Sunday, February 02, 2003


An exotic pre-Code romance; its primary assets are the physical charms of the two attractive leads. Joel McCrea, looking impossibly young (even younger than he did in THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME, filmed the same year), is on a yacht tour of the South Seas with his privileged friends (including the rather fey Skeets Gallagher). They make friendly with an island tribe and a young native girl (Dolores del Rio) saves him from a shark. Despite the language barrier, they fall in love and McCrea decides to stay on and catch a ride home on the yacht's return trip. Their pairing angers her villagers for a couple of reasons: she's promised to someone else in marriage, and also marked as a potential sacrifice to the nearby volcano god. McCrea swoops in and carries her off on her wedding night and they live together on a nearby island until forces (including that pesky volcano) conspire to tear them apart. Del Rio has an infamous nude swimming scene--there's not a lot of explicit detail, but you can certainly tell that she's naked (or perhaps it was her stand-in). McCrea manages to spend most of the movie half-naked as well (he looks like a somewhat scrawny Tarzan strutting around in his skimpy loincloth), and as the melodramatic story twists take hold, the looks and builds of the stars are about all that held my interest, in addition to the nice backgrounds (it was filmed partly on location in Hawaii). There's a titilating kissing scene where, as they're lolling about on top of each other, she points to her lips and asks for kisses--of course, he obliges, and she points some more and he kisses some more... A little later, the same thing happens in reverse a (he, beneath her, points and asks, etc...). It looks like a couple of scenes may have been shot on the KING KONG sets. Lon Chaney Jr. (credited as Creighton Chaney) has a small and essentially wordless role as one of the sailors. OK, but not as much fun as its reputation might suggest.

No comments: