Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Stoker (1932)

This was sadly a waste of money, for one reason, Natalie was only in the movie for one short scene, and basically this movie was awful. Natalie plays the wife of the main character who wants a divorce, her only scene is when she confronts him, and that’s it, it’s not even worth a full review. Here is the plot from the TCM website:
During a divisive meeting with his board of directors, Dick Martin, the president of a New York shipping company founded by his father, vows to buy them out. However, when he returns home to his wealthy wife Vera, who promised to give him the money for the buyout, she says she has changed her mind and announces her plans to go to Paris to seek a divorce, having become involved with their lawyer, Alan Ballard. Dick gets drunk at a dive by the docks and breaks up a fight by hitting the drunk who started it. He then invites the man for a drink, and the man, impressed with Dick's strength and character, offers him a job as a stoker on a ship bound for South America. Dick agrees and is soon happy to be without worries and pretense. When Margarita Valdez, a passenger, implores a steward to show her the stoke hole, she becomes interested in Dick. As the sea gets rough, she bumps him into the fire. She arranges for him to be transferred to the deck, but Dick, wary of women, refuses. The ship docks in Nicaragua, where in a rowdy bar, Dick sees a bandit, Santini, pawing an American prostitute, who objects to his advances. Dick fights Santini and, during the ensuing brawl, hits the police chief. Dick and the ship's black porter, Eclipse, are thrown in jail, and after eating bananas three times a day for a number of days, they accept an offer of parole in exchange for work on a coffee plantation. It turns out that the owners, Margarita and her uncle, arranged for the parole because they think that Dick can demand protection by the U.S. Marines if they are attacked by bandits. As Dick and Margarita are riding one day, he shoots a mountain lion about to pounce from a tree. The shot causes Margarita's horse to bolt, and Dick catches the horse and pulls her onto his horse. As they rest, she holds his hand, but he remains cold. Dick gets a letter from the American commander in Managua stating that they will only protect plantations owned by Americans. Believing that Margarita loves him, Dick marries her, but after the wedding, he overhears her proudly tell her uncle that now, if the bandits attack, the Marines will protect them because of her marriage. Dick returns to his room disgusted, without hearing her next say that she really loves him and would have married him even if he had been an Eskimo. That night, Dick berates Margarita, not listening to her protestations of love. In the morning when he leaves, she says she hates him, but after she learns that Santini's bandits are heading for their hacienda on the road on which Dick is riding, she drives to rescue him. At the plantation, after the bandits cut the telephone wires, Dick sends Eclipse to get the Marines. At night, during a period of calm, Dick thanks Margarita for risking her life, but she says pridefully that she only did it so he could fight for them. However, she finally confesses she needs and loves him, and they embrace, just as the bandits begin to fire. The troops arrive, however, and Dick beats Santini. The lovers finally embrace in Margarita's bedroom.

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