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After their luxury liner is sunk, a group of over twenty survivors take refuge in a life boat made for only nine. Included in the group are an old opera singer, a nuclear physicist, his wife and child, a General, a play-write and his dog, a college professor, a gambler and his mistress, the ship's nurse, and several members of the crew, including the Captain and executive officer. Soon, the captain dies from his injuries. The executive officer must take charge, and as a hurricane approaches, and their food and water run out, he must decide who to put over the side, and who stays and gets a chance at survival. Written by
Mike Hatchett <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When Holmes climbs aboard the lifeboat, he is wearing only his jockey shorts and his t-shirt, and is not carrying anything. He had taken off his pants in the water to use for scaring away a shark. In later scenes, his pants are miraculously back on him. See more »
The story which you have just seen is a true one. In real life Captain Alexander Holmes was brought to trial on a charge of murder. He was convicted and given the minimum sentence of six months because of the unusual circumstances surrounding the incident. If you had been a member of the jury, how would you have voted: guilty or innocent?
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As gripping and powerful as it is, ABANDON SHIP! is a survival story that's hard to view from the comfort of an armchair or theater seat. The viewer can identify so completely with the daunting task facing the ship's officer (TYRONE POWER) when making life and death decisions with regard to how many people can use the lifeboat when a sunken ship leaves them adrift at sea.
True, there are a few stereotypes among the raft's passengers, but the drama becomes real and forceful due to the strong performances from an excellent cast. MAI ZETTERLING is fine as a nurse with a romantic relationship to Executive Officer Power and STEPHEN BOYD and LLOYD NOLAN are fine as other ship officers caught up in unusual circumstances surrounding their survival at sea.
Not for the squeamish, it has echoes of Hitchcock's LIFEBOAT (but without the humor).
Tyrone Power was at a stage in his career when he wanted more serious roles rather than stay forever fixed in the minds of movie-goers as a swashbuckling star. Here he certainly had his chance to prove his acting skills and he does a splendid job in a grim role, one of his last parts before his premature death from a heart attack at age 45.
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