Gateway


1h 13m 1938

Brief Synopsis

Irish immigrant (Whalen) meets returning war correspondent (Ameche) on a liner bound for New York. When she resists the amors of another passenger, charges result in her being detained at Ellis Island.

Film Details

Also Known As
Ellis Island
Release Date
Aug 5, 1938
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 13m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
6,657ft (8 reels)

Synopsis

Dick Court, a world-weary war correspondent traveling on an ocean liner to the United States, notices Catherine O'Shea below on the second-class deck dancing to music coming from the first-class area. Dick opens the gate separating the two classes and invites Catherine up. Although at first she refuses, they soon dance together. The next night, Catherine, in a dress borrowed from Dick's aunt, Fay Sims, accompanies Dick to dinner, where she confesses, to his chagrin, that she is coming to America from Dublin to be married. Benjamin McNutt, an American mayor, flirts with Catherine and then follows her to the deck for air. Shortly thereafter, Dick and Fay find Catherine standing over McNutt's prone body. Catherine says that McNutt tried to kiss her and that she pushed him back, whereupon he slipped and hit his head. When he revives, McNutt, to protect himself, says that Catherine attacked him. The incident makes Walter Winchell's column, and when the boat approaches the Statue of Liberty, both Catherine and Fay, who had been denied admission several years earlier, are sent to Ellis Island for immigration hearings before a board of inquiry. At Ellis Island, Catherine tries to embrace her fiancé, Henry Porter, whom she met when he visited Ireland, but Henry pulls away and his suspicious brother Ernest tells of their family's displeasure with the publicity. Tony Cadona, an underworld figure under investigation, offers to help Catherine, but Dick, who knows that a woman friend of Tony's died supposedly from a fall from a window, warns him to lay off. At night, Catherine confesses to Fay that should her marriage plans fail, she could never go back to Dublin and face her family. At the inquiry, Dick, upon seeing the snooty Henry, talks about his own strong feelings for Catherine, and when Ernest then refuses to let his brother marry Catherine, the commissioner is forced to order her to return home on the boat the next day. Greatly upset with Dick, Catherine refuses to listen to his proposal of marriage. Hoping to change Henry's mind about her, Catherine accepts Tony's offer to help her illegally get into the country. Dick sees them together and, after another immigrant under investigation steals keys for him from a guard, he sneaks into Catherine's room and tries to convince her not to go with Tony. She calls a matron, and Dick is locked up with the "undesirables" who are awaiting deportation. When Fay learns that Catherine is planning to swim with Tony to a boat waiting in the fog, she convinces her to let her go with them so that she can stop her daughter from marrying someone whom she feels is no good. The leader of the deportees knocks Dick out and takes the keys from him, then leads the others out of their cells in an escape attempt. Because the riot attracts the police, Tony and Catherine do not swim to the boat, but Fay, unaware that the men in the boat have left because of the riot, dives in. Meanwhile, the leader of the revolt threatens to kill Dick and some guards if he is not let out. Dick knocks the leader down and fights him, but he himself is knocked out with a gun and taken to the hospital. The riot is quelled, and Tony is captured by guards and arrested on an income tax matter. He vows to Catherine that he will see that Dick is killed. Fay, who is rescued by a tugboat, tells Catherine that Tony means what he says, and Catherine visits Dick in the hospital to warn him. He says that he is not afraid and apologizes to her. When she kisses him goodbye, as she prepares to return to Ireland, they realize that they really love each other, and they soon marry and take the ferry to New York.

Cast

Don Ameche

Dick [Court]

Arleen Whelan

Catherine [O'Shea]

Gregory Ratoff

Prince Michael Boris Alexis

Binnie Barnes

Mrs. [Fay] Sims

Gilbert Roland

Tony [Cadona]

Raymond Walburn

Mr. [Benjamin] McNutt

John Carradine

Leader of refugees

Maurice Moscovich

Grandpa Hlawek

Harry Carey

Commissioner Nelson

Lyle Talbot

Henry [Porter]

Marjorie Gateson

Mrs. [Arabella] McNutt

Fritz Leiber

Dr. Weilander

Warren Hymer

Guard-waiter

Eddy Conrad

Davonsky

E. E. Clive

Room steward

Russell Hicks

Ernest [Porter]

Montague Shaw

Captain

Charles Coleman

Purser

Gerald Oliver Smith

Englishman

Albert Conti

Count

George Du Count

Pap Hlawek

Angela De Witt

Mama Hlawek

Martha Bamattre

Frau Hlawek

Bobby Samrich

Hlawek child

Tamara Ignation

Hlawek child

Virginia Brissac

Friend of Mrs. McNutt

William Wagner

Friend of Mr. McNutt

Joan Castle

Sob sister

Robert Lowery

Reporter

Charles Tannen

Reporter

Imboden Parrish

Reporter

Robert Kellard

Reporter

Robert Allen

Reporter

Hal K. Dawson

Reporter

Charles Williams

Reporter

George Chandler

Reporter

Joan Carol

Child

Tom Ricketts

Old man

John Rogers

Steward

Larry Dodds

Steward

Charles C. Wilson

Inspector

Jack Stoney

Inspector

Joseph Crehan

Inspector

Davison Clark

Inspector

Joe King

Inspector

Selmer Jackson

Inspector

Addison Richards

Inspector

Hazel Keener

Mother

J. Anthony Hughes

Irish inspector

Rudolf Myzet

Interpreter

Nicholas Kobliansky

Interpreter

Egon Brecher

Rabbi

Freddie Walburn

Boy

Joseph De Stefani

Immigrant

Adolph Milar

Immigrant

Glen Cavender

Immigrant

Elisabeth Frohlich

Immigrant

Victor Delinsky

Immigrant

Dina Smirnova

Immigrant

Burr Caruth

Old man

Mary Gordon

Scottish mother

Henry Otho

Guard

Lee Shumway

Guard

Edward Gargan

Guard

Ralph Dunn

Guard

James Blaine

Guard

James Flavin

Guard

Eddie Hart

Guard

Lillian Harmer

Matron

Ben Welden

Motorboat man

Edward Marr

Motorboat man

Helen Brown

Nurse

Film Details

Also Known As
Ellis Island
Release Date
Aug 5, 1938
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 13m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
6,657ft (8 reels)

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The onscreen credits misspell the name of actor Fritz Leiber as "Fritz Lieber." The working title of this film was Ellis Island. According to a Hollywood Reporter news item from December 1937, Twentieth Century-Fox purchased an original story entitled "Ellis Island" from "Prince" Michael Romanoff, known as an impostor who posed as a member of the Romanoff dynasty. In the late 1930s, he opened Romanoff's restaurant in Beverly Hills and became wealthy with a chain of restaurants. The story, according to the news item, was to star Annabella, Raymond Griffith was to produce, and Don Ettlinger and Karl Tunberg were assigned to write the screenplay. According to the Twentieth Century-Fox Produced Scripts Collection at the UCLA Theater Arts Library, Edith Skouras and Kathryn Scola, rather than Ettlinger and Tunberg, prepared a story outline, dated January 17, 1938. A February 9, 1938 Hollywood Reporter news item states that the studio purchased an original story by Walter Reisch, also entitled "Ellis Island." That story, dated January 29, 1938, is in the Produced Scripts Collection. All subsequent work in the Produced Scripts Collection is by Lamar Trotti. It is not known if the story by Reisch, who received screen credit, was based on the story by Romanoff, or if any material contributed by Romanoff, Ettlinger, Tunberg, Skouras or Scola was included in the final film. Hollywood Reporter production charts include Romanoff in the cast, but according to New York Times, "Prince Mike, an old friend of the Bureau of Immigration, was going to play himself-that is, a bogus Russian nobleman. But Gregory Ratoff had to be substituted at the last minute because, it seems, Prince Mike wasn't bogus enough!"
       According to a Hollywood Reporter news item, Twentieth Century-Fox offered Maurice Conn, who produced a film entitled Ellis Island in 1936 for Invincible, $7,500 for a release to the title, but Conn turned them down. Twentieth Century-Fox then offered $100 to anyone working at the studio who could come up with a suitable new title. According to a Hollywood Reporter news item, after critics acclaimed Arleen Whelan for her performance in Kidnapped (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40;F3. 2279), her part was enlarged for this film. Gladys George, J. Edward Bromberg, George Barbier and Sidney Blackmer are listed as cast members in Hollywood Reporter production charts, but their participation in the final film is doubtful. According to modern sources, Ratoff directed the second unit, Leyland Hodgson played the ship's headwaiter, and James and Robert Haxton, Jr., seven-month-old twins, played the Hlawek baby. Film Daily called the film a "Grand Hotel idea based on Ellis Island."