Canada 1931: The unsociable trapper Johnson lives for himself in the ice-cold mountains near the Yukon river. During a visit in the town he witnesses a dog-fight. He interrupts the game and... See full summary »
Peter R. Hunt
Offshore near Caboblanco, Peru, an explorer of sea wrecks is murdered. However, local authorities decide that the official cause of death is "accidental drowning." Among the skeptical is Giff Hoyt, an expatriate American, longtime Caboblanco resident and popular innkeeper. Giff's interest is further piqued when Marie arrives in town. Her passport is confiscated by the corrupt authority, and Giff protests. Furthermore, a Nazi named Beckdorff lives in a well-fortified compound near town, and he might be responsible for the explorer's death. Beckdorff himself seeks sunken treasure in the area, as well as protection from local interference. Can Giff Hoyt stifle the evil Beckdorff, save the lovely Marie, and possibly even locate sunken treasure? Written by
When the diving device is raised from the deck (at around 3 mins), the winch is rotating in the wrong direction, and when the capsule is lowered into the water, the rotating direction is the same as when lifting See more »
I don't want that girl to die here like the Englishman.
How can I be responsible, whether she lives or dies? Death comes to us all, Giff, at one time or another. And to die in Caboblanco, well... there's always that colorful cemetery on the beach.
I'm glad you think it's colorful. Because if anything does happen to that girl... rest in piece.
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There are so many bad reasons to see films that seeing CaboBlanco simply because it has (along with The Salamander) one of Jerry Goldsmith's most obscure scores doesn't seem quite such a stupid one, especially since the score is pretty good. Although it never matches its magnificent Ravelesque opening, let alone the extraordinary work Goldsmith was doing at the same period (Star Trek, The Boys From Brazil, The First Great Train Robbery, Magic, The Swarm, Masada, Poltergeist), it's another case of a composer being inspired by a bad film to turn out a good score that's still head and shoulders over 99% of film scoring today.
The film itself is certainly an oddity, an attempt to do a Casablanca in post-war Peru, but Charles Bronson, Dominique Sanda, Simon MacCorkindale, Fernando Rey and Jason Robards were never likely to offer much competition to Bogie, Bergman, Heinreid, Rains and Veidt even had the script been better. (There's no Dooley Wilson or As Time Goes By, but Nat King Cole does turn up on the jukebox singing The Very Thought of You.) Sanda in particular, as usual in her English language work, is so staggeringly awful you half-expect her to bump into the furniture, although she gets strong competition from MacCorkindale in the who-can-give-the-worse-performance stakes, but an easygoing Bronson at least is good value. Feeling more like one of RKO's mid 50s SuperScope South of the Border treasure hunt movies than anything from Warners' golden age, the film at times feels like its suffered some last-minute editing, jumping into some scenes apparently midway while some characters are never introduced properly (prominently billed Clifton James never appears at all), and the ending involving a parrot, a secret code, a stuck record on a jukebox and a cyanide pill is one of the most absurd endings in screen history. Still, there's some fluid and impressively composed Scope camera-work and the scenery's nice.
It's an odd candidate for restoration, but the German DVD does at least boast a good 2.35:1 transfer, though the soundtrack doesn't fare so well.
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