- by ZoŽ Shaw
Michael Andrews, a
British Officer, is captured by the Kurds. John Stevenson, a Lawrence of
Arabia character, frees him. They move an Armenian Tribe across the desert to
safety. The scene shifts to a hospital in Egypt where Andrews is
recuperating after a scuffle with Stevenson. He gets interested in Nurse
Rosemary, who turns out to be Stevenson's wife, who hasn't seen him since
their wedding day. Stevenson comes to Cairo and finds out about Andrews and
his wife. He follows Andrews, who has to mop up some enemy tribes. All but
Andrews and Stevenson are killed in a battle. They set off to cross the
desert to safety, but Stevenson is mortally wounded by pursuing tribesmen.
He dies after commending the welfare of his wife to Andrews.
- by LeeAnn Neal
This film takes place during the Great War. It tells the
story of British Army efforts to protect the British Empire in Kurdistan.
In this 20th film for Cary Grant, he plays the role of
Captain Michael Andrews. (He has a mustache; first time I've ever seen that.) The story
begins with the capture of Captain Andrews and his imprisonment. When it seems certain he
will die at the hands of his enemies, Andrews is rescued by a British Intelligence
Officer, who gives only the alias of "Smith" as his name (Claude Rains). A
grateful Andrews joins the army efforts to help native refugees to safety.
When Andrews suffers a broken leg, he is sent to a hospital
in Cairo. There he falls in love with his nurse, Rosemary (Gertrude Michael). When he
proclaims his love and proposes marriage, Rosemary confesses she's already married; to an
intelligence officer, whom she's not heard from in 3 years.
Predictably, the husband happily returns (on a 6 month
leave) to resume his place. Andrews is determined not to lose Rosemary when she tells him
she never really loved her husband.
When her love for Andrews forces Rosemary to reveal her
true feelings to her husband, his deep pain of rejection drives him to follow after
Andrews where he is leading an expedition in the Sudan.
There the two face the reality of the situation. Putting
aside their personal conflict, they heroically defend Britain and conquer the enemy.
Somehow they are able to come to terms with their personal battle, each placing their
lives on the line for the other.
Film Review - October 9, 1935
- by "Odec"
- submitted by Barry Martin
Aside from its paltry status as entertainment fare, 'The Last
Outpost' has a psychological factor that will likely militate
against it. Due to the Italo-Ethiopian squabble, the general
run of picturegoer may not relish watching hordes of archaically
equipped blacks being mowed down by machine guns.
Out of this
crazy-quilt of melodrama, travelog, history, jungle clips and
whatnot the mainstreeters can expect nothing but negligible
returns. Because of the several battle episodes the film
might find some favor among kids in the nabes.
Central idea of the
production is logical and simple enough, but the route taken in
fashioning the narrative more confusing and tiresome with each
successive real. What begins as the story of two British
soldiers whose chivalrous soldiery takes pre-eminence over their
love for the same woman quickly lapses into a hodge-podge of
loosely motivated tribal uprisings and stock inserts that has the
action leaping from one corner of Africa to the other.
Geographical and ethnological fact and fancy become so intertwined
that not only is the illusion destroyed but the characters
dissolves into puny puppets in a rapidly shifting
To Cary Grant, Claude
Rains and Gertrude Michael fall the assignment of giving life and
conviction to the romantic segment of the plot. They all do
well by their roles. Theirs is a conflict which revolves
around the predicament that two co-fighters in the Mesopotamian
campaign find themselves when it develops that the nurse (Miss
Michael) who had taken care of Grant in a base hospital is the
wife of the British intelligence officer (Rains) who had saved the
latter's life. After an absence of three years, Rains
suddenly appears at the hospital to recover his wife and
interrupts a love affair that had the nurse hoping she was free.
Most effective portion
of the film derives from legitimate shots and stock inserts
showing the flight of native tribes from threatened Kurdish attack
up over the mountains and across swirling rivers. Also
effectively projected is the tribal treachery and butchery that
the British were forced to encounter in their effort to keep the
natives from taking advantage of England's war worries on the
eastern flank and yielding to the cajoleries of German
provocateurs. Both the trek and the envisioning of t his
footnote in World War history are dealt with in the fore part of
the picture, and from this point on the proceedings wane in both
interest and pace.
York Times Film Review - October
- by Frank S. Nugent
- submitted by Barry Martin
Just as the Warners,
discoverers of the G-men, are filming the Federal agents from
every angle, Paramount, producer of the highly successful
"Lives of a Bengal Lancer," has gone out to make the
most of the melodramatic possibilities of Indian frontier warfare.
"The Last Outpost," which opened yesterday at the
Paramount Theatre, carries on the cinema's investigation of the
white man's burden in the Sudan. No matter what the billboards may
say, it is not another "Bengal Lancers," but it is a
well-made, if somewhat familiar, melodrama for all that.
You will recall that what endeared
"Lancers" to masculine film-goers was its complete
de-emphasis of the love motif and its rousing accent on calvalry
charges, skirmishes, pig-sticking and robust heroics. In "The
Last Outpost," Paramount seems to have gone after the
feminine trade. True, the Fuzzy-Wuzzies continue to storm the
forts, snipe at the mounted columns of the desert patrols and hurl
their spears against British machine guns; but Cupid is riding
with the lancers this time and has insisted, however unreasonably,
that ample footage be devoted to the triangular romance of Cary
Grant, Gertrude Michael and Claude Rains.
As the film's prologue explains,
too many persons are in the habit of recalling the World War in
terms of the battlefields of France. They forget - but Paramount
has not - that England fought part of her war in Kurdistan, where
the Turks and the Kurds were striking at India, heart of the
And so it is in Kurdistan that
Captain Andrews is saved from an unpleasant death by a member of
the British Intelligence Corps. And it is in Cairo that Captain
Andrews, recovering from his injuries, grows to love his nurse,
and vice versa, not realizing she is the wife of the same British
intelligence officer. And it must follow, as the script writer
adheres to the familiar pattern, that the rivals in love meet
again in the Sudan to square the triangle as swarms of shouting
tribesmen advance upon the beleaguered outposts while one wonders,
with a dreadful fear, whether the reinforcements will arrive in
"The Last Outpost" is at
its best during those spirited moments at the beginning and the
end of the picture when Cary Grant and Claude Rains are upsetting
the plans of the Turks or exchanging leaden compliments with the
tribesmen. It bogs down - from a masculine viewpoint - for long
minutes in between when Mr. Grant and Miss Michael go about the
sober business of becoming romantically involved. It does seem,
with all the drawing rooms available, that Paramount could have
preserved the Sudan for the sterner things of life.
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