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After living abroad for several years, journalist John Royer returns to the United States just after the U.S. enters World War II. His boast that he could easily smuggle rubber, a key wartime natural resource, out of Malaya has him tasked with doing just that. He manages to get someone from his past, Carnaghan, sprung from Alactraz and together they head off to South East Asia posing as Irishmen. Once there, Carnaghan lines up some of his old cronies and with Royer and a few plantation owners plans to smuggle the rubber out from under the Japanese army's watchful eye. Written by
The destroyer that Tracy and Stewart start their adventure on is a Fletcher Class Destroyer. The first was laid down in 1941 and the last in 1944; 175 war built. It was the first of the U.S. Navies large destroyers during World War II; it was also was the class with the largest number of examples built. Most served in the Pacific war. See more »
One scene features wild chimpanzees. Chimps are natives of Africa, not Malaya. See more »
rather full time passer--salvaged only by a few decent performances
If this movie did not have Jimmy Stewart and Spencer Tracy, the film wouldn't have even merited a score of five. It was a very uninspiring and forgettable wartime film made several years after the war actually ended. It just seemed like all the energy was missing from the film. In fact, about the only energy came from Sidney Greenstreet's pet bird--now that bird can act! Another problem with the film is the idea of casting Spencer Tracy in the role of a selfish, devil-may-care smuggler in Alcatraz at the beginning of the film. The believability of the performance didn't improve once he made it to Malaya. This is actually the sort of role I might have expected for Clark Gable or maybe even Errol Flynn (yes, I know he was with a different studio), but for Tracy, an actor who often was cast as the priest or nice guy, it just wasn't terribly convincing. Plus, he just acted too nice to be as seedy as they described him as being.
In the end, the only interesting thing about this film is how so much money was spent on the cast and so little bang was achieved for MGM's buck. This is purely a time-passer or film for those devotees of Stewart or Tracy.
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