Port of Lost Dreams (October 15, 1934)
Released on October 15, 1934: A gangster's moll tries to start a new life with a fisherman, but her gangster boyfriend breaks out of prison and is determined to get Molly back into crime with him.
Directed by Frank R. Strayer
Written by Robert Ellis and Charles Belden
The Actors: William Boyd (Lars Christensen), Lola Lane (Molly Deshon and Molly Clark Christensen), George F. Marion (Captain Morgan Rock), Edward Gargan (Porky, crewman), Harold Huber (Louis Constolos), Robert Elliott (Lieutenant Anderson), Evelyn Carter Carrington (Mother McGee, bar owner), Charles C. Wilson (the warden), Robert Frazer (radio announcer), Lafe McKee (Justice of the Peace), Lew Kelly (first hospital detective), Eddie Phillips (Constolos' lawyer), John Beck (L.R. Jensen), Harold Berquist (sailor), Danny Borzage (Concertina player), Gordon De Main (the first dock detective), Pat Harmon (Jensen's night watchman), Edward Peil Sr. (second hospital detective), Hal Price (second dock detective)
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Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive! In this murder mystery, we meet a young lady who is a 'moll' - a gangster's girlfriend. Molly tries to go straight when her gangster boyfriend gets caught and put into prison. The cops are after Molly as an accessory, but she gets away, hiding in a boat in the harbor. The boat is owned by Lars, played by cowboy star William Boyd. Molly doesn't tell Lars about her gangster past, and they fall in love and get married, and have a baby. Things get really complicated when Molly's old gangster boyfriend escapes prison and returns to Molly. Molly tells him that she is married now, and wants nothing to do with him, but before he leaves her, he steals a gun and holster owned by Lars. Later that night he robs and kills (with Lars' gun) a man who was buying Lars' boat. Of course Lars is accused of the killing, and he and Molly are hauled down to police headquarters. Meanwhile, the gangster has arranged to get out of the country via a boat owned by a friend of Molly and Lars, and because he likes Molly, the boat owner takes the gangster on board and heads out to sea, but tosses him overboard to get rid of him as a favor to Molly. Now, let's go back to police headquarters with Molly and Lars who are accused of the killing. When Molly explains her gangster past, and that the gangster boyfriend stole Lars' gun, she is put in prison for past crimes, and Lars is let go. What a mess we have! Molly is in prison, and the gangster that can clear her and Lars from the recent killing is dead and cannot clear them. I don't want to stop you from enjoying this movie by what I say next, so if you are not sure about watching it yet, just keep munching your white kernel popcorn and hit the 'start' button - don't read any more.
I think the ending really sucks! I don't think I have ever said that about one of the old classic movies before. It is unique for 1934, and it really, really surprised me. Old classic gangster movies like this NEVER end this way. Sheesh, what were these screenwriters thinking? They went completely out of the standard mold and twisted this ending in a really cunning and unexpected way. If you watch this one, you must watch the final 5 minutes . . . whether you want to or not.