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Arthur B. Woods,
See the film that Don Ameche hoped you wouldn't see!
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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