Disputed Passage

1939

Drama / War

0
IMDb Rating 6.7 10 68

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
March 17, 2021 at 11:41 AM

Director

Cast

Richard Denning as Student
Dorothy Lamour as Audrey Hilton
John Howard as John Wesley Beaven
Keye Luke as Andrew Abbott
720p.BLU
835.67 MB
946*720
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 30 min
P/S counting...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by mark.waltz 4 / 10

This obsession ain't so magnificent.

Lloyd C. Douglas utilized a lot of spiritual themes in his writing, specializing in stories of atonement. For this medical drama, something's been lost in translation in the film version, resulting in a dour, unbelievably sappy tale where every effort to eject tears from the viewer is manipulatively obvious. Ridiculous racial stereotypes and an embarrassingly passive performance by Dorothy Lamour turns this into a saccharine overdose.

John Howard is an idealistic medical student under the thumb of autocratic Akim Tamiroff whose coldness has no place in the medical profession. He believes that love and medical treatment are incompatible, so when Howard falls for the gentle Lamour, Tamiroff sabotages it in every way he can think of. This leads to Howard nearly dying and Lamour and Tamiroff at odds at Howard's bedside.

While the performances attempt to be sincere, they are destroyed quickly by a banal script, a ridiculous plot and direction that demands to have a halo on it. "Magnificent Obsession" worked because of realistic characters that the audience liked and wanted to see resolve their issues. This had me agonizing over the fact that I didn't believe for a minute that Howard would put up with Tamiroff's arrogance or Lamour's Lotus Blossom personality which had her supposedly American of birth but adopted by Chinese parents, yet made to look like Luise Rainer in "The Good Earth".

Reviewed by JohnHowardReid 5 / 10

What a mess!

SYNOPSIS: Medical student Lamour gets engaged to schoolmate Howard while in the class of well-respected professor Tamiroff, who convinces her to return to her native China and let Howard continue with his studies undistracted.

COMMENT: Disputed Passage starts off extremely well. As Akim Tamiroff was addressing his students and lambasting them as they were introduced, I started to mentally frame the first sentence of my review which went something like this: "To discover a film as powerful and engrossing and hard-hitting as this one, it is worthwhile sitting through the hundreds of lesser efforts that are served up month after month!" Unfortunately, after this engaging beginning, the film takes a nose-dive with the entrance of Miss Dorothy Lamour, here pretending to be a Chinese (at least in her heart), and thus speaking with a ridiculously phony accent as she mouths sentences that are cunningly inverted to make them seem quaint.

The routine, formula plot with its ludicrous lack of conviction, topped by the climactic device of bringing all three principal characters together in war-torn China where they find man has a soul, is just too corny for all the words of noble sentiment spilled out across the pages of Mr Douglas' novel and this film.

The girl who is introduced as the heroine - a performance of some spirit by Edith Barrett - disappears completely once Miss Lamour comes on the stage. Mr Howard gives his usual reliable portrayal as the doctor/hero whilst Akim Tamiroff makes his presence tell in what is probably his largest screen role. Other roles are small and are no more than competently played.

Borzage's direction is deft and skillful, revealing his mastery of screen craftsmanship in such scenes as those in the operating theater at the beginning, as the camera whip pans across the crowded tiers of students, or the tilted angles as Beavan operates in the primitive bombed-out hospital in the Chinese interior, with its montage of agonized Oriental faces.

At 87 minutes the film is too long to sustain the interest through so much talk and especially such banal and inept dialogue as this. It's hard to tell which is the more unconvincing - Mr Douglas' attempts at romantic by-play or his philosophical soliloquizing. Aside from this need for drastic trimming, film editing is smooth and other credits able. It's easy to spot the stock footage in the China scenes and those old California rocks doing duty for the Chinese interior; and it's odd that the hospital beds should be empty in the long shot of the ceiling collapsing. But aside from these quibbles, production values are well up to Paramount's high "A" standard.

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