Cast & Crew
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.
E. A. Brown
Jack L. Warner
'Til We Meet Again
The Irish-born Brent's colorful past included an apprenticeship at Dublin's prestigious Abbey Theatre, a stint as a messenger for the Irish Republican Army, and a smuggled escape by ship to Canada with a price on his head. After theater work in Canada and the U.S. and some small roles on Broadway, Brent made his way west, where Warner Bros. signed the tall, dark and handsome Irishman to a contract in 1932. By the end of the 1930s, Brent was one of the studio's most dependable leading men, and in 1939, he had two of his best roles. In Dark Victory, he played the doctor who diagnoses Bette Davis' inoperable brain tumor, falls in love with her, and makes her last days the happiest of her life. On loanout to Fox in The Rains Came, playing a dissolute expatriate who rises to heroism in flood-ravaged India, Brent earned better reviews than the top billed star, Tyrone Power.
Merle Oberon was fresh from a triumph of her own, as Cathy in Samuel Goldwyn's production of Wuthering Heights (1939), directed by William Wyler. Hungarian producer Alexander Korda, who worked in London, had discovered Oberon in the early 1930s, and put her under contract. In 1935, Korda agreed to share Oberon's contract with Goldwyn, and Oberon alternated between making films in England and in Hollywood. In 1939, Oberon returned to Europe and married Korda. Soon after, war broke out, and since she had been unable to reach an agreement on a new contract with Goldwyn, Oberon accepted an offer from Warner Bros. and returned to America. Marlene Dietrich had originally been cast as the dying socialite in 'Til We Meet Again, but when she backed out it became Oberon's first film at Warner Bros.
Oberon and Brent were in good hands with director Edmund Goulding, a British born former stage actor, writer, director and opera singer, who had begun his film career as a writer at MGM in 1925. Goulding was known for his skill with melodrama, and his expert handling of such actresses as Davis, Garbo, Norma Shearer, and Joan Crawford. But he also worked well with actors, as he proved with the all-star casts of Grand Hotel (1932) and, after moving to Warner Bros., The Dawn Patrol (1938). In 'Til We Meet Again, Goulding also had an excellent cast. Irish actress Geraldine Fitzgerald had received critical acclaim for strong performances in her first two American films in 1939: as Isabella in Wuthering Heights, and as Davis' supportive friend in Dark Victory. Pat O'Brien was one of the stalwarts of Warner Bros.' "Irish Mafia," as was Frank McHugh, who reprised his role of an amiable pickpocket from One Way Passage. Binnie Barnes played a fellow con artist.
The critics, a notoriously cynical lot, warned filmgoers that 'Til We Meet Again would manipulate their emotions just as One Way Passage had...and that they'd like being manipulated. "The psychology of the unhappy ending has seldom been used to better advantage than it is by Warner Brothers in [this] sad romanza," wrote B.R. Crisler in the New York Times. Noting that the Times had called One Way Passage "quite satisfactory entertainment," he added that 'Til We Meet Again "may still very well strike many persons as, if not 'quite' satisfactory, at any rate at least as fairly satisfactory entertainment."
Director: Edmund Goulding
Producer: Edmund Goulding (uncredited)
Associate Producer: David Lewis
Screenplay: Warren Duff, Based on a story by Robert Lord
Cinematography: Tony Gaudio
Editor: Ralph Dawson
Costume Design: Orry-Kelly
Art Direction: Robert Haas
Music: Heinz Roemheld (uncredited)
Cast: Merle Oberon (Joan Ames), George Brent (Dan Hardesty), Pat O'Brien (Steve Burke), Geraldine Fitzgerald (Bonnie Coburn), Binnie Barnes (Countess de Vaubert), Frank McHugh (Achilles Peddicord), Eric Blore (Sir Harold Landamuir), George Reeves (Jimmy Coburn).
BW-100m. Closed captioning.
by Margarita Landazuri
'Til We Meet Again
Geraldine Fitzgerald (1913-2005)
Born in Dublin on November 24, 1913, Fitzgerald was educated for a time in a convent school in London. Back in her native Dublin, she happily accompanied her aunt, the Irish actress Shelah Richards, to a theater one afternoon when the director mistook her for an actress, and instructed her "to go backstage and change." An inauspicious start, but it gave her the acting bug. She made her stage debut in 1932 in Dublin's Gate Theater and later appeared in a few forgettable British films: Open All Night (1934), The Ace of Spades, Three Witnesses (both 1935). She made the trip across the Atlantic in 1938 to act with Orson Welles and his Mercury Theater, but agents from Warner Bros. quickly signed her and she was soon off to Hollywood.
She made her film debut in 1939 supporting Bette Davis in Dark Victory, but it was her performance in a second film later in the year that proved to be the most memorable of her career - the role of Isabella Linton in Wuthering Heights. She earned an Oscar® nomination for her turn and stardom should have been around the corner, but Fitzgerald's feuding with studio head Jack Warner (he refused to let her return to the New York stage and she would refuse parts that she thought were inferior) led to some lengthy suspensions of unemployment. Irregardless, Fitzgerald still had some shining moments at Warner Bros. the heady melodrama The Gay Sisters (1942); the superb espionage thriller Watch on the Rhine (1943); Robert Siodmak's terrific, noirish thriller The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry (1945); and a tough crime drama where she played opposite John Garfield Nobody Lives Forever (1946).
Fitzgerald returned to New York by the '50s, and found much work in many of the live television dramas that were so popular in the day: Goodyear Television Playhouse, Lux Video Theatre, Studio One, Schlitz Playhouse of Stars; and even some taped television shows: Naked City, Alfred Hitchcock Presents in between her stage demands.
She did return to the screen by the mid-'60s and proved herself a fine character actress in films like The Pawnbroker (1965); Rachel, Rachel (1968); Harry and Tonto (1974); a wonderfully memorable comic turn as Dudley Moore's feisty grandmother in Arthur (1981); and yet another noteworthy performance as Rose Kennedy in the acclaimed mini-series Kennedy (1983). She also appeared in a few television programs: St. Elswhere, Cagney & Lacey, and The Golden Girls before ill-health forced her to retire by the early '90s. Among the relatives that survive her are her son, director Michael Lindsay-Hogg (Brideshead Revisited; a daughter, Susan Scheftel; and her great-niece, the English actress Tara Fitzgerald.
by Michael "Mitch" Toole
Geraldine Fitzgerald (1913-2005)
Illness caused director Edmund Goulding to be replaced for much of the film. Anatole Litvak shot approximately 26% of the film, William Keighley 4%, and William K. Howard shot a few retakes. Goulding shot 70% of the picture around bouts of pneumonia.
Pregnancy caused 'Fitzgerald, Geraldine' to miss several shooting days. A double was used where possible.
The working title of this film was We Shall Meet Again. Warner's 1932 film One Way Passage was also based on the Robert Lord story.