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Saturday, October 24, 2015

"Sea Wife" (1957)

What is it about survivors lost at sea in a lifeboat that makes for good movie watching? It must be the enormity of powerful Mother Nature bearing down on those little people trying to eke out an existence despite all odds. We know someone--probably not all--will survive, so there's an element of suspense. Of course there's always little or no food or water, the unbearable sun, the long stretches of tedium where all you have to do is discuss Life...and don't forget sharks! It's all here as four strangers from a torpedoed steamship during WWII bob along in the Indian Ocean in a rubber raft...a beautiful young woman (Joan Collins), a British army officer (Richard Burton), a boorish racist of a businessman (Basil Sydney), and black seaman (Cy Grant). Things get steamier as Burton falls in love with Collins but she's got a Very Big Secret. You have to watch and see if he finds out what she's hiding before the castaways get rescued. (And do please overlook some of the special effects, they're a mite 1950's cheesy). In case you're wondering, Burton and Collins don't wed on the high seas, the title refers to an old sailor's term for mermaid, the men's nickname for La Joan when she takes a dip over the vessel's side.


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