Aboard the cargo vessel converted into a luxury cruise ship SS Campari somewhere in the Caribbean is lying in port due to a succession of delays. Chief Officer Johnny Carter, who has to put... See full summary »
Aboard the cargo vessel converted into a luxury cruise ship SS Campari somewhere in the Caribbean is lying in port due to a succession of delays. Chief Officer Johnny Carter, who has to put up a moody captain and the unwanted charms of the beautiful young Susan Beresford, realizes these delays are due to sabotage and that there is something seriously wrong. When the Campari finally sails, a member of the crew is suddenly missing. An unsuccessful stem to stem search for the crew member, with violence suddenly erupting endangers the whole ship. The ship is then controlled by a master criminal whose intention is not a simple hijacking and ransoming of the wealthy hostages on board, so what exactly does he have in mind? Written by
Poor old Alistair MacLean. With a few exceptions, movie makers the world over have managed to turn his very well written stories into not-so well written movies. In this attempt, a tired looking Richard Harris plays Ships Officer Carter, trying to deal with odd passengers, strange coffins and even stranger outfits as worn by the lovely Ann Turkel. Toss in a couple of not so great cameos from David Janssen and Dorothy Malone, a not so scary John Vernon, assorted plot "twists" (I use the term in it's broadest possible sense), and you get a movie that has all the pieces but never actually works out where they go.
What does it have going for it? A good basic storyline, some magnificent music (a great score from Jeff Wayne), a couple of quite good stunts and Ann Turkel. However, against this you have several examples of very ordinary acting, a plot that doesn't so much unfold as explode, the slowest "5 minute countdown" ever to take place in Hollwywood and the travesty of having MacLean's wonderful last "plot twist" (as read in the book) ignored so that Harris can go running around armed with a submachine and a determined look.
*sigh* The Guns of Navarone, Force 10 from Navarone, Where Eagles Dare and Ice Station Zebra (despite it's flaws) were examples of how to make a MacLean come alive on the screen. Golden Rendezvous does not make the grade.
Rafe Nottage Sydney 16 May 2005
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