A young married couple takes a boat journey to the Far East, before returning sadder but wiser. Their names are Fred and Emily, suggestively close to Alfred and his wife Alma (Reville), who jointly wrote the screenplay, and the film was for long seen as a very personal work originated by them; in fact, it is based closely on a 1930 novel by the Australian Dale Collins whose on-screen credit is misleadingly vague.
There is a lesson here: Hitchcock was always strongly dependent on his screenwriters, or on the authors of the texts which he and/or Alma adapted. This in no way detracts from the freshness and energy of the film, which contains a powerful scene of shipwreck and rescue – like a sketch for the Titanic film Hitchcock came close to making in 1939.
This film is screening as part of The Genius of Hitchcock: Part Three (February 2nd – 27th), which is part of a complete retrospective of the filmmaker’s work running until March 2013.