Thursday, May 15, 2014

Another Dawn (1937)



“We’ll never be able to live without each other.”

            In the seven years I have been a classic movie nut there really is not a classic film genre I have not seen. The genres I usually go for are comedy and drama. I have seen the famous comedies and the famous dramas. I have also seen the less well known comedies and dramas. Both genres are great but of course as with anything in life there are bound to be some duds. There have been some comedies that were just too silly or ridiculous or not funny. There have been dramas where the romance was forced or the story was terrible or the actors were just way too melodramatic. In some cases with the dramas I liked the cast but the story could have been a lot better. One of the cases where the cast was good but the story could have been better is Warner Bros. 1938 film Another Dawn.
            Colonel John Wister (Ian Hunter) heads an outpost in Dubik in the desert. John decides to take a two month leave to go back home to England. He leaves the company under the command of Captain Denny Roark (Errol Flynn). On a cruise ship John meets an American woman named Julia Ashton (Kay Francis). A man on the ship was trying to flirt with her and John saw she was uncomfortable so he stepped in to help.
            While at a house in the English countryside, John sees Julia playing golf. Turns out they are staying at the same house.  Julia and John like each other very much but she tells him she could never love him. Her heart still belongs to her fiancé who died three years before while flying a plane. She wants to love him but cannot. They have a great amount of respect for each other. John gets called back to Dubik and Julia has to leave for America. He tells her to come back with him that they do not have to love each other respect is all they need. Julia agrees to marry him and go back to Dubik.
            Denny was supposed to pick John up from the train station with his sister Grace but they were both running late. He sees Julia standing on the platform and flirts with her not knowing who she is.
            The following John has to leave for a week to round up native troops. He leaves Julia with Denny and Grace. Denny takes Julia out to ride horses. He laughs at something and Julia is reminded of her fiancé. That night they go out to a party together. Julia can tell they are falling in love with each other. She is afraid and guilty for loving Denny. John comes back not long after Denny leaves her for the night. John tells her he has to leave again. She begs him to let Denny go and he does. The day Denny leaves Julia watches as he rides away into the desert.
            Out in the desert Denny and his troops are fired upon by hostile natives. He sends word back about what is happening. Julia hears the cable and becomes frightened and nervous. Soon there are not too many men left with Denny and he is wounded. Julia cannot bring herself to see Denny until he has been sent home to his sister. He admits he knows that he loves her and she loves him and that is why she stayed away for so long. They kiss.
            Denny wants to put in for a transfer to another unit. He cannot handle seeing Julia. Grace admits to her brother that she loves John and has for seven years. She has loved him from afar because he could never see she cared for him. She was proud to watch his career grow and see what he had become. When Denny goes to John the colonel tells the captain he knows why he wants the transfer and he will not do it. Julia goes to Denny that night and tells him that she is going away since she is the only one who can leave.
            John has is held responsible for not sending troops to a dam to hold back the enemy. He wants to take Denny’s private plane to drop explosives. What happened was Denny’s fault and he wants to go. They flip a coin and Denny wins the toss. John manages to get to the plane as Denny says goodbye to Julia. In the morning a telegram comes that the plane was shot down in flames.
            According to IMDB the character of Denny was supposed to be the one to die in order to satisfy the Code and let the married couple stay together. By this time, though, Errol Flynn had become a big box office draw so the ending was rewritten that the husband would sacrifice himself. Either ending is not very good but of course the major stars had to wind up together somehow.
            The cast was very good. I liked seeing Errol Flynn and Ian Hunter together because I kept thinking of them as Robin Hood and King Richard ha ha. Kay Francis I like as an actress she was very good and to me she is underrated. I was not crazy with her being paired with Flynn. It is weird but I feel Francis was too much for Flynn like she was not the usual timid unassuming actress that Flynn seems to have mostly worked with in his other films.

            Another Dawn was not too great. Even though I just mentioned that Errol Flynn and Kay Francis were not well paired I think if the story had been different they could have worked. I liked the cast just not the story. There really is no action like there is in Flynn’s other films it is a purely romantic drama that does not move that quickly. I will only suggest watching Another Dawn if you are a fan of Errol Flynn or Kay Francis.