"I didn't know that heaven was a little spot in the mountains above Honolulu"
A hetero white couple parts in a Hong Kong bar, having just met in a Lost In Translation sort of way. The man, Dan, is arrested outside and is to be taken to San Francisco. He makes a daring escape, pulling the detective he's handcuffed to overboard with him. He manages to separate himself, but by taking the time to fit his captor into a life preserver, he doesn't get away.
The woman, Joan, takes leaves, also by ship. She collapses and we learn she is ill with a serious heart ailment. She doesn't tell people about it as there's nothing worse than anyone else's pity.
And guess what? They are on the same boat. Neither knows these important details about the other. As it turns out, Dan has friends on the boat, through which he hopes to make his escape in Honolulu. Dan and Joan fall further into love, but their secrets threaten to get in the way of either's happiness.
This is a remake of a film (One Way Passage) from 1932, which may explain the slightly Hays Code-unlike theme. We feel sympathy for Dan, but as a criminal, he must receive his due. The ending scene is a bit confusing, and perhaps ought to have been cut.
The film hinges on the chemistry between Merle Oberon as Joan and George Brent as Dan. They do admirably, but there's something a little askew - perhaps everyone is simply too nice to each other here, even those in opposition to each other. The sentimentality is only partially earned. Certain plotlines are left hanging. It's a lovely attempt, but only vaguely on the mark. And it would only have taken a little bit of effort to get back on track.
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