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Between Two Worlds

53 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Nazi bombs rain fire into an English port town. The smoke clears and a disparate group of human beings caught in the blast finds itself aboard a luxury liner headed...who knows where. They soon learn their one-way tickets are stamped Heaven. And Hell. A dose of World War II realism puts a gritty edge on this retelling of the early Talkie Outward Bound (starring Leslie Howard) that loses none of the prior version's ethereal power. A stellar cast - John Garfield, Paul Henried, Sydney Greenstreet, Eleanor Parker, Edmund Gwenn and more names evocative of a remarkable filmmaking era - bring their considerable talents to a tale of passengers who discover their true natures as they discover their destinations.

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Product Details

  • Actors: John Garfield, Paul Henreid, Sydney Greenstreet, Eleanor Parker, Edmund Gwenn
  • Directors: Edward A. Blatt
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: WB
  • DVD Release Date: September 6, 2006
  • Run Time: 112 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00478ED2C
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,749 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Dr. James Gardner VINE VOICE on March 4, 2011
Format: DVD
"Between Two Worlds" is one of those "final judgment" films that periodically gain populartity. Examples of this genre include "The Devil and Daniel Webster" (1941), "Defending Your Life" (1991), "Heart and Souls" (1993), and "Shortcut to Happiness" (2004). It stars John Garfield, Paul Henreid, Sydney Greenstreet and Eleanor Parker with Edmund Gwenn, George Tobias and Faye Emerson. It was based on a 1924 play "Outward Bound" (and the 1930 movie of the same name) that was revived in 1938 under the direction of Otto Preminger. Look for the original title in the first scene of the film.

The plot is simple - a group of strangers find themselves mysteriously on a ship. Turns out they all recently died and at the end of the voyage their fates will be sealed, a fact that we and the passengers themselves slowly learn. The film is set in World War 2 England but this is a mere convenience - neither the war nor England feature prominently in the plot. Jack Warner hated the Nazis, and the war years spawned a large number of war related films, so the link is not merely coincidental.

The film stars ruggedly handsome John Garfield (1913-52), the original "method" actor. Garfield made his screen debut in 1938 with the popular "Four Daughters" for which he received his first Best Supporting Actor nomination (he got his second in 1947 for "Body and Soul"), and "They Made me a Criminal" (1939) propelled him into the A list. He's best known for "The Postman Always Rings Twice" (1946). Blacklisted in the communist scare of the early 50s, his career was cut short, and he died in 1952 at age 39. This film comes at the height of his popularity. He plays a wise cracking newspaperman.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Joel Kovacik on October 4, 2011
Format: DVD
The title of the film ("Between Two Worlds") is symbolic of what we might refer to in "psycho-spiritual" terms as the "After Death Experience," when the soul has suddenly been released from the body and finds itself temporarily trapped in a contextual limbo between the physical world and the "Hereafter".

On board a fog-enshrouded ocean liner, with neither captain nor crew, several assorted (deceased) passengers -- each representing a unique life-affirming (or life-denying) value he or she elected to live by while on earth -- find themselves facing the grim task of self-evaluation, aided by the inimitable Sydney Greenstreet in his memorable role as "The Examiner".

Just feast your eyes on the sterling cast of characters featured in the film: JOHN GARFIELD (disgruntled cynic, blaming everyone but himself for his "bad breaks"); PAUL HENREID (former brilliant pianist and despairing "suicide," whose fingers were crippled during the war); ELEANOR PARKER (so passionately in love with Henreid, she chooses to "die" with him); SYDNEY GREENSTREET (an angel sent to render "Final Judgement" to those on board); EDMUND GWENN ("Scrubby" -- a suicide, condemned to sail throughout eternity as the ship's steward, preparing the way for those recently departed souls); GEORGE COULOURIS (unforgettable as the villainous "Mr. Lingley of Lingley Limited"); FAYE EMERSON (aspiring actress, searching in all the wrong places for fame and fortune); GEORGE TOBIAS (typical, easy-to-please Mr.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Joudon M. Ford on April 6, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Between Two Worlds is a wonderful film that is of a tradition often called for in American culture wars. It deals with one idea of Purgatory, and interestingly, is decidedly non-judgmental. Sidney Greenstreet's character deals with each human with one idea -- redemption. Even the "condemned" are told, "We never interfere." The theme of personal responsibility is strong, but without the post-modernist tendency to imply that God owes anyone an outcome without consequences for choices made. It is thoughtful, but not preachy. Our culture wars often turn on whether "I" am the center of all being. The film is more subtle than Dante, and speaks to the issues of judgment and the after-life with a refreshing tone. It is indicative of why such films are timeless, and greatly valued.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By L. Dequesada on March 13, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I saw "Between Two Worlds" decades ago and I never forgot the experience. This film has a powerful message about what the afterlife could be like. The memorable performance of Hollywood's Golden Era, All-Star cast, John Garfield, Eleanor Parker, Sydney Greenstreet, Edmund Gwenn and others will remain on your memory forever. The release of this old Hollywood blockbuster was long overdue.
I am very happy that it is finally available for the benefit of all of us who saw it many years ago and never forgot it and those who have not seen it.
Definitely one of the most important film re-issues of all times.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A. Beach on March 4, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I have waited years to have this out on DVD and have just purchased it. The "twist and turns" will stay with you....truly a story that will surface in your memory over and over. Forget popcorn, this story line will surely give you food for thought. Viable life lessons to ponder even today.
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