Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


Paul Henreid
BETWEEN TWO WORLDS (1944). Director Edward A. Blatt.

Long and rather tedious remake of Outward Bound has a couple who committed suicide (Eleanor Parker; Paul Henreid) finding themselves aboard a passenger ship heading toward eternity – only the other passengers don't realize that they themselves are also dead. Thought-provoking premise is given half-baked, overly literal and preachy treatment, and the many stilted performances don't help. Aside from an excellent speech at the very end of the film, John Garfield is in no way showcased to advantage in the film, playing it all in one note and revealing little of his character's inner torment. His girlfriend in the film, Faye Emerson, doesn't even appear to be an actress (although she plays one); she has some nice moments, again at the conclusion, but is otherwise astonishingly inept. However, Edmund Gwenn is splendid as the chief steward, and Sara Allgood scores, as usual, as a kindly older lady. Henreid gives one of his more memorable performances, and Parker is superb. By the time Sydney Greenstreet shows up as the “examiner” to determine exactly which place the passengers go -- Heaven or Hell – the movie just implodes.

Verdict: Have a nice nap instead. *1/2.

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