With "Ebb Tide" and "Double Wedding" the University currently presents a perfectly balanced program. In the former, ostensibly a Technicolored South Sea melodrama, Hollywood makes excursion into the realm of the tortured mind. The latter comprises an easy to take William Powell and Myrna Loy combination of slapstick and witty dialogue.
"Ebb Tide" illustrates psychological processes in the souls of five lives at ebb tide in the Southern Pacific. At its climax the two lowest by dying heroically save themselves from being dragged out to the sea, point the way for two others, hero and heroine, to make peace within themselves, and consign the ultimate villain to eternal low tide amid the highest physical comfort allotted to any of the quintet.
The drama puts its audiences through a workout. For him who is willing to do his part, filling in the lives of the chief characters and standing in their shoes, there is infinite pleasure. Color the piquancy of Frances Farmer, the skillful directorial use of the melodramatic cloak, the haunting refrain of the title song, and the character performances of Oscar Homolka and Barry Fitzgerald play innumerable variations on the Central theme. No matter how low a man may descend, while there is grace in his soul he need not be living in vain.
"Double Wedding" should draw the approval of all admirers of the principal actors. Despite a tendency for the presentation to lose integration in the complexities of its plot, especially at the end, the central pair carry it all off in their urbane manner, as nonchalantly as the penniless artist who lives in a raccoon coat and a trailer should.