David Charleston, once a world renowned journalist, now lives alone maintaining the Thunder Rock lighthouse in Lake Michigan. He doesn't cash is paychecks and has no contact other than the monthly inspector's visit. When alone, he imagines conversations with those who died when a 19th century packet ship with some 60 passengers sank. He imagines their lives, their problems their fears and their hopes. In one of these conversations he recalls his own efforts in the 1930s when he tried desperately to convince first his editors and later the public of the dangers of fascism and the inevitability of war. Few would listen. One of the passengers, a spinster, tells her story of seeking independence from a world dominated by men. There's also the case of a doctor who is banished for using unacceptable methods. David has given up on life but the imaginary passengers give him hope for the future Written by
That this story is an allegory is clear from very early on but the director seems to have wanted to disguise it somehow with unnecessary padding. In doing so he detracts from the overall message and loses his audience a little along the way. Take the opening scenes as an example where a phone call is passed higher and higher through a chain of employees. It's well played, well acted and amusing and of absolutely no relevence whatsoever to the plot. You may as well have had a Donald Duck Cartoon instead and started the film where James Mason lands at the lighthouse.
It achieves some great moments both in and out of it's lighthouse setting, Michael Redgrave is very good but everything just goes on that little bit too long for it's own good.
James Mason stardom puts him near the top of the billing, but he's really only a bit player in this and doesn't make any significant contribution to the overall film.
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