Raw, funny, sentimental . . .
Movie Lover: Dan Nather
Cincinnati, OH US
-- November, 11, 2004
. . . and so good I sat through it twice! There's so much going on in this film, I almost had to, but it looked even better the second time around.
Ben Lyon is the calloused waterfront reporter who romances Claudette Colbert to get at her fisherman father, Ernest Torrence, whom he suspects of smuggling Chinese immigrants into the country any way he can -- even inside a shark's belly! But along the way, Lyon really falls in love with Colbert, and tries desperately to get his story and his woman at the same time -- and you just know there's going to be a price to pay.
A strong cast and adroit direction from James Cruze overcome a slightly wobbly story, although the dialogue crackles. And this is a good, clean print -- almost up there with Alpha's transfer of THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME.
This is a great chance to see Claudette Colbert before she shot to stardom the following year in IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT, CLEOPATRA, and IMITATION OF LIFE. She does not wear much makeup in this role (although her eyebrows have been carefully plucked), and you can see what a natural beauty she was. And no bigger actress could have played the part of Julie as well -- she's saucy and sweet, a combination of emotions she would use to great effect in the years to come.
All in all, a richly entertaining film, one you'll want to watch over and over. I'm certainly going to!