powered by AFI
In Hong Kong, fugitive Dan Hardesty fleetingly meets and is attracted to Joan Ames when the pair share a paradise cocktail. As he leaves the bar, Dan is arrested by Steve Burke, the San Francisco police detective who has pursued him half way across the world in his determination to bring Dan back to face execution at San Quentin. Steve takes his prisoner aboard the next homeward bound ship, the same liner on which Joan, who is also attracted to Dan, is traveling while awaiting her death from an incurable heart ailment. The two lovers are thus reunited, each hiding their tragic fate from the other. Also traveling on board are Rockingham T. Rockingham, a con artist and old friend of Dan, and the Countess de Bresac, Dan's former lover and protege. Together, Rocky and the countess formulate an escape plan for Dan when the ship docks at Honolulu. As the ship reaches the harbor, the countess slips Steve some sleeping pills, thus preventing him from imprisoning Dan in the ship's brig. The countess also arranges for her friend, Herb McGillis, to smuggle Dan out of the harbor, but at the last minute, Dan finds himself unable to abandon Joan and so endangers his one chance at freedom by accompanying her on a trip into the mountains. At the end of the day, Dan is preparing to make his getaway when Joan collapses and he is forced to carry her aboard ship where he is apprehended by Steve. After learning from Joan's friend, Bonny Coburn of Joan's impending death, Dan struggles to hide his knowledge as the lovers bid farewell, promising to meet once more on New Year's Eve. However, as the ship docks in San Francisco, a reporter learns of Dan's story and rushes to interview Joan, blurting out the truth of Dan's death sentence. As they depart the ship, the lovers share a final embrace, neither one aware that they have discovered each other's tragic secret.