Sangaree (1953) Poster


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A Real Charmer!
JBThackery13 September 2005
One commenter said Sangaree was noted for nothing more than its 3-D effects. Another said it was a dull turkey. I disagree. What I discovered when viewing it on TV years ago, was a charming period-piece set in a most charming venue: Savannah! The charm was no doubt bolstered by my having just moved to Savannah when I first saw the film. But the filming is magnificent, in my humble opinion. A little artistic in its backgrounds, perhaps, but nonetheless charming, and at least one charming film about Savannah needs to endure, so looks likt this one is it. The color, sets, scenery, and costuming are magnificent, and the photography and editing are cleaqr and consistent.

To instantly pooh-pooh this classic film on dubious technical claims, is unfair. Everyone who likes romance, history, Americana, and beautiful filming should see this movie. The emotional tone is often laid back and relaxing, but that was the way of life in the sunny old South.

And what fine casting! Moreover, Arlene Dahl is - in my opinion - the only non-Southern actress who could really do a Southern accent... ( and she was from Minnesota, no less!)

The mere word "Sangaree" will forever carry me back to the charm and grace of fine old Savannah.

Sangaree ranks right up there with my favorite nostalgic films.
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Funny and Oddly Compelling
mbs27 August 2010
I saw this one last night pretty much not knowing anything about it except that it was in 3-D and that it starred Fernano Lamas---He even says to someone in the film "You Look Fabulous!!" (as opposed to You Look Marvellous!) I really only saw it because there was absolutely nothing else around that i really wanted to see (which is extremely rare) and i didn't wanna go home just yet so i plunked down the money and took a chance on this----and it was actually a fun watch! Fernando is a poor doctor in Georgia in the 1780's i would say---(he was the son of servants and the rich man who was his parents' boss for some reason paid for him to go to med school on the condition that he return and be his doctor should he need one)Fernando is called back to the place he grew up where the man who was his benefactor when he was younger is dying and leaves Fernando as the heir to his estate and to tend to his various properties which seem to make up most of the town!

Needless to say most of the townspeople--and the actual blood daughter of the rich benefactor are ill at ease with this---The Daughter actually tries to sue him using the claim that her father wasn't in his right mind when he made that arrangement. Fernando's skills as a doctor,(the town is facing a plague epidemic) as a brawler (he gets into a couple of fistfights at the local bar and wards off some pirates who wanted to steal something or other) and as a suave, good humored guy with an accent cheesier than Kraft eventually wins the townspeople over--and wins the heart of Nancy (the blood daughter of his benefactor and it should be pointed out--actual rightful heir.) Movie actually has a lot of funny one liners played completely straight and deadpan--Fernando says to Nancy at one point half kiddingly "you're a woman--and you think like a woman" (the 2 of them spend at least half the movie sniping at each other which then becomes love of course!--when they first see each other she even bites his lip after kissing him "i wanted to give you something you're gonna remember" she purrs to him...when he sees her again a little later he kisses her gloved hand and then bites it for good measure. Given random moments like these throughout, I believe the film knew exactly how it was playing as.) Because of its sense of humor and to be honest a lot of that comes from Fernando himself although Arlene Dhal gives as good as she gets as Nancy----the movie manages to be quite watchable and even somewhat fun. No you won't remember it the morning after, i barely even remembered it on the ride home after--but if you're in the mood for a light hearted somewhat fun romantic-comedy southern Gothic costume post-revolutionary war epic this would definitely fit the bill.
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mhrabovsky691212 January 2008
Wow, finally got my DVD copy of "Sangaree" just recently, and this is a top notch movie for it's time.....Fernando Lamas with the Ricky Ricardo accent, his voice and Desi Arnaz almost sounds exactly the same......story concerns the old south and Lamas being awarded the rights to a plantation and all of its wealth by a dying patriarch...... The family of two beautiful women, Arlene Dahl and Patricia Medina and Tom Drake (of "Meet me in St Louis" fame).....take no particular stance against Lamas, but a con artist doctor and his son do and challenge the will in court....Lamas prevails, but has to fight tyranny in old Savannah trying to protect the vast Darby empire from pirates and the plague.....con artist doctor Bristol tries to hide his warehouse from the public because it contains stolen contraband and is a haven for infested rats. Lamas organizes the town citizens and exposes corruption in old the end he winds up with Nancy Darby, played by Arlene Dahl....for my money I would have taken the lovely Patricia Medina as a love interest...she was a staple in 50s costume dramas and as beautiful as they come. Have to wonder why this film was never released to video by Paramount....a top notch cast and a very good story. This is just one of lots of classics that have never gotten past the courts or whatever and been released to video....why??? It took over twenty years of legal wrangling before "The High and the Mighty" with John Wayne was released also. If you like good 50s costume dramas you will love "Sangaree"......
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Average historical "epic" notable for 3-D process only
Stereo3dguy27 September 2003
This was Paramount's first 3-D film of the 1950's, which reportedly had begun production as a flat film, but then re-started in 3-D in the race to get a stereoscopic project into the theatres as soon as possible. Fernando Lamas also appeared in a second 3-Dimension film, JIVARO, in 1954.
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Blu- ray print is beautiful
mmcgee28216 October 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Now this was a Pine -Thomas production based on a popular ,of the time. By ,means,it's no,"Gone with the Wind," or,"War and peace,this was a ,B, production.B ,but,well done.It not only was Paramount first 3D production,but, the first 3D production to be printed in 3 strip technicolor process.It was photographed on single strip Eastman color. At the time Fernando Lamas ,before Esther Williams, were lovers.The heat shows in the film between them as Fern plays the ex indentured slave, by getting a loan and return you got to give your teeth as collateral,until you pay it back ,Ha!Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha, nope. You get a loan to move to the new country and in return pay back by being a servant to whom you got the loan from until it's fully paid ,today it would be known as loan sharks. Patricia Medina ,who did two other 3d movies ,plays an ex slave too and was in love with Fern,but,now she married Ferns best friend ,who is well to do doctor,played by Tom Drake,of meet me in Saint Louie and Word and music fame,but her character is sill having a heart towards Fernand. Now a doctor himself Fernand has agreed to his late slave owner to take over his estate and converted some of the funds for free schooling and free heath care for the poor and free indentured slaves earlier. He now has to confront stubborn Arlene doll,who going to fight him in the court to keep her fathers property,encourage by the scoundrel ,played by John Sutton. Now this kind of story would make a greedy person uncomfortable.The 3D photography was excellent noticeable in the scene where Arlene show the new tobacco stock to Fernand.Things are thrown t at the camera ,but, they put them as part of the story.The fight scene between Fernand and Willard Parker against John Sutton and his Ogre ,you see plenty of objects flying at the camera ,at the tavern.As always Frances l. Sullivan always plays the bad British guy.These days most 3d movie are just action ,not romance or musicals.This is a 3d made,not converted,romantic drama.Unfortunately a 3D shot of the trailer is lost,only two flat trailers one promotes 3d the other promote the 2d version,exist only.At least we got the feature.Also includes is the before and after restoration and the radio version of the movie produced in 1955. 10/16/18.
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Historical drama with some reality problems
weezeralfalfa30 April 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Found this obscure film at YouTube. Sounded like it might be an interesting historical drama, sited in southern GA soon after the American Revolutionary War was concluded. I was curious whether it might have been inspired by a historic Darby Plantation or Sangaree. A web search revealed that there is a historic Darby Plantation mansion, and a nearby Sangaree, although not in the Savanna region. Rather they are near Summerville, which is near Charleston, SC.

I am curious why a plague epidemic was inserted as a significant factor in the screenplay. I have found no evidence that bubonic plague has ever been a problem in the Eastern US. Furthermore, Martha Darby being shown suddenly collapsing and falling down the stairs, supposedly from plague, is melodramatic. True, she looks disheveled, but she had just killed Harvey Bristol, who wanted her to kill Dr. Morales, whom she still had a crush on. A much more likely epidemic might be cholera, yellow fever, smallpox, or measles. In fact there was a smallpox epidemic during the Revolutionary War, but I believe it was mostly confined to the northern states. Returning to plague, even if it was established(which I doubt) by this era that there was a connection between the presence of rats and plague epidemics, why was it deemed necessary to burn down all the warehouses in Savanna to reduce the rat population? Why not concentrate the control efforts against rats that frequented around housing, where most people were. Why didn't they have less draconian methods of rat control like traps, sanitation, and encouraging a healthy cat and dog population?

Initially, we have a situation where old General Darby, on his death bed, announces that he wants his adopted son, Dr. Marcos, rather than his natural son, Roy, to inherit the Darby estate, but his natural daughter, Nancy, to remain as manager. Strangely, Dr. Marcos and Nancy don't initially know each other? However, Nancy wants Morales cut out of the will, with brother Roy and herself owners. She goes to court to have the will declared invalid because it was signed in Vermont rather than Georgia, and because the General was obviously out of his mind when he wrote it, since he requested that all the slaves and indentured servants be declared free. But strangely, when Morales' lawyer asked if Nancy thought her father was insane, she responded "no". Thus, the case was dismissed. Doesn't make any sense to me!? ...At first, Nancy's impression of Morales was very negative, as this suited her desires. However, gradually, she warmed up.

Martha is the wife of the General's son, Roy. Roy has no desire to run the plantation, but Martha wants a greater indirect stake in the plantation. She would prefer to achieve this by marrying Morales, but she already chose her husband. Thus, she forms an arrangement with the Bristols to warehouse Darby goods pirated from the ships that export their produce. She spreads the rumor that Nancy, her sister in law, is actually doing this. For a time, Morales believes this, as incongruous as it may seem. Then, Nancy is found unconscious outside. Not clear to me who did this. Morales does some bone surgery, and she gets well. Meanwhile, Morales has to take part in a pistol and knife duel, which turns out to be bizarre, and is called off after someone tries to knife Morales, who has walked into a bushy swamp!? Morales senses that Nancy is the more capable of the two women, and besides she isn't married.

Francis Sullivan who plays the elder Dr. Bristol, is a dead ringer for the older, chubby, Charles Laughton, especially his speech. They went to the same school in England. Fernando Lamas, and Arlene Dahl:the two leads, married about a year after this film was released, each having divorced their prior spouse in the prior year or two.... John Sutton, as usual, played a loser, in Harvey Bristol.
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"Harlequin" romance-style claptrap...
CharlieDyer10 September 2006
Just saw this at the World 3-D Film Expo and it was a turkey through and through.

Clearly this was only made for the lonely housewife set to ogle at a half-naked Fernando with painted-on pants. If he'd had a bigger basket I probably would've given it a higher score...:)

The transitions between real-world and sound stage footage was clunky at best. I can't imagine even a naive 1950's moviegoer believing any of this was shot in the real Savannah, Georgia.

Were it not for gimmick of 3-D this one would have been relegated to the dustbin of Hollywood long ago.
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3-D forever!
JohnHowardReid6 October 2014
Warning: Spoilers
The "7" is for the 3-D version. I wouldn't dream of watching this movie in 2-D. In the first place, it's a "B" movie. Admittedly, it has a pretty fair star line-up in Fernando Lamas, Arlene Dahl, Patricia Medina and Francis L. Sullivan, but it's directed by Edward Ludwig. Admittedly, Ludwig's direction here is a notch or two above his usual level, but 1952's "Big Jim McLain" is probably the worst film John Wayne ever made; 1956's "Flame of the Islands" was a total waste of Yvonne De Carlo; and 1957's "The Black Scorpion" had little to recommend it aside from the presence of Mara Corday. I will admit that "Sangaree" provides a fair bit of action and allows for some characteristic villainy from Francis L. Sullivan, but minus the novelty of 3-D, 95 minutes is far too long to sustain interest in this "B"- grade melodrama.
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