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Friday, May 14, 2021

Between Two Worlds (1944)

Set during WWII, a group of disparate passengers in England are sailing to America on a mysterious luxury liner. But it's only a matter of time before they discover they're all dead and they're not going to America! Based on the play OUTWARD BOUND by Sutton Vane (previously filmed in 1930) and directed by Edward A. Blatt, a dialogue director who only only directed two other minor films. Oy! Heavy handed and pretentious doesn't begin to cover it. It's an odd film to have come out of 1940's Warners. MGM would have been a better fit as they occasionally dabbled in this sort of stuff (A GUY NAMED JOE, STRANGE CARGO). For two hours, we're subjected to characters pontificating rather than any realistic conversation. I cringed for the poor actors delivering the dialogue, it's unplayable. Faye Emerson and Isobel Elsom manage not to embarrass themselves but good actors like John Garfield, Eleanor Parker and Paul Henreid fail miserably. Even the great Erich Wolfgang Korngold delivers a forgettable score. It might have worked better on the stage where we don't find out the characters are dead until the end of the play. Here, we find out 12 minutes into the movie. Others in cast include Sydney Greenstreet, Edmund Gwenn, Sara Allgood, George Coulouris and George Tobias.  

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