"Transatlantic Tunnel' smacks of the pulpy pages of "Amazing Stories Magazine." A British engineer digs a tunnel under the Atlantic Ocean some time in the near future. He loses his son and estranges his wife in the process, but the tunnel must go through. Then the movie gods smile, and the great achiever is finally reunited with his wife to the strains of "God Save the King" and the "Star Spangled Banner".
The picture is a mealy hash of heroic emotions; sanctimonious sentiments on peace; monstrous international capitalists; baleful tunnel sickness; and huge machines, sinister in their unfeeling strength. It takes an extremely elastic suspension of disbelief to let this by.
The picture is charged with unintentional humor. Richard Dix brings this out when that grim square jaw of his goes into action and he tells Madge Evans, blinded wife and bereaved mother, "Kiss me and tell me to go back into the tunnel." But everybody knows that the fault is in the script, and Mr. Dix, with years of variegated experience behind him, is easily the best of the lot.
Homely and Phiegmatic
"Way Down East" is a gently relaxing New England pastoral. All the scenes are skilfully convincing, so that the audience, even allows such preposterous behavior as Henry, Fonda's turning Rochelle Hudson out into the storm. When the local gossip strides off to the skating party, one is amused; when Andy Devine comes in out of the stormy night, one is convulsed. The entire picture breathes a homely old-fashioned warmth. One becomes a little nostalgic for skating parties, sleigh rides, socials, and the days before the good roads had come to let the outsiders in and the insiders out.