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Between Two Worlds

(1944 b 112')

En: 6 Ed: 7

Based on Sutton Vane's play, people on a ship learn that they have died and are examined to see where they will go next.

In 1944 at an English port some people wait to board a ship, but Henry Bergner (Paul Henreid) cannot get an exit permit. During an air raid Ann Bergner (Eleanor Parker) runs to Henry, who has turned on gas to die. They find themselves on a ship with others who were killed by a bomb. The steward Scrubby (Edmund Gwenn) tells Lingley (George Coulouris) that his employees are not on board. Reporter Tom Prior (John Garfield) says that Lingley has bodyguards. Scrubby tells Henry and Ann that the others don't know they are dead and says Henry may help him. They all dine together, and Pete (George Tobias) announces his child. Rev. William Duke (Dennis King) tells of his trip to meet people. Ann and Henry run out. Lingley hires Henry to be his bodyguard. Ann worries because they committed suicide. Tom overhears and realizes he is dead. Genevieve Cliveden-Banks (Isobel Elsom) snubs Mrs. Midget (Sara Allgood), and Tom says the ship is unrestricted. Lingley invites the actress Maxine Russell (Faye Emerson) to his room. Tom breaks in, and Lingley threatens him. Maxine asks Tom not to interfere so that she can have wealth. Tom kisses her and says he is sorry for her.

Rev. Duke tries to organize entertainment. Tom performs and burns Henry's money. He takes the gun that Lingley gave Henry and shoots Lingley, who is not hurt. Tom says they are all dead, and Scrubby confirms it. Pete tries to deny it. Scrubby says they just go on to their examination. Mrs. Midget tells Maxine to change her dress and asks Rev. Duke to pray.

Henry helps Scrubby set up chairs. Lingley wants to speak for the group, but only Genevieve agrees. Rev. Tim Thompson (Sydney Greenstreet) comes in, recognizes Rev. Duke, and says he is the examiner. Tim tells Duke to mingle with people in his new home. Tim tells Lingley to go and says his business was thuggery; he must suffer what he made others suffer. Tim sits at a table with Rev. Duke and Henry. Genevieve comes in, and Tim says she will be in a castle alone. Her husband Ben Cliveden-Banks (Gilbert Emery) says he knew, and he won't go with her. Genevieve pretends to be happy, and Tim tells Ben his friends are waiting for him. Tom wants to be next, but Maxine comes in and kisses him goodbye. Tom gambles with Tim for real death but loses. Tim tells him he can't fake anymore. Mrs. Midget offers to help Tom as a housekeeper. Tim says she will have a cottage, but Tom couldn't go there. She says she will give it up to go with Tom, who is persuaded and goes out. Mrs. Midget admits she is Tom's mother. Tim tells Pete that he fought for his family and will have joy.

Tim tells Henry that Ann is going ashore. Henry will stay aboard with Scrubby, who also was a suicide. Ann wants to stay with Henry and pleads with Tim, who leaves with Rev. Duke. Henry walks out and wakes up in his room, where he revives Ann.

This mystical fantasy of what happens after death is realistic in that people find they have taken with them the heaven or hell that they have created in their lives.

Copyright © 2005 by Sanderson Beck

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