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
When De Carlo swims out to sailboat at end of film, it is obvious that she is not wearing her dress. Besides, she couldn't have swum out that far in her dress without being dragged under. Yet, in closing shot on sailboat, she's wearing the dress (seemingly dry - double goof)she must have discarded on the shore. 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 »
After a bit of trial-and-error, I managed to acquire a workable copy (unlike another Rock Hudson vehicle in the same vein, CAPTAIN LIGHTFOOT !) of this swashbuckler set in the Napoleonic era with the Emperor himself played by Frenchman Gerard Oury; incidentally, I had intended to close off 2008 by revisiting the latter's most popular directorial effort i.e. the WWII farce DON'T LOOK NOW WE'RE BEING SHOT AT! (1966), but had to forego it due to time constraints!
While I can't say that SEA DEVILS is very well-regarded within the genre (Leonard Maltin dismisses it with a :star::star: rating), in spite of the revered Walsh's involvement, I have to admit that I rather enjoyed it. Hudson is an impetuous rum-shipper, flanked by an amusingly grumpy Bryan Forbes, who's constantly clashing with rival Maxwell Reed; their quarrel comes to a head when they involve a woman (Yvonne De Carlo) whose activities as a spy, however, are jeopardized when Hudson misconstrues the situation! De Carlo's contribution here is far more engaging than when she played the BUCCANEER'S GIRL (1950), which I watched earlier in the month; for the record, she and Hudson had already been teamed for SCARLET ANGEL (1952), yet another costumer but which I'm not familiar with.
By the way, despite American leads, director and studio (RKO), this is a British-made effort with typically reliable supporting cast (including Dennis O'Dea as De Carlo's superior and Michael Goodliffe as her contact in France) and production values (ensuring stunning color photography throughout and a suitably rousing score). As expected, then, we get plenty of action and intrigue spiced with equally obligatory bouts of romance and comedy relief; the result hardly makes for a classic film but, in this agreeable company, it's perhaps more satisfying than such hokum has a right to be!
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