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'Til We Meet Again (1940)

Approved | | Drama, Romance | 20 April 1940 (USA)
Dying Joan Ames meets criminal Dan Hardesty on a luxury liner as he is being transported back to America by policeman Steve Burke to face execution. Joan and Dan fall in love, their fates unbeknownst to one another.


Edmund Goulding


Warren Duff (screen play), Robert Lord (from an original story by)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Merle Oberon ... Joan Ames
George Brent ... Dan Hardesty
Pat O'Brien ... Steve Burke
Geraldine Fitzgerald ... Bonny Coburn
Binnie Barnes ... Comtesse de Bresac
Frank McHugh ... Rockingham T. Rockingham
Eric Blore ... Sir Harold Pinchard
Henry O'Neill ... Dr. Cameron
George Reeves ... Jimmy Coburn
Frank Wilcox ... Ass't. Purser
Doris Lloyd ... Louise
Marjorie Gateson ... Mrs. Hester
Regis Toomey ... Freddy
William Halligan William Halligan ... Bartender on Boat
Victor Kilian ... Herb McGillis


Dying Joan Ames meets criminal Dan Hardesty on a luxury liner as he is being transported back to America by policeman Steve Burke to face execution. Joan and Dan fall in love, their fates unbeknownst to one another.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


FOUR WEEKS IN WHICH TO LIVE - an eternity in which to die. One of the grandest screen treats.


Drama | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »





English | French | German

Release Date:

20 April 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

We Shall Meet Again See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Remake of the 1932 Kay Francis & William Powell film, One Way Passage. See more »


This movie appears to be set in 1940 which is when it was released. Pat O'Brien remarks that George Brent is being taken back to San Quinton to be hanged for murder. California switched from hanging to the gas chamber in 1938 and had already used it. That is something what would have been widely known in California when this movie was made. See more »


Remake of One Way Passage (1932) See more »


Rhythm of the Waves
(1939) (uncredited)
Written by Sam Koki and Daniel Kalauawa Stewart
Played when Harold asks the bartender about his wallet
Also played when the Countess prepares the pills for Steve
See more »

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User Reviews

Remake of One Way Passage
6 August 2006 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

George Brent and Merle Oberon star as doomed lovers in "'Til We Meet Again," also starring Geraldine Fitzgerald, Binnie Barnes, Pat O'Brien and Frank McHugh. This film is a remake of the beautiful "One Way Passage" starring William Powell and Kay Francis. Some of the scenes and dialogue have been kept exactly, new scenes and characters have been added, and one relationship has changed in this version. Frank McHugh reprises his role as a petty crook, now named Rockingham.

But it's the same story, told in a much more dramatic fashion than "One Way Passage" which somehow kept its whimsy though it is the tale of two people who are going to die - one by the hangman's noose and the other from heart disease - who fall in love as they're traveling from Hong Kong to San Francisco by ship. Neither knows the fate awaiting the other. Hardesty (Brent) is being brought back to the states by a tough detective (O'Brien) who also has a heart. He's attracted to a Countess (Barnes), who is a phony and after the money of a wealthy Brit (Eric Blore). In this film, it is not Rockingham who knows the Countess (Binnie Barnes) but rather Dan Hardesty (Brent), and this script has given them a past romance as well. The Countess tries her best to keep the sergeant occupied while Hardesty plans his escape, with Rockingham playing middle man.

This poignant tale is given more profound treatment both in the writing and by director Edmund Goulding. Part of the reason for this is that it was intended to be another "Dark Victory," but Bette Davis refused it. In fact, the part that Geraldine Fitzgerald plays, someone Joan (Oberon) meets and befriends aboard ship, is very similar to the role she played in "Dark Victory." George Reeves (who went on to play Superman on TV and is now the subject of a film himself) plays Fitzgerald's husband.

Brent is no William Powell, of course - his character is rougher around the edges and doesn't have the sense of humor or irony that Powell gave Hardesty. Brent, however, gives a solid, tender performance. McHugh this time around shares the comic honors with Eric Blore and therefore has less to do, and there's a lot less comedy. Binnie Barnes' Countess is less exotic than Aline McMahon's and sadder. O'Brien's Sgt. Burke is older and tougher this time around, though he's still a soft touch.

Though Kay Francis was lovely as Joan in "One Way Passage," Merle Oberon is breathtaking in beauty and frailty. For this viewer, she's the best thing about this remake. Desperate to live after she meets Dan, she savors each moment, refusing to consider the consequences of too much activity. It's a heroic, heartbreaking performance.

It was fascinating to be able to see and compare both films. Both are successful in their own way. The ending is the same in both, so expect to smile and cry at the same time. It's as uplifting as it is poignant, and no matter the treatment of the story, the message of "'Til We Meet Again" and "One Way Passage" is the same: Love is the only thing that lasts.

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