28 July 2014 | kevinolzak
Stuart Erwin and Lon Chaney
1938's "Passport Husband" was a formula Fox 'B' full of contract players doing what they can to enliven an unlikely comic situation. Conchita Montez (Joan Woodbury) is a beautiful show girl from South America pursued by rival New York gangsters Tiger Martin (Douglas Fowley) and Blackie Bennet (Harold Huber). After Bennet reveals Martin's visa troubles, he gets promptly deported back to his home country, with Conchita due to follow. Unwilling to rot in a South American prison, she puts the moves on the dimwitted waiter in love with her, Henry Cabot (Stuart Erwin), the pair quickly married with Bennet's approval (he needs to keep her in town if he's going to score with her!). Once the ceremony is over, Bennet has his confederates, Spike (Edward S. Brophy) and Bull (Lon Chaney), take Cabot for a ride, until he's told that Conchita can still be deported if she becomes a widow, so he's got to make sure that nothing fatal happens to Henry Cabot. Former dancer Joan Woodbury singlehandedly sinks the film with her forced attempt at a South American accent, while the likable Stuart Erwin manages to cope from dope to brilliant in 60 minutes. Lon Chaney, a bit player at Fox at this time, enters at the 27 minute mark, getting one good line in about having to pick up his wife's groceries after dumping the corpse in the drink; otherwise, it's just another routine thug role, of which there were plenty in the late 1930s.