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A brightly-colored CinemaScope movie featuring two attractive actors and dealing with the mysterious disappearance of a ship in the Caribbean? This is such an appealing set of ingredients it's hard to see where it could go wrong, but it does, it does. As is often the case, the chief fault here lies with the script which sets up an intriguing situation and then lets it slowly fade away into the kind of mundane resolution which leaves one muttering: "You mean, that's it?" In between the start and the finish the movie is filled not so much with a plot but rather with lifeless scenes of the characters simply discussing the plot, and padding these scenes is pretty but pointless footage of ships skimming over blue water.
William Witney, who directed the classic "Spy Smasher" serial back in 1942, barely goes through the motions here. Leading lady Margia Dean seems miscast, lacks charisma, and has little to do. Peter Falk wanders in and out of the film but his distinctive "persona" had not yet evolved. While they don't look like brothers, Jeff Richards and Richard Chamberlain are agreeable, easy-on-the-eyes actors who might have been able to enliven the proceedings had their modest but undeniable assets been put to use, but they're not even required to take their shirts off, despite the fact both have good-looking physiques and despite the fact they're constantly surrounded by hot skies and swim-perfect waters.
This marks Richard Chamberlain's film debut but it's also, more or less, Jeff Richards' last hurrah. He won a Golden Globe in 1954 for being "Most Promising Male Newcomer" and for several years thereafter he hovered on the outer fringes of stardom, but for some reason or other nothing quite "clicked" and by the late 1950s, his career was coming to an end. Richards' fans are advised to skip this movie and instead watch his preceding one, the silly but entertaining "Island of Lost Women." At least that movie had the good sense to squeeze him into a snug bathing suit at the earliest possible opportunity!
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