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One Way Passage (1932)

Unrated | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 22 October 1932 (USA)
A terminally ill woman and a debonair murderer facing execution meet and fall in love on a trans-Pacific crossing, each without knowing the other's secret.

Director:

Tay Garnett

Writers:

Wilson Mizner (screen play), Joseph Jackson (screen play) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Won 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
William Powell ... Dan Hardesty
Kay Francis ... Joan Ames
Aline MacMahon ... Betty
Frank McHugh ... Skippy
Warren Hymer ... Steve Burke
Frederick Burton ... The Doctor
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Storyline

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 <garyjack5@cogeco.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Romance...reaching the Heights of Heaven!

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 October 1932 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

S.S. Atlantic See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although the character's name would change, Frank McHugh plays the same part in the remake titled 'Til We Meet Again (1940). See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[first lines]
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.
Dan: [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...
Joan: Why... I'm so sorry.
Dan:
Joan:
Dan:
Joan: [...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening title card has a cruise ship in the background. See more »

Connections

Remade as Lux Video Theatre: One Way Passage (1957) See more »

Soundtracks

Theme
(1932) (uncredited)
(published in 1939 as "Where Was I?")
Music by W. Franke Harling
In the score when Dan and Joan first meet and often throughout the picture
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Doomed Romance
4 September 2008 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

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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