broken stems crossed on top of the bar. They meet again on the ship sailing from Hong Kong to San Francisco, but there's a big problem - see, unknown to Joan, Dan is travelling with a cop who is "escorting" him back to San Francisco and straight to San Quentin where he is to be executed for murder. Unknown to Dan - Joan, though still gorgeous and glamorous, is doomed as she suffers from some sort of fatal illness. They romance each other on the trip back (their background theme song playing each time they're on-screen together) - while two pals try to keep the truth (and the cop) away from Joan.

Review - This is a really good film, a real little pre-code gem - I love it. There's a whole lot of chemistry between the two leads, the film is quite romantic - I even like Frank McHugh, who plays Powell's sidekick, and his goofy laugh all through the film. Interestingly, just this last week I was trying to remember the name of the film that I've seen in which Kay Francis and William Powell drink the cocktail and then smash the glasses - and I couldn't think of it. Last night I just happened upon this on TCM just as it was starting - though sleepy, I watched the whole film. For those who want to try the famous "Paradise Cocktail", here's the recipe from the "Mr. Boston Official Bartender's Guide" - 1 ounce Apricot Flavored Brandy - 3/4 ounce Gin - Juice of 1/4 Orange - shake with ice and strain into cocktail glass. Enjoy! Rating - 10/10 stars

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