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Dan works for Pritchard and Pritchard out of San Francisco and is in love with Maisie, referred to as "the icebox" by his news reporter friend. As one of his ships returns to San Francisco, Dan learns that the Captain has contracted Leprosy and asks Dan to be the guardian of his South Sea island daughter Tamea. Dan soon learns that Tamea wants him and will do nothing without a kiss. But Tamea soon learns that she is different than Dan and Maisie and that makes her angry. Dan decides to go and live on the island with Tamea, but soon finds out that Paradise is not everything that he thought it was. Written by
Tony Fontana <email@example.com>
Leslie Howard, in his second talkie (he had done a handful of silent films in England), starred in the very strange Never the Twain Shall Meet in 1931. Howard stars as the bored son of a rich father (C. Aubrey Smith) in San Francisco. He's bored with his job and bored with chasing after his tease of a girl friend (Karen Morley). He's bored. Then one day he gets a call that one of the ships in his line (shipping business, you know) has been refused entry into San Francisco and that he must come to the ship with flowers. He does this and finds that the ship's captain has two surprises. He has leprosy, and he has brought his half-breed daughter to America. After exacting a promise from Howard to look after his daughter (Conchita Montenegro), the captain jumps into the ocean!
Howard takes the savage girl home and enlists the help of Morley to turn her into a lady (very PygmalionHoward's great 1938 film), but the two women instantly despise one another. Goaded by his pal (Hale Hamilton), Howard starts to fall for the charming savage. The pal calls it "island fever." The pal also refers to Morley as an "ice box." Anyway, Howard runs away to the islands with the girl and falls into a dissolute life as an island bum along with the local beachcomber (a very funny Clyde Cook). Getting grubbier by the minute, Howard loses all interest in anything but the girl who dallies with the island boys, driving Howard to drink. Then along comes Morley, who tries to save the fallen man.
Interesting film comparing the mores of East vs. West (especially in the 1930s) and the mating game between men and women. Howard is good (as he always was), and Montenegro (a star of Spanish films) is also quite good in one of her few starring roles in Hollywood. Morley's character is so unsympathetic it's hard to like her. Smith, Hamilton, and Cook are all fine. Joan Standing and Eulalie Jensen are the maid and housekeeper. No idea who the island bar owner is, but he was good too. The film is probably "racist" by today's standards but must have been "racy" for its day. Worst part is probably the annoying dubbed singing voice for Montenegro.
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