Monday, April 11, 2016

Dvd/150: CHINA SEAS (Tay Garnett, 1935)

Pure MGM adventure-hokum that races along with little character development as the stars are all playing their personas to the hilt.

Clark Gable is the gruff captain of a boat carrying passengers and cargo between Singapore and Hong Kong.  His voyage is complicated by the appearance on board of old flame and newly-widowed Sybil (Rosalind Russell) as well as 'China' Doll (Jean Harlow), a gregarious good-time-girl who is besotted with him.

To make Gable jealous, Harlow pals up with old friend Jamesy (Wallace Beery) but discovers he has secretly plotted with vicious Malay pirates to steal gold hidden on board.  As the ship sails into a violent storm, the action explodes...

Akim Tamaroff, Robert Benchley and Lewis Stone wander about as Harlow dazzles in her wonderful Adrian-designed gowns that cling where they touch.  An added delight is uncredited Hattie McDaniel as Harlow's cheeky maid Isabel.

Shelf or charity shop?  Braving the elements on the shelf...

No comments: