Tuesday, August 21, 2012

One Way Passage (1932).

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.

Aline MacMahon (May 3, 1899 – October 12, 1991), career began on stage in 1921.

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".


  1. OMG.
    I am so excited to view this film.
    1932 is my favourite year. My grandmother was born that year.
    Now headed to Netflix. It best be "on demand" or else I shall be a cranky girl this evening!!!

  2. OK Blogger is acting up again. Dawn, I've seen both versions and prefer One Way Passage, I'm not a fan of George Brent . Joann can tell you that I boo him in every film but Dark Victory, and The Fighting 69th. Powell's pre code Warner Bros films are always worth watching. Fun Fact : Frank was in both films.

  3. yogaduchess1982, I hope you can find it.. The ending, is what makes this film so wonderful..

    Paul2, blogger no longer recognizes my yahoo account. I only have access to two of my blogs :( I check back every couple of days to see if it's still in a glitch..

    Thank you, for the fun fact..

    Every time, I think of George Brent, I think of the awesome classic, Dark Victory.

  4. LOVE this film! It is so romantic. And, while Powell found his great screen partner in Myrna Loy, he & Kay made a mighty fine duo. Time for a paradise cocktail!

  5. I haven't seen this film yet. It is in my folder of 'films to watch'. It looks great and Aline MacMahon is a brilliant, much overlooked, comedic talent. Also, (I hope you dont mind the plug Dawm) but Ian has just done a guest post for me on another forgetten comedian Majorie Beebe. I encourage everyone to have a read and learn about her interesting life and career. It can be found here:


  6. This is one of my favorite Kay Francis films. She and Wm. Powell are a great duo - a superior film and cast to "Til We Meet Again." I'll never forget the broken cocktail glass scenario (it made a deep impression on me when I first saw the film many long years ago).

  7. FlickChick, I have to admit.. every time I think of Wm. Powell, I think of Myrna Loy. They made the perfect couple.. Cheers!!

    Emma, No, I do not mind the plug. I will check out Ian's post on, Majorie Beebe.

    The Lady Eve, Tonight.. is the night I go see Singin' in the Rain!!

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  9. Hello everyone, I hope you'll forgive this intrustion but your discussion of ONE WAY PASSAGE is wonderful. I sure hope this is allowed, this posting! Here goes. The film was directed by my father, Tay Garnett. Now I'm on a mission to put his wonderful memoir back in print. (My father died in 1977.) The sections about ONE WAY PASSAGE, how it almost didn't happen (and how Dad should have won an Oscar for Original Story) is in that book. You can find more info on what I'm doing to get it back in print, as well as 1932 photos from the film, at www.lightyourtorches.com
    Again, if I'm violating any rules by posting this, I'll delete immediately. Best, and many thanks.


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