Van Johnson is a navy pilot in WWII, who has been shot down in the Pacific on a bombing mission. He and a wounded comrade are the only survivors of the mission and are lost at sea. As they ... See full summary »
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Van Johnson is a navy pilot in WWII, who has been shot down in the Pacific on a bombing mission. He and a wounded comrade are the only survivors of the mission and are lost at sea. As they await rescue, Van Johnson recants his life's story and romance with girlfriend, June Allyson. It's a wonderful wholesome movie that the whole family will enjoy. Written by Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall, the authors of Mutiny on the Bounty. Written by
Van Johnson and June Allyson head a talented cast in this enchantingly dotty romantic fantasy about true love in peace and war. The romance begins when they're children, and the childhood scenes have some charmingly surreal moments, such as when the two run away to join the circus. Someone must have been reading Freud in his spare time when making this one. There are enough symbols, phallic and otherwise, to fill a fair-sized textbook. Director Jack Conway did an admirable job on the film, with beautifully composed shots which at times recall the best silent pictures. He had flair for investing what are, on the surface, mundane images,--a water tower, a tropical island--with a subliminal power rare in a Hollywood movie. Since much of the story is related in flashback, there's a slight but unmistakable distortion involved in what unfolds on the screen that makes the movie feel at times like a dream. There are strange, abrupt transitions,--a storm comes seemingly out of nowhere--that make the movie resonate in one's memory years after one has seen it. Corny as hell, this is in many respects a remarkable film.
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