Westward Passage (1932)

Passed   |    |  Drama, Romance

Westward Passage (1932) Poster

A struggling writer divorces his wife to pursue his career without interference, but they meet in Europe years later after she has remarried.


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18 June 2009 | mukava991
| yak yak snooze, but with Harding and Olivier
No one can deny that Ann Harding was something to look at, and that is about all this film has to offer. Her co-star is a very young mustachioed Laurence Olivier working very hard to make something of an unconvincingly written character -specifically, a high-strung novelist who resents churning out hack material for quick money to pay the bills while living in a small apartment with his wife (Harding) and a baby daughter. Eventually he can take no more, divorces his wife and goes off to write what he pleases in peace, leaving his wife to marry a long-time admirer (Irving Pichel) who provides her with money and status even though she is not in love with him. Years later the estranged couple meets again in Lucerne. By now he is a successful and famous novelist and impulsively decides to wrest back the woman he had deserted. Throughout the proceedings they bicker and make up with tiring frequency. The movie is mostly talk in the Noel Coward style but without the Coward sparkle. The fights and reconciliations, including the reuniting of a divorced couple at a classy resort, are very reminiscent of Coward's "Private Lives" which had been filmed with disastrous results the year before. As in "Lives," the couple even plays and sings a song from time to time, in this case "What'll I Do?" In short, this is good if you like watching Harding, a great screen beauty, and examining the meticulous craftsmanship of Olivier. Otherwise it's a leaden and witless talkathon.

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