17 December 2004 | overseer-3
Bizarre, disjointed early Brit sound flick
I guess this was supposed to be an early science fiction - adventure story, about an aviator with personality quirks, but I couldn't find myself interested in the plot very much.
What was with Conrad Veidt's teeth in this movie? His front teeth all had huge gaps in them, which made them look black. He looked old before his time; he actually looked better years later playing Major Strasser in "Casablanca", which was released only a year before he dropped dead from a heart attack in 1943. Warner Brothers obviously knew how to package him so that he looked more debonair in the later film. Poor guy, he really needed a dentist. I couldn't get into the tame romantic scenes at all, since Jill Esmond, who played Claire (very pretty first wife of Sir Lawrence Olivier), looked young enough to be his granddaughter.
I watched the English video version put out by Video Yesteryear. Halfway through the tape it got interrupted by a "PLEASE STAND BY WHILE WE CHANGE REELS" message. I burst out laughing. What was that for?
I bought this to watch the performances of the principals, and to see Warwick Ward in another film, other than the Pola Negri one I watched awhile ago with him in it, from 1929. Had trouble finding him at first, but he played the First Officer. Handsome man, very intense eyes. Maybe he should have been given the role of the rival for Jill Esmond's character's affections.
5 out of 10. Interesting as an example of an early sound Brit film, but not much else.