Bil’s rating (out of 5): B.
USA, 1935. Paramount Pictures. Screenplay by Philip MacDonald, adaptation by Charles Brackett, Frank Partos, based on the short story The Drum by F. Britten Austin. Cinematography by Theodor Sparkuhl. Produced by E. Lloyd Sheldon. Music by Bernard Kaun, William E. Lynch, Milan Roder, Heinz Roemheld. Production Design by Hans Dreier, A. Earl Hedrick. Film Editing by Jack Dennis.
A British soldier (Cary Grant) being held prisoner in Kurdistan is freed by a sympathetic general (Claude Rains) and the two of them wander into the battle-ravaged desert. After saving a local village from being massacred, Grant is sent to hospital with a leg wound and falls in love with the nurse (Gertrude Michael) who takes care of him, but she has bad news: she’s married and doesn’t know if her husband, whom she hasn’t seen in three years, is alive or dead. What is sold to you as an adventure for youngsters is actually a boring love triangle whose soap opera hits predictable heights when the missing husband turns out to be Rains and the three of them have a lot of boring conversations about how awful they feel about it. Michael is particularly dry in a ridiculous role that has her wearing a lot of gorgeous gowns in the middle of World War I; don’t watch this one unless you want to stare at Grant looking gorgeously disheveled for an hour and a half, because that is something he does extremely well.