John Huston very obviously saw himself as a guys’guy. His movie display an array of tough guys who are not stupid enough to hide their feelings and it worked like a beauty. I had been waiting to see this film for about a decade- knowing that Deborah Kerr will never do any movies again forces me to delay my pleasures in order to look forward to the years to come. Anyway. I was a bit careful about this one as she played – again- a nun. Looked like there was a trend back then in the 50’s with Audrey Hepburn, Deborah Kerr and a few others doind it. usually at the end they get the guys. So the twist here was interesting- she gets the guys, yes, and he doesn’t die or get punished for it, but….You wanna know, you watch it.
It takes place during the second world war. Kerr plays a nun left stranded on an atoll in the middle of the Pacific. Mitchum is the G.I. who survives a bombing and reachs the atoll on a raft. To make things harder our two main characters have to survive avoiding the Japanese who soon invade the place. So you have suspense, war, comedy, tragedy and an improbable love story. It is Hollywood- it ends well and very morally. Mitchum plays the G.I who is a tad simple and Kerr the one without life experience but a higher education and loads of compassion. Two extremes left on an island.
Huston liked his actors and it shows. Leave this movie on the shelf if you’re not a fan of the 50’s topics. Otherwise it is an honest little film and you can measure the progress we’ve made in half a century on moral grounds and life experience. But we wouldn’t probably know how to survive on an atoll nowadays- not without internet anyway.