Alcoholic newspaperman Steve Bramley boards the San Capeador for a restful cruise, hoping to quit drinking and begin writing a book. Also on board are Steve's friend Schulte, a private ...
See full summary »
The Globe is a small, but visionary newspaper started by Phineas Mitchell, an editor recently fired by The Star. The two newspapers become enemies, and the Star's ruthless heiress Charity Hackett decides to eliminate the competition.
Alcoholic newspaperman Steve Bramley boards the San Capeador for a restful cruise, hoping to quit drinking and begin writing a book. Also on board are Steve's friend Schulte, a private detective hoping to nab criminal Danny Checkett with a fortune in stolen bonds. Steve begins drinking, all the while observing the various stories of other passengers on board, several of whom turn out not to be who they seem to be.Written by
Jim Beaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
John Gilbert's career was waning by the time he was hired by (at the time) a "Poverty Row studio like Columbia for this picture. His lucrative contract option had been dropped by the larger and richer MGM because his voice had tested higher than suited his masculine screen image. With his career in shambles, Gilbert had begun to drink heavily, but thanks mainly to the support of his friend Lewis Milestone, he was hired by Columbia for this picture--with the sole condition that he remain sober throughout the production. Unfortunately, Gilbert by this time was an alcoholic unable to stay away from drinking for very long, particularly among such heavy-drinking cast members as Walter Catlett and Victor McLaglen. Keeping the cast sober proved impossible, even while filming at sea. In a rage at the mounting expenditures, Columbia president Harry Cohn telegraphed director Milestone, 'Return to studio. The cost is staggering.' Milestone wired back, 'So is the cast!' See more »
The ship depicted as leaving the dock at the beginning of the film is named "San Capeador" on the bow. The ship depicted as docking in New York City has the name "Olympic" on the bow. See more »
Disappointing comedy has pretty much been forgotten by everyone except for die-hard film buffs who will probably remember the film not for its quality but due to it running over budget thanks in large part to a cast full of drunks who spent more time drinking than actually acting. The GRAND HOTEL type story takes place on a ship where we get several small stories including a P.I. (Victor McLaglen) tracking some stolen bonds, a writer (John Gilbert) suffering from alcoholism and of course a Captain (Walter Connally) who is constantly making the life of his steward (Leon Errol) a mess. For a comedy this thing really lacks any laughs and perhaps the funniest quote took place off the film. If legend is true, Columbia president Harry Cohn telegraphed director Milestone saying, 'Return to studio. The cost is staggering.' The director would reply, "So is the cast!" Who knows if that's the truth or not but it's certainly funnier than anything else in this film, which is a shame because we're given a very talented cast and most turn in fine performances but in the end there's just not much anyone could do with this screenplay. Considering the troubled production, who knows if there was more to this story that hit the cutting room floor but we're left with a pretty big mess. It seems that the film struggles to connect all the stories but that doesn't matter too much because none of them are overly interesting. I'd say the most interesting one deals with Gilbert but at the same time you have to question why he was given this part. Well, considering John Barrymore was a major alcoholic and ended up spoofing it in his later films I guess you can see why director Milestone would want Gilbert for this role. He certainly looks in pretty rough shape and appears to have aged fifteen-years from what he looked like in a few of his earlier talkies but at the same time he's certainly giving it his all and actually manages to turn in a memorable performance, which would be his last. McLaglen will put a smile on your face in a few of the scenes as will Errol who is constantly getting into trouble. Alison Skipworth, Donald Meeks, Wayne Gibson, Fred Keating and Helen Vinson are some of the supporting performers and they too deliver fine work. The Three Stooges appear as band members but the studio gives them very little to do. In the end, this is a real disappointment considering the talent involved but I'm sure film buffs will get some mild entertainment out of seeing all these familiar faces in one place.
4 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this