Sunday, March 13, 2011

John Garfield & Paul Henried in Between Two Worlds (1944)

Obscurity factor: 6

When a couple (Paul Henried and Eleanor Parker) who have just committed suicide together find themselves on a steamship with other passengers, only they are able to surmise the truth - that they're in a modern day purgatory, sailing to their own judgment day. The assembled lot, all killed in an air raid, is diverse - a business man, a reporter (John Garfield), an actress, a wealthy couple, a sailor and others are alone on the ship with only one porter and believe they're sailing from England to New York.

This film is based on a play of the same name and still retains some of its wordiness, but is a compelling portrait of the then prevailing idea of the afterlife. In addition to Mr. Garfield and Mr. Henried, look for Sidney Greenstreet, George Coulouris and Edmund Gwenn.
This film is recently available on DVD, thanks to TCM. It can be seen there occasionally as well. The trailer is on YouTube and can be seen above, uploaded by Passthejointplease. The poster is available at

Obscurity factor: 6 (little remembered WWII film, available on DVD)


  1. One of my top favorites. So many scenes just stick in the mind: Sara Allgood offering to be a mother / housekeeping to John Garfield, Isobel Elsom being so exacting about the specs for her villa... in hell. What a great cast of Warner contractees. Memorable, and let's not forget the Erich Wolfgang Korngold score: between two worlds indeed.

  2. Yes, and the breaking glass at the end... It has everything a '40's film should have, including a happy ending.

  3. Actually, the play is called OUTWARD BOUND. In 1972, it was adapted into a very bizarre made-for-TV movie called HAUNTS OF THE VERY RICH. The cast includes Robert Reed, Ed Asner, Cloris Leachman, Lloyd Bridges, Donna Mills, and Moses Gunn, and it plays like a precursor to FANTASY ISLAND. Well worth seeing if you can find it; I don't know if it's ever been commercially released, but it can be had.

  4. Wow, nice. I'll have to look for that one and post it if I can find it...