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Across the Pacific (1942)

Across the Pacific (1942)

Released: 1942
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama, Genre
Director:
Starring: Sydney Greenstreet, Mary Astor, Humphrey Bogart, ,
Run time: 97 min
IMDb: 6.9/10
Country: USA
Views: 171715

Synopsis

Storyline:
Rick Leland makes no secret of the fact he has no loyalty to his home country after he is court-martialed, kicked out of the Army, and boards a Japanese ship for the Orient in late 1941. But has Leland really been booted out, or is there some other motive for his getting close to fellow passenger Doctor Lorenz? Any motive for getting close to attractive traveler Alberta Marlow would however seem pretty obvious.
Written by
Jeremy Perkins {J-26}
User Reviews: This serves as a nice companion piece to "The Maltese Falcon", but DON’T compare it the masterpiece or you won’t enjoy it. Also, keep in mind, this was during the beginning of WWII (obviously), so expect your typical "all Japanese are evil" racial stereotypes. It is upsetting to see that films like these just heightened the US’s paranoia, driving us to send everyone of Japanese descent to internment camps.

You’re going to really enjoy this film if you’ve seen modern Pulp adventures like the Indiana Jones trilogy or Sky Captain (though don’t expect to see ANY mystical/sci-fi elements involved). This has it all: a hard-boiled hero, exotic locales, constant plot twists and turns, colorful villains, and a mysterious woman.

Bogart, as (almost) always plays the same character he always plays. but boy, does he fit in SO well into this film. Mary Astor, while not the pretty face that she was built up to be here and in "The Maltese Falcon", gives another great performance, and unlike Bogart, she was always able to give characters in a similar vein (in this case, the mysterious woman), each their own personalities. Her Alberta Marlow is not at all like "schoolgirl" Brigid O’Shaughnessey, but (at least openly) tougher, a perfect match with Bogart during their exchanges of dialogue, while remaining to be extremely ambiguous, never making sure whether or not she’s an ally or a femme fatale. When all is revealed, looking back on it things made perfect sense with her character’s attitude.

Sydney Greenstreet adds another great villain to his own rogues gallery. Here he’s a man obsessed with Japanese culture and way of life, so much that he has become apart of and accepted by "the enemy". Victor Sen Young, who played a great shark grinned scumbag in "The Letter", does good here, looking very happy that he at least was able to speak coherently for once in a motion picture.

Huston’s direction is really worth looking at, especially visually stunning during a sequence at a movie theater. Without his obvious presence and Bogart, this film would have just been another propaganda story of espionage. Sadly, when he had to leave the film for war duty, the final scenes were shot by otherwise competent (but nothing special) director Vincent Sherman. The final 15 minutes seem extremely out of place with the rest of the film, and its a shame Huston wasn’t around a little bit longer to round up what could have been a quintessential piece of a feature 40’s pulp movie.

Worth seeing, its a film that falls short of greatness, but man is it entertaining.

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