Dying Joan Ames meets criminal Dan Hardesty on a luxury liner as he is being transported back to America by policeman Steve Burke to face execution. Joan and Dan fall in love, their fates unbeknownst to one another.
Idealistic attorney Anton Adam makes headlines when he successfully prosecutes a prominent New York racketeer named Gilmurry. Adam's sudden renown attracts the attention of high-profile ... See full summary »
Suave Dan Hardesty, a convicted murderer, is apprehended by Steve Burke, a police detective, in Hong Kong and accompanied on the SS Maloa headed for San Francisco. On board, Dan romances Joan Ames, a terminally ill socialite. She is unaware that his ultimate destination is San Quentin. Both realize that their time together is fleeting so they make a pact to meet at a Mexican night club on New Years Eve. When they part in San Francisco they know that the odds are against them.Written by
Gary Jackson <email@example.com>
When Dan and Steve fall off the cruise ship they are handcuffed together. But if you watch closely, as they hit the water, there appears to be no handcuffs and the two are separate. See more »
Hong Kong Bartender:
[mixing a very complex drink]
I haven't made one of these since the fourth of July. I was making one when the quake hit Frisco. Believe me friend, I wouldn't go to all this trouble for any of these foreigners. Uh, uh, gotta wait a minute to let the oil sink in. There you are partner, you can tell your grandchildren about that one.
[before Dan can take a sip, the contents of the glass are knocked out of his hand by Joan backing into him]
Say what in the name of...
Why... I'm so sorry.
[...] See more »
The opening title card has a cruise ship in the background. See more »
In between his time with Paramount and MGM, William Powell did a two year stint at Warner Brothers where I don't think Jack and his brothers ever quite knew what to do with him. His films there, vary in quality, but the best of them is this doomed romance with Kay Francis, One Way Passage. The title itself tells how poignant this film will be.
Powell is a fugitive who is tracked down and brought aboard ship in handcuffs by San Francisco Detective Warren Hymer. Powell escaped while being transported to San Quentin to be hung for murder. At the same time good time party girl Kay Francis is traveling home essentially to die. Unsaid at the time because the audience knew what the effects of bootleg liquor were on some people from the Roaring Twenties. Her organs are generally failing and she's coming home to die.
These two people are as poignant a pair of lovers as has ever been brought to the screen. Neither knows about the other and the aura of heartbreak just permeates One Way Passage. It's a cosmic joke played on them, both finding in each other a reason to live and both knowing it can't be.
Warren Hymer plays it a great deal straighter than he normally does. He's not the brightest cop in the world, but he's a far from the dim witted hooligans he usually is cast. Aline McMahon and Frank McHugh are a pair of confidence workers who both team up to help the doomed Powell and Francis. McHugh repeated his own role in the remake of One Way Passage from 1940, Till We Meet Again.
The most cynical heart will melt in seeing One Way Passage.
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