30 June 2019 | boblipton
The China Run
With a China contract that may save his faltering shipping line, Spencer Charters takes John Buckler off the passenger run and makes him captain on the first run; Buckler has just gotten engaged to Charter's daughter, Ann Southern, and he anticipates Buckler will eventually head the firm. This means demoting the ship's captain, Ralph Bellamy, to First Mate. When Miss Southern and her aunt, Catherine Doucet, stow away, the situation grows even rockier. Buckler is used to easier runs, and over-staffed ships. Bellamy harbors resentment and and an understanding of the ship's and crew's foibles. When he runs the ship slow because of laboring engines, Buckler speeds it back up, until the engines break down. To make up for lost time, Doucet reroutes the ship into a storm-laden patch of sea.
Director Roy Williams Neill handles the cinematic side of directing, and allows his actors to play out their roles handsomely. The crew is nicely differentiated, and the repair sequences and the storm at sea are rendered beautifully under the camera of DP Joseph Walker. The movie combines the standard arc of romantic comedies very well -- especially if you're used to seeing Bellamy as the guy the girl is engaged to when Cary Grant steps onto the scene. It's another of the superior programmers that Neill produced on a short budget in the sound era.