Warner melodrama about a Captain (Walter Houston) in the Navy who is about to enter the start of WWI not knowing that his wife (Lil Dagover) has not only a secret past but she's also carrying on a relationship with her husband's Lieutenant (Warren William). After a tragic event aboard the ship, the Captain finds himself in trouble and the only witness (John Wray) to the events has his own agenda. Despite many familiar faces to film buffs, THE WOMAN FROM MONTE CARLO has been pretty much forgotten to time and if anyone does remember it it's probably for the top-billed Indonesian actress Dagover. It's clear that Warner was hoping they had found their own Greta Garbo type as Dagover gives off that sultry voice and the film wastes no time at showing off her legs. In her opening sequence we see her drag herself out of bed and of course her nightgown lifts up long enough to give viewers a good look at her legs. This here is about the most excitement you're going to get for nearly an hour as everything in the middle of the film is nothing more than boring dialogue as we see the three lead characters go back and forth about themselves. We have the Captain who begins to think that he's more committed to the Navy than his actual wife. We have the questionable wife who loves her husband but also another man. We have the other man who wants to protect the woman he loves. We then have a fourth character who of course is the real snake. The screenplay never really makes any of the characters all that interesting and a little energy or at least passion would have helped things. Director Michael Curtiz is pretty bland in terms of the visuals as there's nothing too good looking here and I'd say that the cinematography is pretty bland as well. I didn't think Curtiz did a very good job at building up any of the personal drama going on but he does manage to make for one great sequence. The highlight of the movie is a pretty good action sequence where the ship comes under fire. The effects are very impressive even today and the sinking of the ship manages to contain some nice drama as well. I thought Dagover was pretty good in her role as she perfectly sold the sexuality of the part but I thought she was also believable as the woman torn between two men. Huston doesn't get much to do but he's always fun to watch. William is good in his part but I think it's clear to say that it should have still been played by someone else. The actor is just too strong to play such a "simple" person and the French accent is constantly going in and out. John Wray makes for a good villain and we also have George E. Stone in a small part. Film buffs might want to check this out for its director and cast but sadly the end result isn't nearly as good as one would have hoped for.
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