5.9/10
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The Adventures of Sadie (1953)

Our Girl Friday (original title)
Rich Sadie Patch is marooned on a desert island after an emergency on her cruise-ship. With her are Irish stoker Pat, prickly young Jimmy Carrol, and bald and bookish Professor Gibble. All ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Sadie Patch
...
Jimmy Carrol
...
Pat Plunkett
Robertson Hare ...
Professor Gibble
...
Spinster
Walter Fitzgerald ...
Captain
Hattie Jacques ...
Mrs. Patch
Felix Felton ...
Mr. Patch
Lionel Murton ...
Barman
Anthony Tancred ...
Smithers
Michael Meacham ...
Schooner Officer
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Storyline

Rich Sadie Patch is marooned on a desert island after an emergency on her cruise-ship. With her are Irish stoker Pat, prickly young Jimmy Carrol, and bald and bookish Professor Gibble. All fancy their chances. Written by Jeremy Perkins <jwp@aber.ac.uk>

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Comedy

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1 December 1953 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

The Adventures of Sadie  »

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(Eastmancolor)

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1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film was also called "Our Girl Friday" in some countries. See more »

Soundtracks

If You Were The Only Girl In The World
(uncredited)
Written by Nat Ayer and Clifford Grey
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User Reviews

 
An unknown dialect not associated with any specific geographic location or social class
20 July 2015 | by (Tunbridge Wells, England) – See all my reviews

This is one of those movies with a dual identity. In Britain it was released as "Our Girl Friday", but in the U.S. it has always been known as "The Adventures of Sadie", under which title it is today sometimes shown on British television. The reason for the separate American title may be to avoid confusion with the 1940 American screwball comedy film "His Girl Friday". In this review, however, I will refer to it by the original British title. The plot is a version of that old chestnut about a disparate group of people being shipwrecked on a deserted island. In this case there are three men and one woman, Sadie Patch, the beautiful but spoilt daughter of a wealthy Northern industrialist. Sadie's male companions are Pat Plunkett, a drunken Irish stoker, Jimmy Carrol, a cynical, hard-bitten journalist and Professor Gibble, a pompous upper- class academic.

When I recently reviewed "Sink the Bismarck!", I pointed out that although Kenneth More had a fairly small range as an actor he was capable of giving some very good performances within that range, of which his role in "Sink the Bismarck!" was one. "Our Girl Friday" reminds us of just how bad he could be when he tried to go outside that range. He normally specialised in playing stiff-upper-lipped upper-class or middle-class Englishmen or Scotsmen, often officers in the Forces. Here, as Plunkett, he gets to play a working-class Irishman. You can tell he's Irish because he occasionally sounds like a stage-Irishman, although he just as often can sound like a stage-Welshman, stage-West Countryman, stage-Cockney or stage-Australian. Most of the time, however, he speaks an unknown dialect not associated with any specific geographic location or social class.

Problems with accents do not end with More. Although she is supposedly a native of Wigan, Sadie speaks with a cut-glass Home Counties accent, unlike her parents who are broadly Northern. (Oddly, Sadie's mother is played by Hattie Jacques who was only eleven years older than Joan Collins). I suppose one explanation could be that she had received elocution lessons after being sent to public school, but two more likely ones are (i) that Collins did not want to attempt a Lancashire accent or (ii) that the film-makers had an eye on the American box office, which has always regarded British regional dialects as incomprehensible foreign tongues.

The story revolves around the complications which ensue when both Carrol and Gibble fall in love with the lovely Sadie, who spends much of the film wandering around in a bikini. (In case anyone is wondering how she had the time to grab her swimsuit when the ship sank, the answer is that she made it herself on the island out of an old sweater belonging to Plunkett. The question of how she had the time to grab her sewing kit when the ship sank is left unanswered). Plunkett seems immune to Sadie, partly because he is semi-permanently drunk, but also because when sober he is perceptive enough to realise that, beneath her good looks, she is actually a prize bitch. The plot is generally predictable, apart from the ending which makes very little sense. There are some silly plot- holes. When a bottle of rum turns up, and Gibble wants to prevent the dipsomaniac Plunkett from getting drunk on its contents, he comes up with a contrived scheme for Sadie to swim out and sink the bottle in the sea beyond the reef. Why didn't he just pour the rum on the ground?

The characterisation is, to say the least, unsubtle. His accent apart, More's Plunkett is the standard caricature of the Irishman from a long line of British cinema comedies and, before that, from an even longer line of stage comedies and music-hall performances. George Cole's Carrol and Robertson Hare's Gibble are equally one-dimensional caricatures, and both actors fail (in Hare's case disastrously so) when called upon to step outside their comic personas and show some genuine emotion in their love scenes with Sadie. If the script tells us that a character is in love, we need to believe it, even in a comedy. The best (or should I say least bad) acting comes from Collins, but perhaps only because her character is required to remain one-dimensional throughout and is never required to show any genuine emotion, genuine emotion being something quite alien to Sadie's personality.

When "Our Girl Friday" was recently shown on an obscure specialist movie channel it was described as a "British Cinema Classic". It isn't anything of the sort. Even in 1953 it was a box-office flop and today it is largely forgotten. It is a film which has faded both literally- the print I saw on television had very washed-out colours- and metaphorically in the sense that it has faded from view. Even the sight of the lovely Joanie in a bikini cannot rescue it from oblivion. 4/10

A goof. Birds seen on the island include a Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo (native to Australia and New Guinea), a Scarlet Macaw (native to South America) and an African Grey Parrot (native, as its name might suggest, to Africa). There is nowhere in the world where all three species could be seen together in the wild.


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