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The Torch (1950)
5/10
With a few changes, this could have been a decent movie.
17 July 2018
From the beginning of this film it felt like something was amiss. The opening has a group of rebels taking over a small Mexican town. The townsfolk, which had no way of protection, falls under the band of gunmen that happens to be lead by General Reyes. You get an early projection of how the movie is going to play out as the General tells his men to kill a city official and the next scene the General is buying candy for a small child in the ravaged conditions. This scene was to prove that the General is not all bad but perhaps just a misunderstood individual.

But the main plot of the story is between the General and a local woman named Maria. Maria is due to be married to a doctor but it seems the General has eyes for the saucy woman and does his best at wooing her away from the good doctor. This was not a poor concept as the story seemed to be moving in an interesting direction. Then the production staff felt that the movie needed a bit of playful comedy that included an embarrassing conversation between the General and Maria through a closed door. Thereafter the movie took a much kinder tone as the good/bad General is pining over a woman that was about as detached as himself.

Pedro Armendáriz, that played the General, for the most part did a nice job as the strong fighter wanting the strong female. The way that he handled the change from tough character, that also showed a soft side, was refreshing. In fact, Armendáriz was the only actor in the film that seemed sincere in his role. Paulette Goddard, that played the fiery Maria, came across the screen as a twin of Norma Desmond. She played the part as someone that needed mental help instead of a person that the viewer could identify. She over-played the part and used such odd facial expressions that she became nearly scary. Add the fact that she was forty years old at the time of the filming-- even the pigtails that she wore could not make her the age that the movie want her to appear.

Even with the suspicious acting, the movie did have some nice moments. If some of the actors were changed and the director tone downed a few notches, then this could have been an exciting movie. Instead, we are left with a film that had good intentions but failed to meet the mark that was possible.
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8/10
Was pleasantly surprised!
13 July 2018
Even though this movie had all the requirements of a typical B Western, the only problem is it actually had a plot that was interesting. The movie had poor editing, poor sound and poor picture quality, all that was expected from this type of western. But the story and the actors were actually very good and the action was topnotch. Buck Jones, who is known for doing all of his stunts, made this action western believable and exciting. The story involves two US Marshals being killed and in response they sent Marshal Roberts (Buck Jones) and Marshal McCall (Tim McCoy) to find the persons responsible for the murders. Along the way they run into a gang of roughs that are taking advantage of the law and it is up to the Marshals to put a stop to the high jinks. They even throw in a beautiful girl to make the story complete. A well performed B western movie. Was not expecting much from the film but was pleasantly surprised. And as the movie comes to a close and the music begins, it takes me back to the days as a youth watching Saturday Matinees at the local theater and loving every moment of the experience.
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Convoy (1940)
6/10
With some studio help, this could have been better.
19 June 2018
Even though this film was a flag waving gift to the British war effort, this did not take away from the interesting plot that was contained within the story. Two officers of the same war ship has been married to the same woman and she just so happens to be on a transport vessel that the Germans plan to sink. This is the rub of the story as now conflict between the two officers must be settled before engaging the Germans in a sea battle. And as you can guess from a 1940 British war movie, the allies are going to give their best as the brutes from central Europe try to advance on the people of Great Britain. For a fast paced early war movie, this was played well by the actors. But for some reason, the filming studio decided, perhaps to save money, used a large amount of miniatures during most of the film which took away from the viewing pleasure. It was probably necessary to use miniatures for some of the fight scenes but this film went well overboard by filming all actors in a studio environment using a water tub for close-up scenes of ships. It was so obvious and useless that they even used studio tanks for lazy shots of a ship that was calm in the water. Overall the film, even with its cheap looks, did entertain enough to make the story interesting to the end. A bit of help from the studio would have made this project much better.
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Crooked House (2017)
3/10
Great Book, Poor Film
2 January 2018
Anytime you have a mystery, you want the audience to feel like they are part of the process. Where the viewer feels like they could have solved the mystery with the right amount of motivation. That is why, in most mystery movies, you have a character that is unique and even quirky, a person that stands out above others. However in this tale, you have a bland, uninteresting guy making each scene feel long and boring. Max Irons, that plays the detective, is mundane and even dusty, in the role that makes the story drag on like waiting at the emergency room admitting office. The entire movie, except for some scenes near the end, almost became unwatchable as drab performances and ill-timed background music filled the film. A movie mystery from an interesting book was turned into a long walk in a small platoon of trees.

This movie did have a number of great actors but it was obvious they were not used to their potential. And with the script going from one suspect to another suspect in a matter of minutes, the viewer only got a small potion of each character background right before changing to another scene with another character actor. For an Agatha Christie mystery, this film was lacking the excitement that was expected.
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The Ghost & Mrs. Muir: The Ghost Hunter (1968)
Season 1, Episode 4
8/10
Finally a show with some comedy.
14 November 2017
As a person that has been critical of the series, I will say that this was the first episode that actually had some good laughs. Mind you- most of the laughs happened to be slapstick comedy, it still made the experience of watching the show positive.

Bill Bixby does a fine job of guest-starring as a college paranormal professor that is trying to continue funding his classes by showing the staff that there are ghost living among us. And of course he sets his eyes on the Gull cottage.

At first the Captain tries to frighten the professor away but this only leads to more fascination by the visiting teacher. And in a way the Captain has played right into the professor's hands as he will get fellow professors to visit the house to see for themselves. However, the Captain and Mrs Muir, have a plan to set the young professor back with his head at a low angle.

With some actual good gags and humorous jokes, this episode was the best of the offerings so far in the series. It still seems that Hope Lang is not quite comfortable in the role as she seems to play her part with such a stiff projection. But thanks to Mr Bixby, who was perfectly cast, the show was entertaining enough to view.
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The Ghost & Mrs. Muir: Haunted Honeymoon (1968)
Season 1, Episode 2
3/10
This episode was very limited on laughs.
13 November 2017
While watching this episode, I realized that the entire production was very limited on laughs. For a comedy, this is not something you set out to obtain.

The plot involved a young couple on their way to get married when their car breaks down right in front of Muir's house. And due to the late hour, they will not be able to get a mechanic out till morning. Thus, the couple will spend the night. The Captain is not keen on the two young people staying in his house. And as you might guess, the Captain sports around trying to get the people out. This backfires when Carolyn tells him to stop. Now the only way out is to get them married and the Captain will have his room back.

After the show was over, I tried to go back and think of things that made the show worthy for watching. And to be honest, there are very few points of interest. The only real laugh was when the Captain tried to fix the car - otherwise it is not too comical when a window opens by itself or a door closes by itself.

Of course, the screen was made much better by, the always good looking, Yvonne Craig. You can actually say that she was the best item about the entire episode. For a dull script, Ms Craig made the time pass by much quicker. She deserves credit.
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Spin City: Yet Another Stakeout (2001)
Season 6, Episode 5
5/10
One story was entertaining, the other dull.
9 August 2017
The Mayor election is in full swing and the two candidates, Winston and Wheeler, are getting the ground work going. But it seems that Wheeler is playing some dirty politics. He runs dirty ads that show Winston in a bad light. Wheeler even went so far as to have a man that sells porn get his picture made with Winston and then runs a commercial about whom the Mayor hangs out with. So things are getting dirty in the race. But when Charlie gets a lead that Wheeler is cheating on his wife, things may get more interesting.

Also Carter is thinking about having a baby with one of his life-long friends named Michelle. But Michelle is dating Stuart and there is definitely a problem with the entire baby thing.

This is an episode of two stories with one being interesting and the other very dull. The Mayor's election was humorous but also had a soft side to the tale. While the 'Carter wants a baby' story- was less than thrilling. Was hoping for more from the episode but got less. Just last episode, it was Caitlin wanting a baby- now Carter. That plot had already been done. Let's move on. But I have my doubts.
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Spin City: The Apartment (2001)
Season 6, Episode 4
9/10
Funny lines and Funny gags make this episode entertaining
9 August 2017
In this enjoyable episode, the public is beginning to make comments about the Mayor dating a married woman. So in order to keep the comments down, Charlie tells the Mayor that they need to stay away from the mansion and go to a friend's house. Little did he know that he would be getting a knock at the door that very evening. In fact, the Mayor actually moves in with Charlie so that he and Claire can be together. And as you can guess, this does not sit too well with Charlie.

In another story, after Caitlin goes to her friend's baby-shower, she begins to think that she would like to have her own baby. Since she has never been around children very much, Carter lets Caitlin take Rags (the dog) home for a period of time in order to see if she can take care of him. It's not long before she is at the Vet's office.

This episode has some very funny lines and also humorous gags. One of the better gags is when the Mayor throws keys at Charlie only to have it land in a pan of hot cheese. It was literally a laugh-out-loud moment. An entertaining show that was fun to watch.
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Spin City: Wife with Mikey (2001)
Season 6, Episode 3
7/10
Mike is stepping on Charlie's toes.
9 August 2017
Mike has called off his engagement and now wants to return to city hall. Of course this is going to put Charlie in an awkward situation as it seems that Mike has taking over the office. With Charlie out for lunch, Mike rushes the Mayor's press conference up where he announces that he is again running for office. This happens with Mike standing by the Mayor and Charlie watching on a TV at a diner. Charlie has to do something before he is pushed out the door.

Nearly the entire episode set around the Mike and Charlie situation. There is a side event where the Mayor is to dress up like a woman for charity and also an event at the end of the show that most were expecting. Overall the episode proved entertaining to the very end. This show also lets the sitcom move-on and get back to a normal collection of stories. Nice watch.
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Spin City: A Tree Falls in Manhattan (2001)
Season 6, Episode 2
8/10
Mike Flaherty helps the staff out of a jam. He wants to stay.
9 August 2017
This show opens up with the Mayor announcing that he cut down an old oak tree so that he and Claire can see the sun rise along the river. But little does he know that the tree was planted by George Washington and is a historical treasure. And with an election in the future, they need to keep this quiet.

Charlie is sitting at a bar when he is approached by this nice looking lady. Little does he know that the lady is working for a man that is running against the Mayor in the election. He takes her home and he tells her about the Mayor chopping down the tree. The next day the tree incident is all over the news.

The staff, along with visiting Mike Flaherty, gets to work to put the fires out and spin the story for the good of the Mayor. Mike enjoys the experience so much that he claims that he is returning to city hall. This has got to cause a problem for everyone.

This was actually an interesting story. The writing was sharp and the acting top-notched. And as the credit roll, we are left with the declaration that Mike is returning. So it will be next show before we see how this is going to effect the office. Nice watch!
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Spin City: The Arrival (2001)
Season 6, Episode 1
4/10
Too much for one show.
8 August 2017
Was actually expecting a bit more out of this episode. It was the first episode after Charlie and Caitlin had become more than friends and was waiting to see the fireworks. But just like an old firecracker, this episode was more of a dud.

In a bright spot, Mike Flaherty (Michael J Fox) returns to the show after more than a year away, as he was written in for a few shows with a gathering plot. I like the way the writers handled the situation but for some of the scenes in which he appears, it looks like he is there for no other reason than he was on the set. Not being rude because I really like Mr Fox, but he took away from the scenes more than helped. The plot behind the reason he was in the show never did develop and would have been better in a one episode story.

Also the Mayor has finally found a new girlfriend by the name of Claire Simmons (Farrah Fawcett). The Mayor is having the time of his life until the press finds out that she is separated and not divorced. This is going to be a nightmare for the Mayor.

Perhaps I am being too harsh on this show but was expecting so much more. It just seemed to be trying to get too much into the show when they had a good plot right from the beginning. Not one of my favorite episodes.
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Spin City: A Shot in the Dark: Part 2 (2001)
Season 5, Episode 23
8/10
Season five ends with a bang!
8 August 2017
In this final episode of season 5, Charlie had shown some affection for Caitlin but is now trying to back off of the events. Charlie has gone as far as dating a girl, Kara, that he use to know until she set fire to his bed in a fit of anger. This is trying to convince Caitlin that he does not have feelings toward her. Even if it gets him killed.

Also, the Mayor has met an old high school chum from years back. The chum, Chad, has now become a homeless person living on the streets. Upon finding the reason that Chad dropped out of school, it is revealed that Winston (the Mayor), as a child, had planted some pot on Chad. Thus, Chad was thrown out of school. The Mayor feels bad about the situation and hires Chad to become the voice of the people less fortunate. But when Chad begins stealing the limelight, the Mayor reverts to some old tactics.

This was an episode that was well performed and well written. There were some funny dialog between characters and also some sharp quotes that made the show very humorous. There is something that happens right at the end of the show that most viewers were anticipating. Either good or bad, it appears that the next season is going to be different.
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Spin City: A Shot in the Dark: Part 1 (2001)
Season 5, Episode 22
7/10
The first sign of sparks between Caitlin and Charley.
8 August 2017
In this episode it appears that Caitlin and Tim are becoming a hot couple when he asks her to fly with him to the Caribbean. And with the newspaper on the Mayor's behind about the rise in crime, it will be a good time to get away.

The Mayor has his team ride with a police officer to show that he is tough on crime. With Caitlin about to board the play with Tim, she hears that Charlie has been shot. She decides to rush to the hospital to find out the details. It will not be long before the police department has film on who shot Charlie. And as you can guess, it is someone everyone knows.

The episode also produces the first sparks that we have seen between Charlie and Caitlin. And as the show ends we are left with the question about just how they feel about each other.

I can only assume that the entire season as been leading up to this plot between Charlie and Caitlin. Whether this is a good thing can only be determined as the season ends. We have one more episode in this season and time will tell.
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Spin City: Brotherly Love (2001)
Season 5, Episode 21
7/10
Mayor is obsessed that he looks like Charlton Heston
8 August 2017
Carter's sister is trying to get a job at City Hall. And Carter does not want anyone to know that the new girl is his sister. They act like they are just acquaintances so that no one feels that special treatment was used to get her the job. It is not long until Stuart and Paul overhear a conversation where they think Cater and the new girl are having relations. Now word is out that Carter is straight.

Tim returns as Caitlin's boyfriend and everything is going well until Charlie gives him some information. Now Tim has broken-up with Caitlin and Charlie is the one everyone is pointing toward.

Both of these situation had a few good lines but, for me, the funniest thing was that the Mayor kept thinking he looks like Charlton Heston. This was only briefly use but the time it was on screen was some of the best moments.

This episode had a very good moments but, at times, seemed long in getting to the point. Overall the show was entertaining enough to make for a nice watch for the viewer.
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Spin City: Science Friction (2001)
Season 5, Episode 20
5/10
Caitlin goes Sci-fi for a young rich man.
8 August 2017
Evey main character has some part to play in this episode as three different situations are cycled. The first one involves the Mayor's ex-wife writing a tell-all book which includes his sexual inadequacies. The Mayor calls a halt to all events and lets Charlie fill in for him. It is not long before the Mayor misses the limelight.

Meanwhile, Caitlin is dating a young rich man that has a quirk. It seems the man, Tim, has such a love for science fiction stuff that he goes to conventions dressed as characters. When he invites Caitlin to one of the meeting, things get weird.

There was also a plot about Paul chewing nicotine gum but they went no where quickly. This seemed to be an average show that gave everyone some face-time on camera. And with the writer having to give everyone a bit part - it takes away from from the main situation and weakens the entire production.
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Spin City: Minor League (2001)
Season 5, Episode 19
4/10
Just very little to this show.
7 August 2017
For some reason, this episode was not as exciting as expected. The main situation involved Charlie trying out for a minor league team when an agent recognized him from his high school baseball team. Charlie has always dreamed of playing baseball but now all he wants is to at least try out for a team. When Caitlin bribes a pitcher to throw bricks at Charlie, he hits a home-run and now wants a career in baseball.

Another plot involved the Mayor getting a death message which forces the City to get extra security. Paul is one that gets a security guy and now he is playing games with Stuart.

This was an episode that had a lot of potential but did not live up to the hype. There were many ways for the story to go - and unfortunately the story turned left. Below average show.
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Spin City: You've Got Male (2001)
Season 5, Episode 18
8/10
Caitlin feels left out because she is a woman.
7 August 2017
In this nicely written show we have two situation going on. The main plot is that Caitlin believes that she is being left out of the loop all because she is a woman. And when a wealthy man donates land to the city, Charlie takes him out for a night on the town. But with Carter's help, Caitlin will gets some tips on what it takes to converse with men in their environment. This may prove damaging to Charlie.

In another rather funny situation, Stuart get his live-long dream of writing porn for a local film club. And also with Carter's help, Stuart just might be one of the best.

This episode was enjoyable with funny lines peppered throughout the show. This might not be to everyone's taste but it sure made the day better for watching. And isn't that was sitcoms are suppose to do!
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Spin City: Hey Judith (2001)
Season 5, Episode 12
7/10
The funniest situation was only briefly touched. But nice watch overall.
5 August 2017
In this episode, the Mayor is lonely and is causing problems all over the office. Due to his behavior, Caitlin sets up the Mayor with a friend of hers named Judith. And at first everything seems to be going well.

Soon however, Judith starts becoming an influence in the Mayor's day-to-day activities. Charlie gets upset when Judith re-writes his speech where the Mayor will talk about crime activity in the city.

In another situation, Stuart gets a chance to win big money if he can hit a hockey shot from mid-ice. And with Carter coaching him up, everything is looking good for the big win. That is until the two get into a fight during the contest.

This was a show that had some good moments especially when dealing with the Mayor and his new girlfriend. But the funniest part of the show was very briefly examined-- When Paul gets a blood test where he is one-eighth Canadian, he goes around acting like he is from the Far North. Some of that material was actually very humorous. Overall a good show that had some funny moments.
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Spin City: The Perfect Dorm (2001)
Season 5, Episode 11
4/10
So much unused in this show.
31 July 2017
The show begin with high hopes as the Mayor gets a parking ticket for parking in a handicapped spot. Of course, this is going to send out alarm bells to the public if the something is not done. So the Mayor proclaims that he is going to build a handicap ramp at City Hall.

There was a lot of potential for comedy with this scenario but for some reason the writers failed to capitalize on the condition. In fact, the script even became dull as little was spent on this humorous situation.

Another situation was Paul moving into a dorm. While at the dorm, Paul is not treated very well and Carter and Stuart begin to feel sorry for him. There were a few funny moments but they were few and far between.

There was so much potential with this episode but little thought was used in writing the script. Not one of the better shows.
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Spin City: Toy Story (2000)
Season 5, Episode 10
7/10
The show held-up well
29 July 2017
In this Christmas episode, the Mayor wants to do something special as a photo-op for the holidays. He decides to hand out presents to the children at a local orphanage. It works out well since the port authority had confiscated some illegal imported toys and was holding them to be destroyed. Instead of having them destroyed, the Mayor will give the toys to the children.

But after telling the press about the event, it is learned that some of the toys could contain drugs. Now Charlie and the rest of the staff will try to cover-up the event and also try to remedy the situation. But the remedy may be worse than the event.

Even though this has been done many times on sitcoms, there were some funny moments in the show. When the Mayor feels out of the loop is a situation that was very humorous. The show did seem, at times, to have a lot of unnecessary dialog - it held its own to the end. Nice show.
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Spin City: The Burgers of Wrath (2000)
Season 5, Episode 9
3/10
Could have been a funny show, however someone left out the comedy.
29 July 2017
In a show that had so much potential, what we are left with is a show that was unfunny and uneventful. It was like waiting for something good to happen only to have it spoiled by dialog written for a drama and not a comedy.

The main part of the show centered around the Mayor sounding out news that the city had created many more jobs for its citizens. Then only to have Carter throw a bucket of water on the proceedings by saying that most of the jobs were minimal wage. So Charlie sets out for a photo-op where the Mayor will work at a fast food restaurant for an evening. This could have been a funny situation-- but it was again spoiled by Carter again dipping into the well for more water to ruin a good situation. It made the interesting condition a boring nightmare. There was another situation involving Caitlin and Paul but that had little bearing on the show.

The show had a good set-up and it was too bad it was not used. Someone should have stuck with comedy instead of going after political correctness in writing. It could have been funny, only problem - it wasn't.
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Spin City: All the Wrong Moves (2000)
Season 5, Episode 8
4/10
This show seemed to drag.
29 July 2017
The Mayor happens to be a poor racquetball player but the staff always lets him win. One day the Mayor is playing with Charlie who has all this stuffed-up emotion due to working heavy hours with no extra pay. Charlie takes his frustrations out on the Mayor and beats him. Now the Mayor is moping around city hall is a daze and just agrees with whatever someone says. This turns out to be a good thing for Paul when he asks for a raise and gets the extra pay. Charlie and Caitlin know that have to do something.

In a side-plot, Carter is looking for a date for a gala ball and has to turn to Stuart for help. Stuart, without telling anyone, hires an actor to pose as a gay man so that his friend will think he is helping. But little does Stuart know that the actor is preparing for a part in a play and Carter is the one that gets the downfall.

There were a few funny lines in this episode but they were few and far between. In fact, this show seemed to drag with little adhesive to hold the project together. Not one of the better episodes.
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Spin City: Lost and Found (2000)
Season 5, Episode 7
7/10
Some good laughs in this show
28 July 2017
In this episode, Charlie has the hots for Caitlin's yoga instructor and makes a point of wanting to go out with her. Caitlin knows Charlie and does not want to spoil her friendship by putting her in a quick relationship with Charlie and his ways. But things do not go as planned. It could actually be the yoga instructor who may be the shallow type.

Also, the Mayor has a trip to New Orleans for a conference and is in need of someone else to go with him. There will be a competition between Stuart, Paul and Carter to see who can win the trip with the Mayor.

The plot with the yoga instructor has some very good moments. Especially when Charlie invades the cafe where Caitlin and the instructor are eating. There are some good laughs in the script during that scene.

An entertaining show that was fun to watch.
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Spin City: Balloons over Broadway (2000)
Season 5, Episode 6
5/10
Could have been much better.
28 July 2017
In this Thanksgiving episode, a group of Native Americans call out the mayor's administration for not having a Native Americans balloon in the parade. So on a spur of the moment, the Mayor advised that there will be one in the next twenty-four hours.

Of course this does not sit well with the staff since most have plans for the holiday. The Mayor's daughter is coming, Charlie is planning a quick trip to Jamaica and Paul's mother is arriving. This is going to make for a series of unfortunate events.

Stuart finds a balloon that was used in a KISS tour that is the shape of a giant adult doll. With some work, they cover the adult doll with some clothing that resembles what Indians worn in the west. But during the parade something happens that will be cause for alarm.

The rest of the episode involved Paul telling his mother that he is now dating Caitlin- but to be honest that story did not go anywhere. There was so much more that they could have done with the balloon story that would have made for a more interesting show. However, we are left with a show that when finished seemed almost hum-drum. An average show at best.
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5/10
Other than the last ten minutes, this was rather dull.
24 June 2017
I was quite interesting before watching this film since it involved a very important part of the war effort that was responsible for rescue of downed planes and sunken ships. But had it not been for the ending, not much really happened in this 92 minute film. It had all the wrappings of a mid 1950 movie but failed to include enough action to make the viewer enjoy the adventure.

The movie centered around a plane that had been shot down with the crew having to abandon the plane and get into a rubber raft. And with little time to send a signal, all the authorities know is a wide area where the plane was possibly located. Now a small rescue ship is on the way to see if they can spot possible survivors of a mission that was considered value to the war effort. Even though the concept was interesting, the script for the most part was uneventful.

There is not much excitement about a rescue boat that breaks down in the middle of the ocean and accomplishes nothing while they wait for the boat to be repaired. While in the meantime, the camera keeps returning to the British Naval offices where a woman is pining when no word is heard about the whereabouts of the plane's crew where she has a loved one aboard. Then back to the raft where cold and mental anguish is affecting everyone.

The final scenes do bring some adventure and suspense but it was almost too little too late. Not really a bad film but one that would have been much better with something other than dialog over three quarters of the movie.
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