The Tomatometer rating – based on the published opinions of hundreds of film and
television critics – is a trusted measurement of movie and TV programming quality
for millions of moviegoers. It represents the percentage of professional critic reviews
that are positive for a given film or television show.
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The Tomatometer is 60% or higher.
The Tomatometer is 59% or lower.
Movies and TV shows are Certified Fresh with a steady Tomatometer of 75% or
higher after a set amount of reviews (80 for wide-release movies, 40 for
limited-release movies, 20 for TV shows), including 5 reviews from Top Critics.
Percentage of users who rate a movie or TV show positively.
It's Grand Hotel on the high seas, with a remarkable cast -- particularly for the usually parsimonious Columbia Pictures. As irascible captain Helquist (Walter Connolly) pilots his boat along the Atlantic, an assortment of subplots involving a vast array of characters play themselves out. Among the passengers are bond-thief Checkett (Fred Keating) and his girlfriend Janet Grayson (Helen Vinson), private detective Schulte (Victor McLaglen), "fallen woman" Mrs. Jeddock (Wynne Gibson), and her unforgiving husband. In his final film appearance, former silent-screen idol John Gilbert gives an outstanding performance as pugnacious hard-drinking reporter Steve Bramley, forever putting the lie to the legend that he failed in talkies because his voice was inadequate. The Three Stooges also show up as musicians -- but only Larry has any lines (spoken in a Yiddish accent!). The story goes that Lewis Milestone filmed the picture on a real ocean liner to prevent John Gilbert and the other imbibers in the cast from having easy access to liquor -- a plan doomed to failure when someone smuggled several cases of booze on board. As the production went way past its budget and schedule, Columbia's business manager sent an urgent wire to Milestone: HURRY UP--THE COST IS STAGGERING. Milestone's answer: SO IS THE CAST.
Mediocre programmer was the end of the line for John Gilbert, the great silent matinee idol reduced to a supporting role. His part is minor and he doesn't look bad for a 50 year old man, the problem is that he was only 35 when this was filmed. Beside his involvement this is a minor picture with a muddled script that Milestone can't make come alive.