In 1950s Macao, an American expat diver is hired by a mysterious woman to retrieve a sunken cargo that eventually attracts unwanted attention from a crooked banker, corrupt authorities and local pirates.
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Ex-Navy man Steve Kent, struggling to make a living in Macao, is approached by beautiful Vivian Craig. She wants to hire him and his boat to retrieve some medicine from a plane which crashed into the ocean on a flight from Manila. Kent dives at the crash-site but discovers he's been tricked into retrieving a cache of gold bars. He intends to report this cache to authorities but his growing attraction to Vivian soon causes him to change his mind. Vivian's husband, Allan, now appears on the scene. Kent reluctantly agrees to sail the gold to Hong Kong where it will be sold and the proceeds divided equally between himself, Vivian, and Allan. On the voyage to Hong Kong, however, Kent's boat is pursued both by the police and by a pirate named Bok-Ying.Written by
dinky-4 of Minneapolis
This sounds good, or at least "fun." Jeff Chandler's lured by a beautiful blonde to dive for treasure in a movie called "Smuggler's Island." One imagines scenes of a sun-bronzed Chandler venturing into the atoll of a Pacific lagoon to snatch some fabulous pearl guarded by a hungry shark.
Alas, the reality is much drabber. The action takes place in and around Macao but the look is definitely "Universal back-lot" and Chandler's brief and unexciting dive is done not with scuba gear but rather in one of those bulky, cumbersome diving suits. Thus Chandler doesn't even get to display any "beefcake," though he manages to keep unbuttoned the top two buttons of his shirt. This shows a bit of chest-hair which was shaved off for his next movie, "Iron Man," in which he played a boxer.
Evelyn Keyes doesn't have much leading-lady allure and one finds it hard to believe Chandler would "fall" for her so quickly. None of the film's villains has the necessary "style" and the climactic chase to Hong Kong lacks tension. In fact, there's not a single thrill in the entire movie.
The result is a lifeless movie peopled by dull characters involved in a plot which holds little interest. No one has his or her heart in this project and, oh, does it show.
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