Tuesday, December 11, 2001


This movie kept threatening to remind me of better movies like LOST HORIZON, THE HUMAN COMEDY, IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE, and PETER IBBETSON, but ultimately it's a rather boring story of a man's life, told in flashback as he (Van Johnson) is waiting to be rescured from a downed plane in the South Pacific. The fantasy element that keeps cropping up throughout involves a mythical island called High Barbaree that Johnson heard about as a child from his uncle, Thomas Mitchell. It stands in for both a utopia and for the afterlife, but ultimately has little to do with the movie. The early scenes of Johnson growing up, having adventures with his best friend, a girl (who grows up into June Allyson), are the best and are vaguely remeniscent of HUMAN COMEDY, a sappy movie that I love. The soulmate element from PETER IBBETSON appears when Allyson tracks down Johnson as an adult and tries to get his life back on track--even though he actually appears to be doing fine without her. One interesting tidbit is that a brief storm scene uses the tornado footage from WIZARD OF OZ. Despite some early going, not a movie to go out of your way to see unless you're a big fan of Johnson or Allyson.

No comments: