Sea-faring saga of two brothers (Robert Taylor, Stewart Granger) and the woman they both love. Set against South Pacific islands, this love triangle pits the good brother against the bad as they squabble over Ann Blyth and a bag of pearls on the floor of a lagoon; the bad boy redeems himself, however, by helping fend off a mutiny.Written by
Elizabeth Taylor was initially cast as Priscilla, but was forty pounds overweight, as a result of her recent pregnancy, and so was replaced by Ann Blyth. See more »
Women aboard ship were considered bad luck all through the sailing ship days. The superstition even extended part way into the modern era. Crews were known to resist sailing on ship that was to have a woman aboard. See more »
Based upon the novel by Ben Ames Williams who died the year it was released this is produced by crowd pleaser Pandro S. Berman and directed by Richard 'one-take' Thorpe.
MGM stalwart Robert Taylor is lumbered with the part of the good brother whilst Stewart Granger has by far the most interesting role as his villainous sibling. Ann Blyth, replacing Elizabeth Taylor, is the meat in the sandwich. This proved to the last film alas of veteran Lewis Stone. Ravishing Betta St. John plays her customary 'exotic' role. Keenan Wynn and James Whitmore were to enjoy long careers and teamed up that year to steal the show as Lippy and Slug with their priceless rendition of 'Brush up your Shakespeare'.
George Folsey was again Oscar-nominated for his superlative cinematography but again missed out and the score by Miklos Rosza is suitably stirring.
The whale hunt is well done although obviously filmed in a studio tank and the final fisticuff-fest well choreographed.
Despite its cast and production values it is alas rather plodding and fails to excite. Granger's description of it as a 'crappy melodrama' seems unduly harsh but he was notoriously dismissive of most of his films. This prickly actor parted company with MGM four years later while the more 'accommodating' Robert Taylor continued his thirty-year long association.
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