The daughter of man who owns a South Seas pearl business falls in love with a wealthy traveler. Her father dies, leaving her the business. A greedy ship captain schemes to take the business...
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The daughter of man who owns a South Seas pearl business falls in love with a wealthy traveler. Her father dies, leaving her the business. A greedy ship captain schemes to take the business from her.Written by
Annette Kellerman, an Underwater Ballet, Bright Scenery, Attractive Colors
Despite its interesting use of color tints, the charm of its real locations and some reasonable acting in the support cast, the last of Miss Kellerman's feature-length movies (and the only one that is available in complete form in 2008) proves something of a disappointment. The first problem lies in Miss Kellerman herself. She is, to put it kindly, a ham of the first water. Her only rival in the scenery-chewing department would be John Barrymore at his worst.
Okay, so we're not watching the film to see fine acting, but simply to view the legendary Annette Kellerman in her prime. Well, this aspect is none too bright either. Miss Kellerman has aged a little since she frolicked around as a mermaid in "Neptune's Daughter" (1914), and although she is still a top-hole diver and swimmer, her figure is a little chunky, or at least a little too muscular by 2008 standards of feminine beauty.
Never mind that! What about the swimming and the underwater ballet fantasy? Well, that's a bit of a letdown too. I guess I was expecting something akin to the Esther Williams' re-enactments in "Million Dollar Mermaid" (1952). This sequence here is brightly colored, but long and repetitious.
Oddly, the best thing about the movie is not Miss Kellerman, not the swimming and underwater sequences, not the location scenery, but the old-hat plot! True, Robert Ramsey makes a dull hero (his career lasted only two films), but Australian actor Norman French puts a bit of life into his villain, and director Sullivan himself (Miss Kellerman's real-life husband) is very personable and charismatic as the first mate.
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