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Young and awkward, The Coast-Guard's ensign Thomas Garland suffers from the comparison with his late father, a war hero. Which does not prevent him from falling for pretty Kate Fairchild, a young woman who runs a sailing school. Of course the way he expresses his deep sympathy for the lady leaves to be desired. And the situation does not improve when a trio of bumbling jewel thieves interferes. Written by
Hard to believe these guys stole those jewels in the first place.
I saw Boatniks back in 1971 at the post theater in Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas and I remember talking a friend into seeing this. He wasn't keen on seeing a G rated family film. But he and I actually did enjoy it.
The three heist men, Phil Silvers, Norman Fell, and Mickey Shaughnessy, steal the film. These three are a trio of the most inept crooks ever filmed. Graduating from the Three Stooges School of Crime, one scheme after another keeps blowing up for these three. They're so bad that on viewing it again after 34 years, my question is how did these three pull off the heist in the first place. Makes you wonder since the film opens with the heist having already been committed.
Our hero isn't too much better. Robert Morse who made a sensational debut on Broadway in How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and later did the film, seemed to go nowhere after that. He gets the role Dean Jones usually played in those Disney films of that era, the klutzy hero who finally pulls it together in the last reel after one foul up after another. Stefanie Powers gets the Suzanne Pleshette part, the girl who falls for the klutz.
In these Disney films there's always the hero's boss who is forever on Morse's case. Here that would be Don Ameche as the Coast Guard Commander at the Marina. As debonair and charming as he ever was back in his days at 20th Century Fox, Ameche is always a joy to watch.
Boatniks is not a terribly pretentious movie, but it's good fun.
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