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'Guns' Donovan prefers carousing with his pals Doc Dedham and 'Boats' Gilhooley, until Dedham's high-society daughter Amelia shows up in their South Seas paradise. Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
John Ford and John Wayne's last hurrah.....together
From the very beginning of this movie you know what you have let yourself in for, when Lee Marvin belts the ship's bosun over the ear with a broom. Followed by, "Permission to leave the ship"; then literally jumps ship and swims for the beach. You realize then that you are in for 150 minutes of a Fordian, boisterous knockabout comedy.
This was the last time that Ford and Wayne would team up together. Maybe this production was a farewell rave-up for both of them. With Lee Marvin thrown in to assist in turning it into a roughhouse just for the hell of it. Added to this pugilistic mixture, you have the jumbo-sized heavyweight, Mike Mazurki, serving as a French Colonial Gendarme. As a welcome opposite to the boisterous muscle we have the smooth, suave Cesar Romero, oozing glossy charm and good manners, serving as the colonial governor of this supposed French Polynesian paradise. Add to that, Dorothy Lamour, back in the sarong after a long absence, as a duskey maiden-type decoration. The three children belonging to Doctor Dedham add a nice child-like innocence to this warring male atmosphere. Here the softer side of Big John comes to the surface when he tries to comfort the eldest of the three children who becomes emotional over her half-cast origins. Elizabeth Allen adds a well bred prim and proper touch of class to this nonsensical tropical South Pacific potion.
This movie then, has a friendly-like approach to bar room brawling with smiles thrown in. Harmless and bruising fun all the way. I always imagine that this kind of rough and tumble movie seems to be "cobbled" together...somehow. Then everything seems to fall into place at the end. The end result being order out of chaos.
It's a sad to think that nearly all the lead characters plus John Ford, have all faded out and gone to the big movie studio in the sky. God help anybody else up there with this lot! That's all.
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