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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
One of the very few Spencer Tracy Fox films that is available is Marie Galante. In it Spence plays an American agent working out of the Canal Zone in Panama and trying to stop a plot from blowing the canal up and incidentally trapping the American fleet as it is steaming through.
Complicating matters is Ketti Gallian playing the title role of the film. She's a French girl who gets picked up by a drunken sea captain and left ashore in Yucatan. She works her way down to the Panama Canal hoping to get a boat back to France, but she kind of blunders into the whole scheme of some master criminal to destroy the canal.
Of course her undocumented presence without passport in the Canal Zone arouses everyone's suspicions. Only Tracy has faith in her.
Marie Galante boasts the presence of Helen Morgan playing a variation on her Julie role from Show Boat. She's a drunken chanteuse and of course this too sadly reflected on her real life. She gets a couple of songs to do in her inimitable torch style, but nothing on the order of the hits Jerome Kern wrote for her.
The usual suspects in films like this are there, but this is not World War II yet and alliances have not been formed. Also the reason for blowing up the canal reflects a bit more on today's politics than in those of that era interestingly enough.
Marie Galante was an example of the kind of two fisted action parts that Spencer Tracy was doing over there with barely a stretch on his considerable talent. Still fans of Tracy will appreciate the film.
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