One Way Passage - 1932
One Way Passage - Released October 21, 1932
Directed by Tay Garnett, starring Kay Francis and William Powell.
Two Americans meet in Hong Kong by sheer chance, but then they're together aboard an almost month-long trek by ship across the Pacific ocean. Also, she's terminal being nursed by a companion doctor and he's on his way back to the states (escorted by a determined cop played by Warren Hymer) to be hung at the gallows in San Francisco.
One Way Passage is also a cruise-ship romance padded with humor but with a grim undertone at times presented with the plain, in your face style of the pre-code era. Some light comedy is tossed in by Aline MacMahon and Frank McHugh as two con-artists working the cruise ship lines.
Warren Hymer as the stoic brick-house police sergeant determined to get convicted murderer Powell back to San Francisco is also with a lot of humor, but these side-stories are just backdrop for the story of the two principals living on borrowed time.
One Way Passage was made in the heart of the American Depression, with the two stars doomed from the outset. The resulting romance is made epic when Powell's character deliberately blows his chances for escape so that he can care for the rapidly deteriorating Francis.
Kay plays doomed love well, and Powell is his usual dapper, snappy self, cheerily heading toward death because it's what a gentleman crook does in these circumstances.From Four Key Kay Francis FIlms
Other resources online:
Precode.com - Nice overview of One Way Passage
Kay Francis @ Amazon
Publisher : McFarland; Reprint edition – 295 Pages
Published by McFarland – Illustrated edition – 240 Pages
BearManor Media – 2nd edition – 380 Pages
AMAZON: Warners Archive: Kay Francis - Confession – Director: Joe May
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Original Page July 2014 | Updated April 11, 2023