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  • sbibb122 February 2007
    Warning: Spoilers
    An excellent, fascinating and daring film to come out in the final months before the production code took effect. The cast all around is excellent, with special kudos going to Roland Young as the husband and Genevieve Tobin as the possibly unfaithful wife. Tobin's acting in this film is very natural, and makes the film that much more believable.

    The plot is this: Roland Young and Genevieve Tobin have been married for one year, and they feel as if they are drifting apart in their marriage. They decide that they will take separate vacations away from each other to sort the marriage out. Tobin decides to go on a pleasure cruise, and while aboard many available men begin to hit on her, and she begins to contemplate having a quick shipboard fling with one of the men.

    Unknown to her, her husband had gotten a job as a barber aboard the ship in order to keep a close tab on her and who she speaks to.

    Later in the voyage she meets Ralph Forbes, who is the most forward of all the suitors they have met. After the fancy dress ball aboard the ship, he asks if he can slip into her cabin and spend the night. After some thought, Tobin decides to leave the cabin door unlocked, and when she is asleep a man slips into the cabin and makes love to her...but it was her husband and not the suitor.

    Watch for some funny and awkward dialogue the morning after as Ralph Forbes tries to apologize for not going to her cabin the night before, and Tobin things he is apologizing for a poor performance in the bedroom.

    This film is quite remarkable at how frank and sexual the movies could be before the production code came into effect, and if you can get your hands on a copy of this film, by all means watch it and enjoy.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Genevieve Tobin was an under-rated actress who was at her best in light, frothy comedies, especially "One Hour With You". She was also excellent as the wife of Edward G. Robinson in the quirky "Dark Hazard" - a film made just before the code was enforced, so with a typical pre-code ending!!! She was also Della Street in the better than average entry "The Case of the Lucky Legs" (1935).

    The plot is reminiscent of "The Keyhole" (1933), but with a comic twist. Shirley (Genevieve Tobin) is the bored wife of novelist Andrew Poole (Roland Yound). The film has some quite witty scenes - in one you see their legs walking to get married, then walking down the aisle, then his legs as he struggles with a shopping bag - it says exactly how their marriage is working - or not working!! In another scene Andrew jealously talks about the "handsome" men in her office - then the viewer sees them in reality and they are doddering, elderly men. Andrew is a "house husband" - he cooks, he cleans and tries to find good laundries while Shirley goes to the office. They decide to take separate vacations as they feel they are getting into a rut.

    He is going fishing, she on a pleasure cruise to the Baltic - not quite the vacation for the wife of an extremely jealous husband. Weirdly enough, he then wrangles a job on the boat as a barber!!! - so he can keep an eye on her. He definitely has his work "cut out" for him as Shirley proves very popular. He is popular too - with Mrs. Signus (Una O'Connor) a flirtatious passenger who won't take no for an answer. Secretly, he is scuttling all Shirley's romances with a sly comment here and there - until she comes across Richard Faversham (Ralph Forbes, with his glorious voice). She is tempted to cheat and pours out her heart to Mrs. Signus (unfortunately Andrew is hiding in the closet and hears everything). The ship is holding a fancy dress ball and Richard is planning a seduction.

    The ending is great fun - Richard doesn't get to keep his rendezvous but someone else does!! Shirley finds her cigarette case missing from her cabin and as she walks the deck, it seems that all the men are leering at her and all have the same cigarette case!!!

    Minna Gombell is also in the film as a friend of the Pooles. The story was written by Guy Bolton who wrote some of the most sparkling plays of the 20s, including "Oh Kay", "Oh Boy", "Rio Rita" and "Tip Toes". I can really recommend this forgotten little gem.
  • Can this marriage be saved, despite intense jealousy, mistrust, elaborate deceptions and prevarications? (Well, what would anyone expect in a sex farce?) I first saw this film circa 1970 when a Washington, DC television station aired it, along with several other early-thirties "pre-code" films, as part of its "Cinema Club 9" weekend program. I had always wanted to see it again, because I wasn't sure I had interpreted two key scenes correctly. (Perhaps some ambiguity was intended by the author of the play upon which the film is based, or by the film makers.) I was very pleased when TCM "premiered" the film in late 2016; and, I hope, for those who haven't seen it, they will run it again. The script is very amusing, clever and provocative; and, the acting is excellent. Roland Young plays the jealous husband, Arthur, who goes to extraordinary lengths to keep his wife from becoming seduced by shipboard Lotharios. Genevieve Tobin is especially wonderful playing her character, Shirley, as the innocent, virtuous and truthful wife; and, she is equally wonderful playing Shirley later in the film when she is . . . well, watch the film and see for yourself. Most insightful line (and key to the development of the unexpected ending): Shirley's friend, Judy (played by Minna Gombell), when she advises Shirley, "Any man will believe an explanation if it's flattering enough." Some viewers may find disturbing some of the events in the last reel, but for different reasons. The next time this film comes around on TCM's schedule, make an effort to see it, and make your own judgments. However, by all means, don't read TCM's synopsis, which not only spoils the surprises, but also (I believe) contains a gross error.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Expect a lot of monkey business in thus forgotten gem, one of the best pre-code comedies and one of the best of 1933. Genevieve Tobin is a business woman wife who goes off in a "business cruise" and finds "pleasure" instead. Roland Young, aka "Topper", is her suspicious "house husband" who takes a job working in the ship's barber/beauty shop and hides from her as he spies on her and the handsome man she keeps company with.

    But Young gets into some possible trouble of his own, risking his own infidelity by becoming friendly with flirtatious passenger Una O'Connor who hides him in her closet when Tobin visits, resulting in one of her fancy pieces of lingerie getting static cling on his back. The bra on his back is the last thing you'd expect to see on the screeching O'Connor, totally different here than in any other part she's played.

    Tobin is lovely, but the comical accolades go to Young, O'Connor and Herbert Mundin as the head barber. This features a lavish costume party where Young disguises himself as King Lear as he follows his naughty wife around while trying to evade O'Connor. Short and sweet, this has the appropriate amount of naughtiness without being crass.
  • It is certainly possible that my mood was why I didn't find Pleasure Cruise as delightful as I had hoped, given leads of Roland Young and Genevieve Tobin, direction by the workhorse Frank Tuttle from a script by Guy Bolton. I suppose at least part of the trouble was Ralph Forbes as the "romantic threat". The studio era was full of good-looking men who acted as if they thought they looked like nothing special, and I'm sure that appealed to the women as well as easing things for the male audience. Forbes as an actor is so narcissistic as to be repellent. He's like Richard Gere or Brad Pitt without ability. No, more, he's like Robert Taylor or without the desire to be a good actor.

    On the whole, though, I have to note that Guy Bolton's script was not as sparkling as could be wished, leering and suggesting but never actually delivering anything except for a few bright whoppers told by Young. Bolton had been doing this sort of script for at least fifteen years. Perhaps it was the lack of his usual collaborators (P.G. Wodehouse, with the Gershwins for musical interludes) that makes this an enjoyable but rote farce.
  • "Pleasure Cruise" is not a long movie (70 minutes), but with the story it has, it probably should have been a 15-minute short. There are two or three instances of inventive direction by Frank Tuttle, but until the last 15 minutes I was prepared to give this film a generous **. Then something happens that could only have happened in the pre-code years, and once again I was amazed by what they could get away with in the movies before the censors boxed them in. The final scene is so thoroughly pre-code and so perfectly set up that it could be used as an emblem of the freedom of that era. So my final rating goes up to **1/2 out of 4.