Thursday, September 20, 2007

Across the Pacific

“Across the Pacific” (1942) is a nifty spy melodrama that offers a pleasant reunion of three key players (Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, and Sidney Greenstreet) and director (John Huston) from the previous year’s “The Maltese Falcon”, which was a big hit for Warner Bros.

The film takes place just before the bombing at Pearl Harbor and details how ex-solider Bogart gets swept up in a Japanese plot to blow up the Panama Canal. Much of the action takes place on a Japanese-owned passenger/cargo ship which seems to travel through heavy fog an awful lot in the evening (movie fog is a wondrous thing to behold in black and white). Of course the ship is rife with mysterious travelers and people whose identities are not what they seem.

It’s all most enjoyable, and moves along at a crisp 97 minutes. I continue to be amazed at the pace of these Warner Bros. “A” features. Of all the major studios of the era, most of the Warner Bros. features are as fast paced as a “B” movie. It’s just one of the many reasons why it’s my favorite studio from Hollywood’s Golden Age.

For Charlie Chan fans there is the additional fun of seeing Number One Son (Keye Luke) and Number Two Son (Sen Yung) in supporting roles.

Rating for "Across the Pacific": Three stars

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