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A couple of interesting 30's melodramas,
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This review is from: The Last Journey & Return of a Stranger [DVD] (DVD)
While always on the lookout for new releases of vintage movies, I found two interesting & entertaining melodramas here, that both in terms of style & performances are very much of their time (the mid-30's). I was already well-acquainted with THE LAST JOURNEY (thanks to BBC 4 a few years ago). In director Bernard Vorhaus's well-paced and engaging drama, Julien Mitchell stars as steam train driver, Bob Holt, who is faced with a combination of his unwelcome forthcoming compulsory retirement & a festering suspicion that his wife is having an affair with his fireman. The mounting feelings of anger and resentment finally push the bullish Holt over the edge. The scene is set for a dramatic final day's work for the gun-toting Holt, with the driver taking the train on a non-stop high speed journey, racing through bewildered stations accompanied by his terrified fireman. The central story is interwoven with various sub-plots involving a motley collection of disparate train passengers, which includes a male/female pickpocket team, and a newlywed couple with a desperate love-rival in hot pursuit. Mitchell's performance is occasionally over-ripe but the dramatic high-speed special effects are rather good. Considering the age of the movie, (1935) the remastered black & white picture and sound quality on this Twickenham Film studios production is very good (the product blurb is correct). The movie is 62 minutes approx.
Directed by Victor Hanbury, the Premier/Stafford production RETURN OF A STRANGER is an obscure but interesting little 1937 melodrama starring Griffith Jones in the lead role, here he plays James Martin, a young chemist who elopes with his wealthy boss's daughter (played by Rosalyn Boulter). While staying at an hotel, Martin eventually goes on the run after becoming the prime suspect in a case of murder. Fleeing to South Africa, Martin continues in his chosen profession until a laboratory explosion leaves him scarred. After a few years of enforced exile, Martin decides to return to blighty, determined to clear his name. Nicely-paced, with both an equally decent script & performances, I found this movie to be a pleasant way to pass 69 minutes. Yet again the remastered black & white picture and sound quality is very good. There are no extras or subtitles.