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Pirates take over a lighthouse on a rocky island. They then execute a devious plan to cause ships to run aground, pillaging their wrecks. A lone member of the lighthouse crew survives, and he deperately fights their plot. A shipwrecked maiden that avoids the pirates slaughter soon complicates the situation. Written by
John Rutkai <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I read the book first, a fairly good novel by the prolific Jules Verne entitled The Lighthouse at the End of the World. I enjoyed the book sufficiently to look forward with a degree of eagerness to the film, but my anticipation was shattered once I saw the actual movie.
It's a terribly dreary affair, about lighthouse keepers near to Cape Horn who are attacked by a band of pirates. The pirates seize control of their island, and more importantly their lighthouse, and use it to steer unsuspecting vessels onto the nearby rocks.
Kirk Douglas plays the surviving lighthouse keeper, and Yul Brynner plays the main pirate. Both roles are under written and both stars seem ill at ease with the material they've been signed up to work with. The action is littered with distracting embarrassments, such as the scene where Kirk leaps from a cliff into the sea, but it is so obviously a dummy making the fall that it evokes laughter more than excitement.
This might have been an enjoyable kids movie if treated better, but every now and then it lapses into brutality which makes it unsuitable even for the juvenile crowd. In particular, there's a savage scene in which a hostage is skinned alive by the pirates, and we see peels of skin being torn off with a hooked pike to reveal blood and raw flesh beneath. This is not the stuff of a childrens' flick. Furthermore, the film frequently turnd up in an incoherent, chopped up 95 minute edition, which has been cut down from the two hour original so badly that it barely makes sense at all. An interesting dilemma for the audience is whether to watch the short, illogical version, or the long, dreary one. Suffice to say, both are awful!
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