Monday, September 23, 2013


Steve Cochran is the captain of a banana boat that frequently docks in Nassau. As he strolls through town, he stops a dirty old man from pestering a sweet young thing sitting on a park bench. He finds out she's pregnant and talks her out of a suicide attempt. That night, despite entreaties from his buddies, he goes back out alone. He sees a native boy hit by a car and helps lovely Shary Marshall (pictured below with Cochran) tend to him. Cochran walks her to her place of employment, a strip club. Later, he winds up at her apartment and they spend a chaste night—she in bed, he on the couch. It turns out she has an older admirer (Harry Franklin) who may be "keeping" her—it remains unclear exactly what their relationship is. One night while Cochran and Marshall are making out, he tells her he loves her, and she says, "Wait and tell me in the sunlight" (hence the title of the movie). When he leaves for three weeks, she comes down to see him off but Franklin is with her, leading Cochran to brood the entire time. Upon his return, Marshall plans a private celebration with a Welcome Home cake, but he never shows. When he does stop by (drunk), he throws money at her and forces himself on her. The next morning, things get sorted out between them—she's dumped Franklin and because he quit coming around to the club, she was fired—and at last he tells her he loves her…in the sunlight.

Steve Cochran not only starred in this low-budget film but directed it as well. It's difficult to say how his directing career might have turned out as he died before it was ready for release, just months after the film was shot on location in 1965; I don't know who was in charge of the final cut, but word is that Cochran's version was over two hours and the released film is under 90 minutes. Frankly, the movie has the look and feel of a soft-porn film even though it's not—there is one brief nude shot of Marshall and a couple of tame love-making scenes. The tone actually gives the movie a certain scrappy appeal. Cochran was in his late 40s and looking a little seedy, but still, he manages to come across as world-weary sexy on occasion. The rest of the cast is unexceptional, and the screenplay, co-written by Cochran, needs some help—none of the characters is especially likable or even interesting, and the conclusion is a bit anti-climactic. But the night scenes, actually shot in the streets of Nassau at night, look good in a film noir way, and Cochran occasionally goes for some artsy moments, with mixed results. There was some promise here that sadly went unrealized. As long as you're not expecting more than a rough-around-the-edges B-movie, you might enjoy this. [DVD]

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