If a half-real, half-allegorical idea with a psychology midriff can be put on the screen in as intelligent a manner as this, then films have a wide future in an educational direction. On that score this film may be considered a laboratory experiment for the rest of the film world to ponder over and learn.
Two of the players, Beryl Mercer and Leslie Howard, are from the original cast on Broadway in 1924. Before that the play [by Sutton Vane] had a London run [starting in September 1923].
The story is suggestive of the stage play, Liliom. It’s that allegorical theme of going before an examiner (Dudley Digges) in Heaven. In Liliom they go to Heaven in a railroad train. Here a steamship.
The boy and the girl – ‘half-ways’ held between death and life – are always or nearly always in the distance. The boy and the girl are neither sinners nor saints in the full sense. But they sought death and carry their secret along with a suspense that’s worthy of the production and the theme.
The bully big man of the business world and the supercillious snob of a woman with a past try to ritz death. The boy and girl don’t know what it’s all about.
Director Robert Milton, coming from the stage, has built a good start but he had a stage play to do it with. Helen Chandler is still the same sobbing contralto and suits her role.