12 August 2003 | Cutter-2
Think Of It As An Episode From a Mystery Series With Much, Much More Polish
This is an excellent little film with two stars much better known for their supporting roles. A young Claire Trevor is more lovely than I have ever seen her. This may be one of her few `straight' roles. She is not the scheming woman in a film noir, a prostitute, saloon girl or a drunk. Edmund Lowe, a first line star during the silent era who never quite made it past supporting roles in the talkies, is a very believable gambler/con man.
Virtually the entire movie takes place on board a cruise ship so there are none of the car chases, gun fights, mid depression hard luck stories, etc. that tend to carry many mid '30s mysteries/dramas. The script contains a good deal of intrigue and suspense that is carried of well by Lowe and his `accomplice', Trevor. Adrienne Ames, who looks very much like Gail Patrick plays a character that was made for Patrick, the snooty, unlikable wealthy woman. Ames and Eugene Pallette support.
The Plot Outline for this movie accurately describes what occurs so there is no need to dwell there. The most enjoyable parts of the movie for me were the situations where Trevor is determining what kind of person Lowe is and whether or not he can be trusted, is honest, etc. Keep in mind Trevor and Lowe meet on the cruise ship. Lowe tells Trevor up front that he is a gambler and Trevor is not quite sure what to think as Lowe goes about `setting up' Pallette and Ames primarily through card games to get his son out of a jam and return the stolen jewels. This occurs in spite of the ship's detective and eventually everyone else involved knowing Lowe is a gambler.
The ending may be a bit too neat in today's terms but one must remember happy endings were important in the early and mid '30s.