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This film is typical of Hollywood low budget films which were made during those halcyon days of the cold war after the Korean war and before we all got embittered by Viet Nam. This is a typical "B" grade, feel-good flick about a chief (Neville Brand) in the Navy who drinks coffee out of a soup bowl and is rough, tough but lovable, lonely and sensitive. He meets the hardened but having heart of gold waitress (Jan Sterling) who sees through the protective veneer of the chief and after a trials and tribs, they retire to an apple farm in Southern California. As a former Naval officer who was active during that time, the Navy scenes, particularly a landing operation carried out from a destroyer, are quite unreal, but this is not a war movie. The theme is peace time and reconciling the lovers with good vibes shared all around. It's not a mind bender-- wasn't meant to be. But, in the context of the time, it was nice to see Jan Sterling and Neville Brand, two very competent character actors, sharing a chance to work and make us feel good. No video listed, so catch it on the late show.
Plot-- A veteran navy CPO begins to feel loneliness on shore-leave in
San Diego. Luckily he meets a lonely barroom waitress, and together
they plan on a modest farming future as husband and wife. But first he
has to survive combat duty off the Korean coast during the war there.
Well-done flag waver. Good to see that sensitive little b&w's were still being made at a time when the big screen was saturated with Technicolor spectacles and bosomy sex goddesses. Brand and Sterling are perfectly cast as ordinary non-glamorous Americans of the kind that put real mettle in the nation's fabric. Surprising to see Brand demonstrate a range of sensitive emotions unlike his usual thuggish roles. Then too, it's just a year after his scary convict part in Riot in Cell Block 11 (1953). Sterling, of course, specialized in working class roles with plenty of soul. Watch, too for a number of familiar faces from that timeDoucette, Langton, Haggerty, Corrigan, among others.
Also, pay special attention to the destroyer Brand serves on. That's the USS Maddox of Gulf of Tonkin fame. It was the supposed shelling of the Maddox and the C. Turner Joy that triggered our mass intervention into South Vietnam in 1965. Thus, the ship has real historical significance. Then too, it's ironic that we would view scenes of Pearl Harbor from the deck of a ship that figured in another triggering wartime event. Anyway the movie's very competently done, never drags, and even manages to put over it's feel-good message in a way that didn't offend this professional cynic. It's also a telling contrast to such swollen big-budget similars as Battle Cry (1955) and In Love and War (1958). In my book, this little indie is one of those forgotten gems that old movie fans love to find.
"Catch it on the late show" How? Is Jean Cluade Vann Damm in it? or Steven Seagall, the only action hero with a beer gut? Or maybe a witty comedy, which must involve a 30 something single male interacting with an infant, which has become the American equivalent of the German obese male wearing womens underwear. Funny as a chapped ass on a hike. Is it just me? I know I can't be the only adult left on the planet. Okay I'll try to milk 10 lines out of this but it's gonna be tough. That's why I couldn't do law school. I go right to the heart of the issue and then I'm done. It's very very hard for me to just go on and on and on and on and on.
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