TRANSATLANTIC. Fox, 1931. Edmund Lowe, Greta Nissen, John Halliday, Myrna Loy, Jean Hersholt, Lois Moran, Billy Bevan. Story: Guy Bolton; photography: James Wong Howe. Director: William K. Howard. Shown at Cinecon 40, Hollywood CA, September 2004.

TRANSATLANTIC Myrna Loy & Edmund Lowe

   Another rough print (the program notes warned of this) and hardly of the interest of The Letter (reviewed here ) this “Grand Hotel on an ocean liner” (as the notes more or less put it) was an entertaining trifle, owing to a good cast, some fine photography by James Wong Howe, and a serviceable, melodramatic story.

   Edmund Lowe is a gent of dubious moral values who’s skipping out of the country but who ironically finds himself becoming the moral center of a series of little dramas, shot through with crime and attempted murder.

   The most striking part of the film is a climactic chase up and down and around the massive structures of the ship’s boiler room. A really nice print of this might show off the film to better advantage but I’m not convinced that it has (as the program notes claim) “all the ingredients for one of the greats!”

   N. B.:   Charlie Shibuk commented to me that he saw the screening of a beautiful 35mm print some 15 years ago at the Museum of Modern Art, and he still agrees with my summation.