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Across the Pacific (1942)

Approved | | Action, Adventure, Drama | 5 September 1942 (USA)
2:49 | Trailer

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In December 1941, ex-army captain Rick Leland boards a Japanese ship heading to Asia via the Panama Canal where his Japanese hosts show interest in the American defense plans for the canal zone.


, (uncredited)


(screenplay), (serial "Aloha Means Goodbye")
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
... Rick Leland
... Alberta Marlow
... Dr. H.F.G. Lorenz
... A.V. Smith
... Joe Totsuiko (as Sen Young)
Roland Got ... Sugi
Lee Tung Foo ... Sam Wing On
... Capt. Morrison
... Col. Hart
... Canadian Major
... Court-Martial President
Tom Stevenson ... Man Harassing Alberta
... Capt. Harkness
... Dan Morton
... Capt. Higoto


Rick Leland makes no secret of the fact he has no loyalty to his home country after he is court-martialed, kicked out of the Army, and boards a Japanese ship for the Orient in late 1941. But has Leland really been booted out, or is there some other motive for his getting close to fellow passenger Doctor Lorenz? Any motive for getting close to attractive traveler Alberta Marlow would however seem pretty obvious. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A Warner Bros. Hit !


Approved | See all certifications »





Release Date:

5 September 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Across the Pacific  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The film's original trailer copied the same format as the one for The Maltese Falcon (1941) (which had the same director and three of the same cast members), beginning with Sydney Greenstreet's face against an otherwise dark background as his voice narrated. See more »


The background for the opening titles is a map of the Panama Canal. The orientation of the map and the compass is correct, but the labeling of the map is incorrect. In fact, the Atlantic end of the canal and the city of Colon are at the upper left (Northwest), and the Pacific end of the canal and Panama City are at the lower right (Southeast). The map is correctly labeled behind the closing credits. See more »


Rick Leland: Hey, are you getting sick?
Alberta Marlow: I don't know. How do girls usually act when you kiss them?
Rick Leland: Well, they don't turn green.
Alberta Marlow: Then I'm sick. Get me out of here.
See more »


Referenced in John Huston: The Man, the Movies, the Maverick (1988) See more »

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User Reviews

The Mysterious Girl From Medicine Hat
4 August 2006 | by See all my reviews

Across the Pacific is minor league stuff in the careers of both John Huston and Humphrey Bogart. It's clearly made as a wartime propaganda film. It certainly doesn't compare to The Maltese Falcon, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, Key Largo, or The African Queen. It doesn't even have the redeeming feature of campiness that Beat the Devil has. The film is a product of the time.

That being said, it's certainly entertaining enough. On an action level it has more of it than The Maltese Falcon from which four cast members were retained. The four repeaters are Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Sidney Greenstreet, and John Hamilton.

Bogart's not the existential private eye here. He's a cashiered army officer whose trial was really a fake. He's working undercover to find expose some Japanese American fifth columnists. His investigation takes him on a Japanese freighter that does carry passengers on the side. Two of those passengers are an Orientalist professor who teaches at the University of Manila, Sidney Greenstreet and a woman who claims to be from Medicine Hat, Mary Astor. Bogey spends the entire film trying to figure out not only what the dastardly scheme is, but just how Astor fits into it, because he's fallen for her.

World War II was the greatest time for employment for oriental players except Japanese ones. A goodly group is in this film, Kam Tong, Philip Ahn, Keye Luke and most of all Victor Sen Yung.

Until he played Hop Sing, Ben Cartwright's Chinese cook in Bonanza, Sen Yung was best known for being Charlie Chan's son under a few different Chans. But his role as Joe Tatsuito in this film was pretty good work also.

Sen Yung is a hip, jive talking Nisei who is supposed to be a deadly killer. Since he's already identified as such before we actually meet him, there is an aura of menace about Sen Yung even when he's at his friendliest.

Sidney Greenstreet as a scholar has become so immersed in Japanese culture and tradition that it has taken him right over the line into treason. Greenstreet is a talker like Casper Guttman in The Maltese Falcon, but in the end he can't walk the walk.

What was also happening in 1942 was that we were interning Japanese civilians that year. I don't think Victor Sen Yung being Chinese himself and knowing what the Japanese were doing in the home of his ancestors had any qualms about portraying a man on screen that seemed to be the living justification for such a policy. I've never heard of Across the Pacific being discussed specifically as a propaganda piece for that policy. Nor do I ever remember John Huston ever being questioned about it. Not that he had anything to do with the decision for internment, but it would have been nice to hear his feelings on the subject vis a vis Across the Pacific.

Huston didn't even stick around for the finish of Across the Pacific, it was completed under different hands. He went off to the service where he did some really fine documentaries that have stood the test of time.

Better than Across the Pacific has.

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