Gilliat,a fisherman/smuggler is in jail, and is offered a pardon, if he undertakes a mission to sail to France to rescue Douchette, an English agent, whose cover has been blown,and who has now been jailed. Gilliat accepts the challenge.
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Gilliatt, a fisherman-turned-smuggler on the isle of Guernsey, agrees to transport a beautiful woman to the French coast in the year 1800. She tells him she hopes to rescue her brother from the guillotine. Gilliatt finds himself falling in love and so feels betrayed when he later learns this woman is a countess helping Napoleon plan an invasion of England. In reality, however, the "countess" is an English agent working to thwart this invasion. When Gilliatt finds this out, he returns to France to rescue the woman whose true purpose has been discovered by the French. Written by
dinky-4 of Minneapolis
Drouchette swam with the Australian crawl, not the breast stroke, which would have been more common then. See more »
Opening credits prologue: Guernsey in the Channel Islands near the coast of France in the year 1800, where fishermen, prevented by war from following their usual livelihood, turned to other occupations... See more »
New top Universal Pictures leading man Rock Hudson was sent on a loan out to RKO to co-star with Yvonne DeCarlo in Sea Devils. Though the film is somewhat at sea there aren't any real devils in this picture.
It's a spy story set in the Napoleonic era with spymaster Denis O'Dea trying to implement a plan to send Yvonne DeCarlo over to hostile France from the Channel island of Guernsey. The guy who was going to take her over Maxwell Reid gets himself indisposed after a brawl with Rock Hudson in a tavern.
Reid and Hudson are rival smugglers who make a good living trading with the continent and breaching Napoleon's continental blockade on one side and avoiding the customs folks on the other. They also hate each other passionately and steal frequently from each other. But now Hudson has the only boat in town and DeCarlo has to use him.
As for the rest of the film, Hudson is not so much a romantic figure, but something of a lout who up to the end seems more of a hindrance all around than a help. As for DeCarlo although she's a spy she's no Mati Hari and it ain't clear just who she's a double or triple agent for until the end.
This is a minor league swashbuckler directed by the always good Raoul Walsh that didn't hurt Rock Hudson's career any, but I don't think it especially helped.
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