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Gateway (1938)

Approved | | Drama | 5 August 1938 (USA)
Irish immigrant meets returning war correspondent on a liner bound for New York. When she resists the amours of another passenger, charges result in her being detained at Ellis Island.


Alfred L. Werker


Walter Reisch (story), Lamar Trotti


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Don Ameche ... Dick Court
Arleen Whelan ... Catherine O'Shea
Gregory Ratoff ... Prince Michael Boris Alexis
Binnie Barnes ... Mrs. Fay Sims
Gilbert Roland ... Tony Cadona
Raymond Walburn ... Mr. Benjamin McNutt
John Carradine ... Leader of Refugees
Maurice Moscovitch ... Grandpa Hlawek (as Maurice Moscovich)
Harry Carey ... Commissioner Nelson
Lyle Talbot ... Henry Porter
Marjorie Gateson ... Mrs. Arabella McNutt
Fritz Leiber ... Dr. Weilander
Warren Hymer ... Guard-Waiter
Eddie Conrad ... Davonsky (as Eddy Conrad)
E.E. Clive ... Room Steward


Irish immigrant meets returning war correspondent on a liner bound for New York. When she resists the amours of another passenger, charges result in her being detained at Ellis Island.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

new york | irish | immigrant | See All (3) »




Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

5 August 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ellis Island See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Actor Don Ameche considered "Gateway" the worst film he had ever done. See more »

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User Reviews

See the film that Don Ameche hoped you wouldn't see!
13 May 2018 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

According to IMDB, Don Ameche hated this film. Perhaps he thought it was a bad film, perhaps it was a bad filming experience (such as his disliking the director or co-stars....who knows). All I know is that he didn't like it....and that certainly piqued my curiosity!

The story begins on an ocean liner. Like the 'good old days', passengers are segregated according to class...and second class ticketed passengers like Catherine (Arleen Whelan) are not allowed into the first class dining room. But when Dick (Ameche) sees her watching the folks up in first class, he insists she join him and the other first class passengers. Soon, however, his plan backfires. A dirty old man soon tries to force himself on Catherine and she slugs him....and the man's wife INSISTS that the assault was unprovoked. As a result, she's not allowed to meet her fiance (Lyle Talbot) but is detained at Ellis Island. What's to come of Catherine, Dick and the incredibly disappointing fiance?

There is a huge problem that viewers cannot help but notice at the beginning of the story....Whelan cannot act. Or, more precisely, she is supposed to be Irish but sound about as Irish as Charlie Chan!! She cannot approximate the accent and the casting decision seems odd to say the least. Why not get an Irish actress or at least one that sounds Irish?! Regardless, I just felt baffled at her choice.

The funny thing is that although she's NOT good, the two very foreign sounding comic relief actors (with Russian-style accents) sound good....but are really, really annoying. The banter between the revolutionary and Imperial Russians is pretty dopey...and they seem like distractions more than anything else.

So is there anything I liked about the film? Well, Ameche was, as usual, very good...as was Binnie Barnes. Both came off well in the movie, mostly because they were real professionals. But the rest of the film...well....it's a bit disappointing. I could see why Ameche probably didn't like it...but compared to really bad films by other top stars (such as Clark Gable in "Parnell" and Humphrey Bogart in "Swing Your Lady"), he could have done a lot worse!

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