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China Seas, the tropical thriller now playing at the University, opens with a shot of Captain Clark Gable reeling home to his ship (the pride of the line) after a three day drunk in Hong Kong. Waiting for him on board are Jean Harlow, looking alluring as ever, Mr. Robert Benchley, drunk again, and Rosalind Russell, who has travelled fifteen thousand miles to reclaim her bibulous sea-captain.
By way of added interest, there is a large cargo of gold in close juxtaposition to a hold full of Chinese pirates dressed up as prostitutes. Thus you can see that even without a typhoon to contend with, Captain Gable is in for a fairly rough trip.
Despite the patent melodrama of the situation, the film contains bits of excellent acting. Lewis Stone is quite fascinating as the third mate who has lost his nerve. Bullied and despised by the other officers, he is a study in lost confidence and shattered pride.
Robert Benchley as an inebriated traveller is so pleasantly silly that he almost walks off with the movie. He has never been funnier and contributes just the touch needed to make China Seas a swell show instead of a mere tour do force in melodrama.
Being on out and out Laurel and Hardy fan we're not qualified to discuss Bonnie Scotland, the other film, except to say that these two comedians amused us even more than the love interest bored us. And that's saying something.
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