'Til We Meet Again

Last updated
'Til We Meet Again
Tilwemeetagain lobby.jpg
Lobby card depicting Merle Oberon (left) and Geraldine Fitzgerald
Directed by Edmund Goulding
Anatole Litvak
William Keighley
William K. Howard
Produced by Hal B. Wallis (exec. prod.)
Written by Robert Lord
Screenplay by Warren Duff
Starring Merle Oberon
George Brent
Pat O'Brien
Music by Heinz Roemheld
Cinematography Tony Gaudio
Edited by Ralph Dawson
Distributed byWarner Bros.
Release date
April 20, 1940
Running time
99 minutes
CountryUnited States

'Til We Meet Again is a 1940 romance film directed by Edmund Goulding and Anatole Litvak and starring Merle Oberon and George Brent as two doomed, star-crossed lovers. It is a remake of the 1932 film One Way Passage and itself was remade into the 1954 Mexican 3-D film El valor de vivir.



Total strangers Dan Hardesty and Joan Ames meet by chance in a crowded bar in Hong Kong when she admires the "Paradise cocktail" that Dan has just concocted. He asks for another glass and pours half of his drink into it. After they drink, he breaks off the bowl of his glass and places the stem on the bar; she follows suit, and he helps her to place the stem of her glass across his. Dan leaves the bar and is promptly handcuffed by Lieutenant Steve Burke of the San Francisco police. Burke has spent a year chasing Dan, a convicted murderer who jumped off a train on his way to San Quentin to be hanged.

He takes Dan to an ocean liner for the journey to San Francisco. As they are boarding, Dan jumps into the water (with Steve still handcuffed to him). He takes the key to the handcuffs from Steve's pocket and frees himself. He starts to swim away, but turns back to rescue non-swimmer Steve before making his getaway. Dan is recaptured and put aboard the ship.

"Rocky" Rockingham T. Rockingham (Frank McHugh, reprising his role in One Way Passage) scrambles aboard at the last minute. Joan is also a passenger. When she collapses, the ship's doctor learns of her fatal heart condition, but she plans to keep going "around the little world."

Once they are underway, Steve allows Dan the freedom of the ship. In the bar, Dan encounters Rocky, an old friend, and asks for his help. Joan enters the bar, shares another Paradise with Dan, and their courtship begins.

Also aboard is another of Dan's old friends, the "Comtesse de Bresac". The Comtesse is actually Liz, a con artist trained by Dan when she was young. She is still a little in love with him. When she learns of Dan's predicament, she keeps a smitten Steve occupied and secretly empties his gun of bullets. A romance develops between the mismatched pair.

As they near Honolulu, Steve overhears Joan and Dan plan to spend the next day ashore. He takes Dan to the brig. Dan picks up a bottle to knock him out, but Steve shoots it (he had checked his gun and reloaded it). Liz slips Steve some sleeping pills and frees Dan. When he is spotted by Joan, he postpones his "business" to go on their outing. Later, on the way back, Dan stops the rented car before they reach the pier. However, when Joan collapses, Dan carries her back aboard. The ship's doctor tells Dan about Joan's prognosis. Liz tells a stunned Dan that he still has time to get away. From the doorway, Steve says, "No, he doesn't."

On the last night, everyone on shipboard is partying. Liz asks Burke why he has been avoiding her since Honolulu. He reveals that he got a cable about her. She tries to bribe him, to no avail. However, he is still attracted to her, saying there is less room between a cop and a countess than a cop and a con. In the bar, Dan and Joan bid each other goodbye, sharing one last Paradise cocktail and promising to meet in Mexico City at the Palace Bar on New Year's Eve.

The next morning in San Francisco, the assistant purser tips a newspaper reporter that Dan spent a lot of time with Joan. The reporter tricks his way into Joan's stateroom and reveals Dan's fate to her. Frantic, she rushes out and finds Dan on deck. They bid each other goodbye, each concealing what they know about the other.

In the Palace Bar in Mexico City, the crowd is celebrating New Year's. Two bartenders hear the sound of glass breaking and turn to find a pair of glasses with the stems crossed on the bar.


The film was based on the story by Robert Lord that was the basis for One Way Passage. Lord won an Academy Award in 1933 in the category Best Writing, Original Story for the earlier film.

The same basic musical theme is used in both films. Leo F. Forbstein, Music Director on this film, was Vitaphone Orchestra Conductor for One Way Passage. [1] [2] Ray Heindorf did the orchestral arrangements.


Variety staff praised the film, observing that although it was a remake, it "still has plenty of sock left” and that the two leads did “an excellent job. Oberon's sincere and eye-filling performance equals that of her predecessor in the role, while Brent comes within at least a shade of Powell's superb portrayal." [3]

The New York Times critic Benjamin Crisler disagreed, writing, "It may be that quite a number of people, touched by the synthetic tragedy of it, will mistake ''Til We Meet Again' for art, but the fact remains that it is just a very sad remake of 'One Way Passage'". [4]


Related Research Articles

Merle Oberon British actress (1911-1979)

Merle Oberon was an Indian-born British actress who began her film career in British films as Anne Boleyn in The Private Life of Henry VIII (1933). After her success in The Scarlet Pimpernel (1934), she travelled to the United States to make films for Samuel Goldwyn. She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in The Dark Angel (1935). A traffic collision in 1937 caused facial injuries that could have ended her career, but she recovered and remained active in film and television until 1973.

George Brent Irish-American actor

George Brent was an Irish-American stage, film, and television actor. He is best remembered for the eleven films he made with Bette Davis, which included Jezebel and Dark Victory.

<i>The Divorce of Lady X</i>

The Divorce of Lady X is a 1938 British colour romantic comedy film made by London Films; it stars Merle Oberon, Laurence Olivier, Ralph Richardson and Binnie Barnes. It was directed by Tim Whelan and produced by Alexander Korda from a screenplay by Ian Dalrymple and Arthur Wimperis, adapted by Lajos Bíró from the play Counsel's Opinion by Gilbert Wakefield. The music score was by Miklós Rózsa and Lionel Salter and the cinematography by Harry Stradling.

<i>Perfect Strangers</i> (1945 film)

Perfect Strangers, is a 1945 drama film made by London Films. It stars Robert Donat and Deborah Kerr as a married couple whose relationship is shaken by their service in the Second World War. The supporting cast includes Glynis Johns, Ann Todd and Roland Culver. It was produced and directed by Alexander Korda from a screenplay by Clemence Dane and Anthony Pelissier based on a story by Clemence Dane. Dane won the Academy Award for Best Story. The music score was by Clifton Parker and the cinematography by Georges Périnal.

<i>Out to Sea</i>

Out to Sea is a 1997 American romantic comedy film, starring Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Rue McClanahan, Dyan Cannon, and Brent Spiner. It was the final film for Donald O'Connor, Gloria DeHaven, and Edward Mulhare; Mulhare died on May 24, 1997, almost six weeks before the film's release.

Binnie Barnes English actress

Gertrude Maud Barnes, known professionally as Binnie Barnes, was an English actress whose career in films spanned 50 years, from 1923 to 1973.

Gina Patrick

Gina Patrick is a fictional character from the British Channel 4 soap opera, Hollyoaks, played by Dannielle Brent. She debuted on-screen during the episodes airing in 1997. Brent secured the role after originally auditioning for the role of Gina's sister Kate Patrick. Gina was initially a recurring character, though was promoted later to the regular cast. Brent felt that the role had given her good training, though decided to leave the serial after four years.

<i>Lydia</i> (film) 1941 American drama film directed by Julien Duvivier

Lydia is a 1941 drama film, directed by Julien Duvivier and starring Merle Oberon as Lydia MacMillan, a woman whose life is seen from her spoiled, immature youth through bitter and resentful middle years, until at last she is old and accepting. The supporting cast features Joseph Cotten, Edna May Oliver and George Reeves. The picture is a remake of Duvivier's Un carnet de bal (1937), which starred Marie Bell as the leading character.

<i>I, Claudius</i> (film)

I, Claudius is an unfinished 1937 film adaptation of the novels I, Claudius (1934) and Claudius the God (1935) by Robert Graves. Produced by Alexander Korda, the film was directed by Josef von Sternberg, with Charles Laughton in the title role. The production was dogged by adverse circumstances, culminating in a car accident involving co-star Merle Oberon that caused filming to be ended before completion. Footage from the production was incorporated into a 1965 documentary on the making of the film The Epic That Never Was.

<i>The Scarlet Pimpernel</i> (1934 film)

The Scarlet Pimpernel is a 1934 British adventure film directed by Harold Young and starring Leslie Howard, Merle Oberon, and Raymond Massey. Based on the 1905 play by Baroness Orczy and Montagu Barstow and the classic 1908 adventure novel by Baroness Orczy, the film is about an eighteenth-century English aristocrat who leads a double life, appearing as an effete aristocrat while engaged in an underground effort to free French nobles from Robespierre's Reign of Terror. The film was produced by Alexander Korda.

<i>One Way Passage</i> 1932 film

One Way Passage is a 1932 American pre-Code romantic film starring William Powell and Kay Francis as star-crossed lovers, directed by Tay Garnett and released by Warner Bros. The screenplay by Robert Lord won the Academy Award for Best Story.

Till We Meet Again may refer to:

The Cowboy and the Lady is a 1938 American western romantic comedy film directed by H.C. Potter, and starring Gary Cooper and Merle Oberon. Written by S.N. Behrman and Sonya Levien, based on a story by Frank R. Adams and veteran film director Leo McCarey, the film is about a beautiful socialite masquerading as a maid who becomes involved with an unpretentious, plain-spoken cowboy who is unaware of her true identity. The Cowboy and the Lady won an Academy Award for Sound Recording, and was nominated for Original Score and Original Song.

<i>That Uncertain Feeling</i> (film) 1941 film by Ernst Lubitsch

That Uncertain Feeling is a 1941 American comedy film directed by Ernst Lubitsch and starring Merle Oberon, Melvyn Douglas and Burgess Meredith. The film is about the bored wife of an insurance salesman who meets an eccentric pianist and seeks a divorce. The screenplay by Walter Reisch and Donald Ogden Stewart was based on the 1880 French play Divorçons by Victorien Sardou and Émile de Najac.

Liz McDonald Fictional character from Coronation Street

Liz McDonald is a fictional character from the British ITV soap opera, Coronation Street. She is portrayed by Beverley Callard. She made her first appearance on 27 October 1989 until Callard opted to leave and Liz departed on 13 November 1998. Callard reprised the role for a short stint with Liz appearing between 6 October 2000 and 12 January 2001. Callard reprised the role for two separate stints between 19 November and 30 November 2003 and between 13 February and 22 March 2004. She returned on a permanent basis on 22 June 2004. Callard departed once again with Liz's final appearance airing on 14 April 2011. Callard reprised the role once again on a permanent basis and Liz returned on 14 October 2013. Callard left the show in November 2019, with her final scene broadcast in June 2020.

<i>Twin Beds</i> (1942 film) 1942 film by Tim Whelan

Twin Beds is a 1942 American comedy film directed by Tim Whelan, and starring by George Brent and Joan Bennett. It was distributed by United Artists. The screenplay was written by Kenneth Earl, Curtis Kenyon and Eddie Moran, based on the play of the same name by Salisbury Field and Margaret Mayo.

<i>Night Song</i> (1948 film) 1948 film by John Cromwell

Night Song is a 1948 American drama film directed by John Cromwell and starring Dana Andrews, Merle Oberon and Ethel Barrymore.

Wedding Rehearsal is a 1932 British romantic comedy film directed by Alexander Korda and starring Roland Young as a bachelor forced to seek a wife.

<i>Temptation</i> (1946 film) 1946 American drama film noir directed by Irving Pichel

Temptation is a 1946 American film noir thriller film directed by Irving Pichel and starring Merle Oberon, George Brent, Charles Korvin and Paul Lukas. The film was based on Robert Smythe Hichens's 1909 novel Bella Donna.

<i>24 Hours of a Womans Life</i> 1952 film by Victor Saville

24 Hours of a Woman's Life, also known as Affair in Monte Carlo, is a 1952 British romantic drama film directed by Victor Saville and starring Merle Oberon. It is loosely based on the novella by Stefan Zweig.


  1. "'Til We Meet Again (1940) - Music - TCM.com". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 2019-12-08.
  2. "One Way Passage (1932) - Music - TCM.com". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 2019-12-08.
  3. "'Til We Meet Again". Variety. January 1, 1940. Retrieved December 8, 2019.
  4. B. R. Crisler (April 20, 1940). "The Screen; Til We Meet Again,' With Merle Oberon, O'Brien, Brent, Opens at Strand--3 New Foreign Films". The New York Times.