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In 1942, a cargo ship jammed with British evacuees from Singapore is sunk by a Japanese sub. A small lifeboat carries a beautiful woman, an army officer, a bigoted administrator, and a black seaman. Only the seaman knows the woman is a nun. The men reveal their true selves under the hardships of survival. Told in a too-long flashback frame. Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
Director Bob McNaught, working as the Associate Producer, replaced Roberto Rossellini as the director. A press release stated..."but Rossellini decided at almost the last minute that "Sea Wife" was not his cup of minestrone." Not the first nor last time a director quit a film, but one of the few instances where the production company used it as a publicity story. See more »
The opening sequences in London are set in 1947, but several 1950s vehicles (including the newspaper delivery vans) are visible in various street scenes. See more »
"You must empty your minds and learn to eat time."
That's the advice given the forlorn castaways by the commander of a WWII Japanese submarine. And good advice it is. If you watch this movie, empty your minds of expatiations as 'Sea Wife' is a fun movie but not a strong one.
Produced by a British film company, hence all the English stars, Richard Burton, Joan Collins, Basil Sydney and Cy Grant. Released in 1957 and disturbed in the USA by 20th Century Fox. Shot in glorious 70mm CinemaScope color.
Available on DVD in widescreen and nicely restored too. The film looks great. Set in WWII, the British cast is hurriedly departing Singapore before the invading Japanese army arrives. Too late...their ship is torpedo by a Japanese sub and sank. Luckily the forlorn four manage to make it to an inflatable raft. That's where their adventure begins.
Joan Collins is a nun who loses her nuns outfit and for some mysterious reason decides to keep her name and position as a nun secret. The castaways only know her by the nickname, 'Sea Wife'. Richard Burton, known as 'Biscuit' is surly and serious as ever. He's in love with 'Sea Wife'. Basil Sydney, aka 'Bulldog' is the guy you love to hate...a loudmouth bigoted racist who dislikes the black Purser played by Cy Grant. Cy Grant, known as 'Number 4', is a good natured guy and former Purser of the sunken ship. 'Number 4' goes a little wacky when he finds a discarded machete. NO ONE but him can touch it. Has he gone mad from the tropical sun? Or is he just being sensible with the likes of 'Bulldog' around? I found the film interesting.
The cinematography is excellent with scenes being shot on a real tropical island and the open ocean. The dialogue is heavy on melodramatics and light on nuisances. Not surprising as 'Sea Wife' was adapted from a novel. A worthy film if you don't expect too much from it.
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