Sea Adventure Sinks Without Trace, 29 July 2009
Author: gary-444 from United Kingdom
A hopelessly miscast and misconceived yarn Directed by the vastly experienced John Farrow who in the 1950’s was turning out feature films at the rate of one every nine months contributing to a career tally approaching 50. John Wayne is a convincing character actor as the embodiment of the all – American hero, showcased by his performances in Westerns and WW2 adventures. But as a German Freighter captain he is hopeless.
No effort is made to convince that Wayne, or his crew, are German. Instead he offers his best American drawl and the crew speak English without accents. Nazism is largely absent, as is the Nazi flag bar once. The British are awkwardly cast as the putative “baddies” pursuing Wayne after one of his (only)Nazi Officers commits onshore murder as the ship tries to escape from Australia to Valparaiso after the outbreak of war. This crude device means that the “bad” pursuers are also “good”, because they are righting a wrong and ensures that although Wayne is “good”, Nazis are bad.
Lana Turner is bolted on as a love interest playing the part of a spy taking passage, but there is zero chemistry between her and Wayne and she ends up as mere window dressing.The action sequences, such as they are, are limp and the overall emotion is one of sheer incredulity that anyone would have thought that this was going to work.
Anyone who bemoans that, “they don’t make films like they used to ” should check this out – and be grateful