One Way Passage (1932). A romantic film starring William Powell and Kay Francis. Directed by Tay Garnett. It was remade in 1940 as 'Til We Meet Again, featuring Merle Oberon and George Brent. Powell and Frances performed in four films at Paramount before being signed by Warner Brothers.The music score, later heard in the background of many a Warners "B" film, is classic.
The story begins when, escaped murderer Dan Hardesty, is on his way to Hong Kong, where he accidentally meets terminally-ill, Joan Ames.
Police Sergeant Steve Burke, catches up with Dan and escorts him to a ocean liner, heading back to San Francisco. On board, Dan spots Joan among the passengers and talks Steve into removing his handcuffs. Dan and Joan fall in love on the month-long cruise, not knowing the others troubles.
Two of Dan's friends are also aboard, thief Skippy and con artist "Barrel House Betty", masquerading as "Countess Barilhaus". The countess keeps Steve entertained to help Dan. Just before they reach a stop over in Honolulu, Steve has Dan put in the brig, but he escapes and goes ashore. Where, he and Joan spend a wonderful day together. When they drive back to the dock, Joan feeling weak faints. Dan carries her aboard for medical help. Later, Joan's doctor tells Dan about her condition.
Meanwhile, the "countess" and the policeman fall in love and he proposes to her. She then tells him her true identity, but he still wants to marry her. As Steve and Dan get ready to leave, a steward overhears the truth and when Joan comes looking for Dan, tells her what he knows. The two lovers part for the last time without letting on they know each other's secret. Joan collapses after Dan is out of sight.
They had agreed to meet again on New Year's Eve, a month later. A bartender can not believe his eyes when two glasses on the bar break with no one around.
"One Way Passage" is one of my favorite Powell and Frances films. You also could not ask for a better supporting cast: Frank McHugh, as a drunken conman, is perfect comedy relief along with the wonderful Aline MacMahon, as the phony "countess". Sadly, after this and "Jewel Robbery", Powell and Francis were never paired again.
She worked in film and television until her retirement in 1975.
She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in, Dragon Seed (1944).
Warner Brothers, offered her the chance to become a leading lady, but MacMahon knew that her best parts would come with the character roles that often stole the limelight away from the stars.
MacMahon, performed in the musical, "Gold Diggers of 1933" and other well known films: "The Merry Frinks" and "While the Patient Slept", "Dragon Seed" and "The Search".