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Eva Marie Saint,
Roistering sea captain Jonathan Clark, who poaches seal pelts from Russian Alaska, meets and woos Russian countess Marina in 1850 San Francisco. Events separate them, but after an exciting sea race to the Pribilof Islands they meet again; now, both are in danger from the schemes of villainous Prince Semyon. Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The flogging of Capt. Clark (Gregory Peck) ranks 96th in the book, "Lash! The 100 Great Scenes of Men Being Whipped in the Movies." However, no such flogging occurs in the Rex Beach novel on which this movie is based. See more »
While this movie aspires to be one of those brawling, lusty, two-fisted adventures, it never quite takes off. Part of the problem lies in the miscasting of Gregory Peck. He's fine in quiet, thoughtful roles but lacks the swaggering pizazz needed to bring off this part. Burt Lancaster or even Kirk Douglas would have been a better choice.
The rest of the production is good-looking, (benefiting from the apt casting of Ann Blyth as a Russian aristocrat), and it offers a mild degree of entertainment but it all seems a bit too mild, a bit too limited.
Typical of the movie's lack of flair is the scene in which Peck is flogged. (This does not occur in Rex Beach's novel.) Aha, you think -- beefcake and blood! But rather than ripping off his shirt, Peck's flogger merely tears open its back, and after seven lashes, the only marks visible on Peck are a few discreet red lines which might have been drawn on him with the sharpened tip of a lipstick. And during the flogging, Peck never winces nor groans but simply stands stoically as if he's mentally going over that evening's dinner menu. He should have taken how-to-be-whipped lessons from Alan Ladd. Now, there's an actor who really knew how to writhe!
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