Transatlantic Merry-Go-Round


1h 31m 1934

Brief Synopsis

Underworld king Lee Lother has been killed aboard a ocean liner, several people could have been the murderer. There is his mistress Anya Roysen, a married woman, who was jealous of his flirtations with his old moll, night club singer Sally Marsh, who had agreed for one last night with Lother, to get her younger brother Ned out of the Lother's clutches because he has faked Lother's name on a check to pay his gambling debts. Then there is Sally's new flame Jimmy Brett, a con man and gentlemen thief, who has out-tricked Lother in a fixed poker game, and is, together with shorty, after the ladies jewels. Inspector McKinney suspects Joe Saunders, a recently released convict, who was arrested due to some tips by Lother, but Ned and Sally insist that they committed the crime alone.

Film Details

Also Known As
Transatlantic Showboat
Release Date
Nov 2, 1934
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Reliance Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
United Artists Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 31m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Wide Range Noiseless Recording)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
10 reels

Synopsis

Immediately after the closing number of Chad Denby's shipboard "Transatlantic Merry-Go-Round" revue, a man is shot and killed on board the S. S. Progress . Key events of the previous forty-eight hours are then revealed: At the dock in New York City, confidence man Jimmy Brett and his cohort Shorty, who is posing as a steward, confer about their next scheme, while the vacationing Inspector McKinney eyes fellow passenger Joe Saunders, a recently released convict. Anya Rosson says goodbye to her husband Herbert, unaware that he has plans to sneak aboard after her, and is spied by crook Lee Lother, her lover. After posing for publicity shots, Sally Marsh, the star of Chad's show, accidentally kisses Jimmy, who falls instantly in love with her. Once at sea, Jimmy pursues Sally, while Anya pursues Lee, who has been jilted recently by Sally. Lee and his partner, Jack Summers, suspect that Jimmy is a rich dupe and invite him to play poker. After losing $1,600 to Jimmy, Lee, who is blackmailing Sally's brother Ned over his gambling debts, tricks Sally into coming to his cabin and professes his love for her. Sally firmly rejects Lee but is disturbed by his presence and confesses her fears to Chad. Shortly before a performance of Chad's revue, which features a mock radio parody of the movie Grand Hotel , Shorty and Jimmy steal a diamond bracelet belonging to Anya. Later that night, Jimmy proposes to Sally, who tries to discourage him by hinting at her sordid past with Lee. As Shorty moves the stolen bracelet from spot to spot on the boat, Jimmy is threatened by Lee and Jack and is questioned by a suspicious McKinney. Desperate to protect her brother, Sally begs Lee to clear Ned's debts and reluctantly agrees to meet Lee for a post-show dinner. Back in the present, Sally runs from Lee's cabin, where her nemesis has been shot. Both Ned and Sally "confess" to the crime in front of McKinney, who actually suspects Saunders. When Anya boldly declares her love for the dead man, however, her husband shoots her through a window and implicates himself in Lee's death. McKinney, having solved the murder, then steals Anya's bracelet from Jimmy's pocket and, confident that Jimmy's love for Sally has reformed him, announces that he will recommend probation for the thief.

Film Details

Also Known As
Transatlantic Showboat
Release Date
Nov 2, 1934
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Reliance Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
United Artists Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 31m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Wide Range Noiseless Recording)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
10 reels

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Reliance Pictures changed the film's title from Transatlantic Showboat to accommodate Universal Pictures, whose remake of Show Boat was originally scheduled for production at the same time as this film's release. Motion Picture Daily incorrectly reviewed the film as Transcontinental Merry-Go-Round. Mitzi Green impersonates a singing George Arliss during one of the film's musical interludes. Jean Sargent, the Boswell Sisters (Connee, Helvetia and Martha) and Frank Parker were popular radio performers. Parker, who made his screen debut in this production, performed with Jack Benny on his various radio shows. At the time of the film's release, Benny, who had just been voted radio's favorite radio comedian, was working for General Foods on NBC's "Jell-O Program." Writer Harry W. Conn, who was credited in many reviews with the "comedy dialogue," also wrote for Benny on his radio show. According to a Hollywood Reporter production chart, Wallis Clark and Esther Howard were in the cast, but their participation in the final film has not been confirmed. News items deposited with the copyright records list Harry M. Goetz as a co-producer, but no other source mentions him. Modern sources state that the Grand Hotel parody performed in this film, in which Nancy Carroll impersonates Greta Garbo and Jack Benny imitates John Barrymore, was first done in 1932 on Benny's "Canada Dry" show.