Between Two Worlds (1944)

Article #766 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 4-20-2003
Posting Date: 9-17-2003
Directed by Edward A. Blatt
Featuring Paul Henreid, John Garfield, Sydney Greenstreet

Several people find themselves aboard an ocean liner with no crew, and heading for an unknown destination.

This was a remake of the 1930 movie OUTWARD BOUND, and it runs a solid thirty minutes longer than that one. Part of the reason was the updating of the story to take place in London during the blitz, and the addition of an extra character to the mix (a serviceman), which gave it more relevance for its time period. Though these changes do further deepen the themes of the original, it still doesn’t quite account for the extra length, and the first half of the movie moves a little slower than is strictly necessary. Nevertheless, if I had to choose between this one and the original, I think I would opt for this one, largely due to the presence of two of my favorite actors; Sydney Greenstreet is memorable as the Examiner, and Edmund Gwenn is great as Scrubby the Steward. The second half of the movie is just as powerful as that of the original movie; it is immensely moving, thoughtful, and fascinating to watch the ultimate fate of each character. The story remains one of the most engaging explorations of a possible afterlife that I have ever seen.


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