Across the Pacific plays like a "rite of passage" between Maltese Falcon and Casablanca. Humphrey Bogart plays an American army officer (named "Rick") dishonorably discharged from the service. Actually his… More Across the Pacific plays like a "rite of passage" between Maltese Falcon and Casablanca. Humphrey Bogart plays an American army officer (named "Rick") dishonorably discharged from the service. Actually his "disgrace" has been carefully arranged by the US government, the better to allow Bogart to investigate prewar espionage activities. While on board a Japanese ship bound for the Panama canal, Bogart makes the acquaintance of Sidney Greenstreet, a Briton with pronounced pro-Japanese sentiments, and Mary Astor, a fashion designer who seems to be harboring a secret (both Greenstreet and Astor were, of course, Bogie's Maltese Falcon costars).Also on board is American-educated Japanese martial arts expert Victor Sen Yung, whose amiable demeanor masks a duplicitious nature. After much chasing about in Panama, Japan and Manila (including a remarkable sequence in a Japanese movie theatre), the principals gather at the Panama plantation of Astor's disippated father (Monte Blue), who is held captive by the Japanese to ensure Astor's cooperation. The spies' master plan is to destroy the Panama Canal (allegedly the script had called for the sabotaging of Pearl Harbor!) The story goes that director John Huston left poor Bogart in an inescapable situation, then left for Washington to work for the government, obliging the actors, the scriptwriters, and new director Vincent Sherman to come up with their own denouement. This story, which improved with the telling over the years, may well have been Huston's easy-out to excuse the ludicrous burst of melodramatics with which the film concludes. Across the Pacific is fun on a nonthink level, though the rapport between Humphrey Bogart and Mary Astor, so vital to the success of Maltese Falcon, seems strained when the actors are required to spew wisecracks.