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... See full summary »
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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
British soldiers did not wear shakos (hats) like those depicted. The shakos of the time tended to be plain black hats with only a regimental number badge at the front. 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 »
The early 1950s were a sort of Golden Age for those modest but entertaining costume adventures set within pirate ships, French Foreign Legion forts, lost cities in the jungle, medieval castles, Arabian courts, etc. These "costumers" were always in color, the better to lure viewers away from black-and-white TV sets, and they featured such names as John Payne, Maureen O'Hara, Alan Ladd, Jeff Chandler, John Derek, Arlene Dahl, Tony Curtis, and Burt Lancaster.
This 1953 swashbuckler from RKO features a top-billed Yvonne de Carlo and an up-and-coming Rock Hudson under the competent but uninspired direction of veteran film-maker, Raoul Walsh. It's a minor effort, diverting enough to pass the time but lacking flair and style and unlikely to linger in the memory. A bit more action and a dash of humor would have been welcome additions.
The movie's main fault, however, lies in the relationship between leading man and leading lady. They're supposed to be falling in love during the course of the story but there's no passion or feeling here, merely some dutiful lines of romantic dialog. De Carlo seems too old and matronly for Hudson who needs someone sprightlier to play off against.
Hudson hadn't yet reached star status but it's pleasant to see him here before the "movie star" gloss hardened around him. His acting abilities are no more than average but he's attractive and likeable and the script finds several excuses for him to take off his shirt. At one point he's not only bare-chested but in bondage with his hands tied behind his back and a with a length of rope looped twice around his torso. This being the early '50s, his pants are worn high enough to mostly cover his navel, but those ropes passing just above and just below his nipples impart a fetishy quality which is probably sexier than many of today's nude scenes.
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