HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Revolver
Men, The
Parallel Mothers
Sadness, The
Bloody New Year
Faye
Body Count
Spider-Man: No Way Home
'Round Midnight
Wild Men
Barry & Joan
Wake Up Punk
Twin, The
Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy
One of These Days
Lift to the Scaffold
Savage Dawn
Rest in Pieces
Innocents in Paris
We're All Going to the World's Fair
Beyond the Door 3
Jules et Jim
Love Jones
Saint-Narcisse
Souvenir Part II, The
Knockabout
400 Blows, The
Virus: 32
Studio 666
Great Movement, The
Lost in La Mancha
Cellar, The
Sacred Spirit, The
Chess of the Wind
Nineteen Eighty-Four
Scream
All I Can Say
You Are Not My Mother
Silent Enemy, The
Small Body
   
 
Newest Articles
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
The Punk Rock Movie: Out of the Blue on Blu-ray
Yeah, Too Quiet: The Great Silence on Blu-ray
   
 
  Across the Pacific Buy War Bonds
Year: 1942
Director: John Huston
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Sydney Greenstreet, Charles Halton, Victor Sen Young, Roland Got, Lee Tung Foo, Frank Wilcox, Paul Stanton, Lester Matthews, John Hamilton, Tom Stevenson, Roland Drew, Monte Blue, Chester Gan, Richard Loo, Keye Luke
Genre: Thriller, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Rick Leland (Humphrey Bogart) used to be a military hero... used to be. But now he has been dismissed from his officer post for financial irregularities, and despite at least one of his colleagues refusing to believe he could have sunk that low given how much integrity he appeared to have, he is not about to contest the result and decides to head up to Canada and join up there, for the rest of the world outside of the United States is at war. However, they don't want him either, so he opts to head for Panama on a Japanese ship called the Genoa Maru to see if he can be of an use in the South, and on the journey he meets some interesting people who may not be what they seem to be...

Across the Pacific was trumpeted at the time of its release as basically The Maltese Falcon Part 2, seeing as how it starred Bogart, Mary Astor and Sydney Greenstreet, and was directed by John Huston, all of whom had become very big names in the wake of the previous picture's success. Although it was well-received, there's a reason why we still discuss The Maltese Falcon to this day and this little item is somewhat swamped in the flood of ultra-patriotic World War II movies that Hollywood produced during the years of the conflict (and indeed afterwards), though it does have its fans, enough of whom are Bogart cultists to make this worth a look out of curiosity.

Curiosity to see if you can see in this film what the cultists do, and in a way even the sceptics would be won over by Bogart's charm if the subject matter did little for them. It's just that watching these propaganda efforts so far after the fact, and far past the point that Japan ceased to be the villainous power on the world stage that it had been during the Second World War, there can be a disconnect between the anti-Japanese sentiment (no token nice guy Japanese here, or not so you would notice) and the feelings you have about that nation's population now. If you've since embraced any part of their culture, from Godzilla to Pokemon, it can be jarring to see them portrayed as so evil.

Across the board too, and the fact was that the villains here were played by Chinese actors, not Japanese-Americans, basically because most of that subsection were stuck in internment camps as the U.S. Government simply didn't trust them, no matter many protests that they were not supporting Axis forces. Not a great chapter in that country's history from that perspective, but works like this demonstrate precisely how heightened the paranoia, not to say prejudice, was at that point, and little wonder when the planet was on the brink of self-destruction thanks to Nazi Germany, Japan and their sympathisers. On the other hand, if you can accept all this as purely a product of the times, and take Across the Pacific on the level of a romp that did not reflect how espionage was going in the real world, then it was perfectly acceptable.

Especially when Bogart was at his most laidback, obviously enjoying himself and creating sparks with Astor who is the lady he meets and tries to woo on board, then trading urbanities with Greenstreet who was also on the ship, sorry, boat, a Philippines resident and scholar of the Orient whose love of Japan (and ability to speak Japanese) mark him out as a figure of suspicion. But then, nobody is quite what they claim to be here - even Leland has his secrets, guessable if you thought Bogart would not be playing a character with a black mark on his record, and Huston was evidently amusing himself by allowing his players to interact, so much so that the thriller aspects came across as secondary. That Huston never got to finish the picture thanks to his war duty, and painted his successor Vincent Sherman into a corner leaving the studio to wrap up a tricky situation for the hero, says a lot about his sense of humour, and how seriously he was taking what amounted to a throwaway but diverting exercise. In light of its pedigree, we should be glad Peter Lorre didn't show up playing Japanese. Music by Adolph Deutsch.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1750 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
  Desbris M
  Sheila Reeves
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Enoch Sneed
   

 

Last Updated: