The titular river unites a farmer recently released from prison, his young son, and an ambitious saloon singer. In order to survive, each must be purged of anger, and each must learn to understand and care for the others.
A veteran comes home from the Korean War to the mountains and takes over the family moonshining business. He has to battle big-city gangsters who are trying to take over the business and the police who are trying to put him in prison.
In 1944, the castaway Corporal Allison drifts in a raft to Tuasiva Island, where he meets Sister Angela. She tells him that she is the only person on the island, having been left behind when seeking out a priest. The nun and the marine are stranded, but the island offers a bountiful supply of food. However, their paradisiacal life ends when the Japanese arrive to build a base, forcing "Mr." Allison and the nun to hide in a cave. The marine's expertise in such conditions proves to be vital to their survival, and the two grow ever closer. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; jonathanroberts
The script called for several Japanese-speaking officers and a company of Japanese troops to be on the island. There were no Japanese men on the islands of Trinidad and Tobago, where the film was shot. A half-dozen who spoke the language were finally found in a Japanese emigrant community in Brazil and flown to the location to play the officers. For the non-speaking roles of Japanese troops, the company hired 50 Chinese who worked in the island's restaurants and laundries. This caused friction with the local islanders, who found it difficult if not impossible to get their clothes cleaned or to get a meal in a restaurant because most of the employees were working on the film. See more »
At the beginning of the film, Corporal Allison's raft nears the island. As he looks over the edge of the raft and sees the island, his disheveled hair is dry as well as his shirt. However, the next shot shows his hair much shorter but soaking wet as is his shirt. See more »
Walter Huston loved to film on location; all his great movies reflect this predilection. It helps too, that Mr. Huston and John Lee Mahin produced a great screen play and the bonus was the casting of the two stars. Since it's a two character film, the director couldn't gamble with any light weight actors and it pays tremendously by the incredible performances Mr. Huston got from them.
The story of the nun who is left behind in a Pacific island and the arrival of the shipwrecked Capt. Allison, brings two people together from such different backgrounds, that under another direction wouldn't have played so well as it does in this movie. There aren't any false moments in the film.
It is a credit to Mr. Huston the pairing of Deborah Kerr with Robert Mitchum, who are amazing in their roles. There's an aura of sex between both of the actors without it being obvious, or on your face. It's the subtlety that makes this film work they way it does. Both Ms. Kerr and Mr. Mitchum would appear not to be ideal for these two characters, but they have the right chemistry to make us care for these two people stranded in the Pacific.
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