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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Yvonne De Carlo,
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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 »
This is a disappointing minor swashbuckler considering it was written by a fairly competent screenwriter (Borden Chase) and directed by the usually dependent Raoul Walsh. Rock Hudson plays a fisherman turned smuggler during the Napoleonic wars who becomes embroiled in some routine espionage shenanigans after falling for Yvonne De Carlo. Hudson has a sidekick in the bizarre diminutive form of Bryan Forbes, who looks faintly ridiculous in the role of a spirited, hard-drinking smuggler. Their relationship put me in mind of the great Errol Flynn and Alan Hale flicks of the 30s and 40s, which was a bad thing for this film because Hudson and Forbes are no Flynn and Hale.
Hudson's character is as dislikeable as it's possible for a movie hero to be. he has the moody, impetuous temperament of a lovesick schoolboy for much of the film, and it's no coincidence that the film livens up only when he is off-screen. He spends much of his time on-screen dramatically baring his nipples and striking manly poses which should, when you think about it, lend this effort a fairly high camp quotient, but strangely the film stubbornly refuses to develop any kind of character. The ending, when it finally, belatedly arrives, is as rushed and anti-climactic as you are likely to find...
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