The Last Outpost (1935)


Cary Grant and Claude Rains star as British officers whose paths cross time and again on the Eastern front of World War I. The two become friends after Rains saves Grant from Kurdish raiders. Grant then goes on to help Rains move a village to safety and prevent a sneak attack on British troops. The friends part for much of the second act, during which time Grant falls in love with a nurse at a Cairo hospital. When Rains gets leave to visit, he finds his friendship with Grant has taken a turn for the worst. The nurse is Rains’s wife.

The Last Outpost relies too much on serendipity to take seriously, but taken as a wartime melodrama, it’s entertaining enough. Grant and Rains have enough star power alone to make the film worth a watch, but it’s Gertrude Michael as their mutual love interest who deserves credit for making the improbable love triangle as believable as possible. Several scenes of sped-up stock footage date the film, as do a few unfortunate depictions of the ‘savage native’. The third act sets up for a tense confrontation between the leading men, but don’t expect the film to make a bold move resolving that love triangle.

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