High Barbaree (1947) - Plot Summary Poster



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  • Van Johnson is a navy pilot in WWII, who has been shot down in the Pacific on a bombing mission. He and a wounded comrade are the only survivors of the mission and are lost at sea. As they await rescue, Van Johnson recants his life's story and romance with girlfriend, June Allyson. It's a wonderful wholesome movie that the whole family will enjoy. Written by Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall, the authors of Mutiny on the Bounty.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • The title "High Barbaree" refers to an island by that name. While awaiting rescue Van Johnson tells his fellow survivor about an island that his grand father described to him when he was a young boy. The island, "High Barbaree" is supposed to be close to where they crashed at sea. Van Johnson keeps their spirits up for survival by telling stories of the island and that they were slowly drifting to the island. Naturally, the island is an imaginary tale, but the story keeps Johnson and his fellow crew member alive.

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