IMDb > Grand Canary (1934)

Grand Canary (1934) More at IMDbPro »


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Release Date:
20 July 1934 (USA) See more »
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User Reviews:
Feverish See more (2 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Warner Baxter ... Dr. Harvey Leith

Madge Evans ... Lady Mary Fielding
Marjorie Rambeau ... Daisy Hemingway
Zita Johann ... Suzan Tranter
Roger Imhof ... Jimmy Corcoran

H.B. Warner ... Dr. Ismay

Barry Norton ... Robert Tranter
Juliette Compton ... Elissa Baynham
Gilbert Emery ... Captain Renton
John Rogers ... Trout
Gerald Rogers ... Steward
Desmond Roberts ... Purser
Carrie Daumery ... Marquesa
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Chito Alonso ... (uncredited)
Sam Appel ... Miguel (uncredited)
Joe Dominguez ... Guard (uncredited)
Alphonse Du Bois ... (uncredited)
Douglas Gordon ... Postman (uncredited)
Keith Hitchcock ... Lord Michael Fielding (uncredited)
Rodolfo Hoyos ... Singer (uncredited)
Chris-Pin Martin ... Henchman (uncredited)
George Regas ... El Dazo (uncredited)
Pedro Regas ... Henchman (uncredited)
Rosa Rey ... Manuella (uncredited)
Harrington Reynolds ... 1st Quartermaster (uncredited)
Charles Stevens ... Cabbie (uncredited)

Directed by
Irving Cummings 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
A.J. Cronin  novel
Ernest Pascal 

Produced by
Jesse L. Lasky .... producer
 
Original Music by
Peter Brunelli (uncredited)
Louis De Francesco (uncredited)
Hugo Friedhofer (uncredited)
Arthur Lange (uncredited)
 
Cinematography by
Bert Glennon 
 
Film Editing by
Jack Murray (uncredited)
 
Costume Design by
Rita Kaufman 
 
Production Management
Earl Rettig .... unit manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Eli Dunn .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
S.C. Chapman .... sound
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Don Anderson .... camera operator (uncredited)
Lou Kunkel .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Emmett Schoenbaum .... still photographer (uncredited)
Roger Shearman .... assistant camera (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Louis De Francesco .... musical director
 

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
78 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
USA:Approved (certificate #7)

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2 out of 12 people found the following review useful.
Feverish, 12 October 2004
Author: F Gwynplaine MacIntyre from Minffordd, North Wales

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

CONTAINS SPOILERS. 'Grand Canary' is based on a novel by Scots author A.J. Cronin, who specialised in stories about doctors caught in ethical crises. The star of this film is Warner Baxter, whom I usually like, but his performance here seems to be a practice run for his later role in 'The Prisoner of Shark Island'. In both films, Baxter plays a disgraced physician who redeems himself when an epidemic breaks out on a remote island where Baxter is in exile. The principal difference between the two stories is that, in 'Grand Canary', the exile is self-imposed. Also, 'Grand Canary' has got more women in it.

Baxter plays Harvey Leith, an English physician whose refusal to accept current medical standards leads him to develop an experimental vaccine. In the charity ward, he tests this on three patients who are terminally ill; they're going to die anyway, but Dr Leith wants to see if the vaccine will relieve their symptoms before they succumb. A.J. Cronin's medical protagonists tend to be crusaders who must contend with the bloody-minded obstinacy of their administrative superiors, so it's no surprise what happens to Dr Leith: the hospital governor blames Leith's vaccine for the deaths of his three patients. In disgrace, Leith leaves the country, boarding a Liverpool steamer bound for the Canary Islands. (Hence the title.)

Aboard the steamer, Leith meets attractive Lady Mary Fielding, who's bound for the Canaries to rejoin her husband. Lady Mary is attracted to the debonair doctor, but ... she's bound for the Canaries to rejoin her husband. The ship reaches the Canaries just in time for a malaria epidemic. Dr Leith's career and reputation are over, so he's not afraid to die. He rolls up his sleeves and gives medical aid to the malaria victims.

At this point, as in most of A.J. Cronin's stories, soap-opera rears its ugly head. Lady Mary follows Dr Leith into the quarantine zone. Of course, she gets malaria. Of course, Dr Leith just happens to have a handy batch of his miracle serum to use on Lady Mary. When the blackballed doctor saves this green-eyed blue-blood from yellow fever, he becomes a hero back home in Harley Street. Dr Leith goes home to England, vindicated. Lady Mary discreetly tells her husband that she loves Dr Leith, and her husband obligingly gives her a divorce and steps aside. Whisky and soda all round, eh what? (UPDATE: My review is based on a British print of this film. I've since seen an American print, which has a different ending.)

There are several irrelevant subplots, and quite a few characters could easily be pruned from this movie. I usually welcome character actress Marjorie Rambeau, but here she supplies some inept comic relief that merely distracts attention from the main story. A better performance is given by Carrie Daumery, as an elderly marchioness who lets Dr Leith use her mansion for a malaria ward.

In the central role, Warner Baxter has the sense to avoid attempting a British accent. Unfortunately, he gives Dr Leith a stiff-upper-lip characterisation that seems to conform to some stereotype of Britishness rather than evoking a human being. H.B. Warner, an extremely variable actor, is quite bad here. Most of what's good in 'Grand Canary' was done better in 'The Prisoner of Shark Island', which had the merits of being a (heavily fictionalised) true story without nearly so many subplots. 'Grand Canary' is a well-meaning movie that manages to be very 'worthy' without actually being very good. I'll rate 'Grand Canary' 5 out of 10. Next patient!

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