Knew I was in trouble for passing much of this
Warners programmer wondering if a pet monkey was the same one Errol Flynn had
in The Sea Hawk. "Programmer" may be inapt to describe a sprawling,
yet strict-B rummage off sets from The Letter and situations echoing Bordertown
and same year as SoS,They Drive By Night, which itself lifted Bordertown bumps.
Stories at WB were like bolts of cloth used over/again till worn to thread.
Second-tier folk at least got leads and colorful character work; here it's
George Tobias as a straight heavy with Lee Patrick going all Lupino-Davisat a
shrieking finish, which must have been fun for her. Leading man is George
Brent, good for utility when Cagney or (later) Bogart couldn't be bothered. Did
Brent ever object to tepid scripts --- or just take what was handed him? I'd
guess the latter, as what force could he apply to argument with WB front
office? Brenda Marshall is the woman interest; I've begun to notice an always unhappy expression, even when Brenda smiles. Did Bill Holden notice this at
home? South Of Suez is overlong, by fifteen or so minutes, for its slight
content. Another where everything has to be resolved in a drawn-out trial
sequence, point at which I confess to fast-forwarding. Q: Why do I continue to
watch these? A: Because I enjoy the world through Warner prism. Seen on TCM.