5.9/10
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Marie Galante (1934)

Approved | | Drama, Romance, Thriller | 26 October 1934 (USA)
Marie is kidnapped and taken aboard ship, then thrown off at Yucatan. She winds up singing in a café in the Panama Canal zone. There she gets involved in a plot to destroy the canal and runs into American intelligence officer Crawbett.

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(screen play), (based on the novel by)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
MissTapia
...
Brogard (as Sigfried Rumann)
...
...
Robert Loraine ...
Ratcliff
Frank Darien ...
Ellsworth
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
French Girl (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

Marie Galante, a pretty French deliverer of telegrams, is inadvertently abducted by a drunken sea captain bound for Central America. Escaping in Mexico, Marie travels down the coast trying to find a way back home to France. In the Panama Canal Zone, she finds work as a singer and piques the interest of several men: Tenoki, a Japanese merchant, Brogard, his German competitor, Ratcliff, a British diplomatic agent, and Dr. Crawbett, ostensibly a researcher into tropical diseases. In fact, one or more of these men is involved in espionage and a plot to sink the U.S. fleet as it passes through the canal. Naive Marie cannot believe anything nefarious is afoot, but the handsome Dr. Crawbett convinces her to help him uncover the saboteur. But Marie is not sure she can trust even Crawbett. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

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Certificate:

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Release Date:

26 October 1934 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Maria Galante  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The female lead role was offered to Clara Bow, but she refused. See more »

Goofs

Marie's armband has disappeared when she is imprisoned on the ship. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Crawbett: They're about as useful as umbrellas on a fire truck.
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Connections

Remade as Charlie Chan in Panama (1940) See more »

Soundtracks

Shim Shammy
Music and Lyrics by Stepin Fetchit
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User Reviews

 
Early Spencer Tracy in Panama spy thriller
7 July 2008 | by (southwest US) – See all my reviews

M. G. opens in a restaurant somewhere in France, with the sound of people singing. Then Marie Galante (K Gallian) on a bicycle rushing off somewhere.... Lots of people speaking French, and the ship captain gets a telegram in English, with lots of orders. The movie has been playing for two minutes and i'm already lost, although it might be my own fault for forgetting so much of my high school francais. It turns out the ship cast off while she was still aboard. More francais spoken. Then we're somewhere in central America, according to the title card, and we meet Dr. Crawbett (Spencer Tracy), Plosser the nightclub owner played by the great but sarcastic Ned Sparks (ya GOTTA see him in The Bride Walks Out 1936 - Hilarious!), spies, and various other suspicious people. According to Marie, (Ketti Gallian), she just wants to get back to her homeland. Crawbett and someone who MUST be a spy are sorting out the people in the nightclub, and that is the beginning of the story. Galante ends up going in search of a Frenchman who may or may not be able to help her get home. The screenplay and acting are quite competent, but the lighting is spotty and poor at times. When the camera pans around Marie Galante's room, it zooms past posters and things that would be helpful and interesting to be able to see. It appears Gallian's film career fizzled, while Tracy's bloomed and took off. Sharp viewers will also spot Sig Ruman, who plays Brogard. He had made A Day at the Races and A Night at the Opera with the Marx Brothers. The spy plot and "foreign" locations (including the Panama Canal, whether or not we are really there...) make this an interesting, exotic story, while we try to figure out who are the good guys, and who are the bad guys.


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