Bankhead plays the "out-of-control" wife of a loving and up-standing young man (Harvey Stephens). Her gambling debts get her in hock with an untrustworthy admirer (Irving Pichel). Pichel's penchant for the more bizarre aspects of Oriental culture colors his and Tallulah's relationship into multiple arms of scandal.
Thunder Below 1932
Tallulah Bankhead ... Susan
Charles Bickford ... Walt
Paul Lukas ... Ken
Eugene Pallette ... Bill Horner
Thunder Below" is a "woman's picture" in an all-male "jungle" setting and the term "thunder below" is what the natives call an earthquake. It's also their word for "love". Off the Venezuela coast, oil workers Walt (Charles Bickford), Ken (Paul Lukas), Bill (Eugene Palette) and Webb (Leslie Fenton) return from the fields to the hacienda where Walt's wife Susan (Tallulah Bankhead) idly passes time. American Walt is gruff and plain-spoken while the European Ken is erudite and taciturn and they've been friends for years, working the oilfields and playing the field, until Walt married Susan. Although married nine years, Walt still rushes to her immediately while Ken prefers to wash up first and this doesn't go unnoticed by Bill. Once Susan and Ken are alone together, it's obvious they've been having an affair for quite some time and Ken accompanied Walt on their extended trip to the fields to get Susan out of his system, but no use. Ken asks Susan how she's been and she answers "the bugs, heat and monotony have only increased" and it's easy to see how affairs begin in this climate. When they speak of the books she's read since he's been gone, she says that the "Russian author" (Tolstoy?) she's been reading knows "love" the way a woman does. This remark explains Susan's philosophy of life. Ken and Susan go horseback riding along the palm-lined surf and decide to tell Walt the truth before going off together ...but Walt has some news of his own.
Devil and the Deep 1932
Tallulah Bankhead ... Diana Sturm
Gary Cooper ... Lieutenant Sempter
Charles Laughton ... Commander Charles Sturm
Cary Grant ... Lieutenant Jaeckel
Naval commander Charles Storm has made life miserable for his wife Pauline due to his insane jealousy over every man she speaks to. His obsessive behavior soon drives her to the arms of a handsome lieutenant. When Charles learns of their affair, he plots revenge.