Saturday, March 22, 2014


I love John Wayne, but I don't love him enough to be a fan of this movie.  Told with the utmost sentimentality, the story is about three WWII soldiers who after the war stayed on the French Polynesian where they had been fighting.  The first guy (Jack Warden) is a saint among men.  He's a doctor and has a church and a hospital complete with nuns on his property.  He also has three young children, their mother (a island princess) died during childbirth.  The other two fellows are the hard-living John Wayne and Lee Marvin who spend most of their time fighting each other.  And when I say fighting, I mean fighting, these dudes aren't just wrestling around grab-assing, they're bashing each other in the head with bottles, chairs, boards, whatever they can get their hands on.  Kicking each other in the face, I don't see how either one of them is even alive!

Anyway, the drama comes when word gets around that the saintly doctor is lined up, due to a death in the family, to be the majority stockholder in the family's shipping company.  The catch is he has to be of high moral standing and since he has three children of mixed heritage then, of course, he's a sinner that's gonna burn in Hell for all eternity.  To get around this, John Wayne steps in to act as the children's father while the auditor is visiting.  Trouble is the woman who's sent to determine Doc's moral standing is also his estranged daughter from before the War!  She also, naturally, falls for Wayne, but is emotional conflicted by her love versus the fact he has three children out of wedlock!

I dislike movies about children and if I had known this movie prominently featured kids I wouldn't have watched it.  But I did and I didn't like it at all.  Wayne himself was fine, but the script was way too feel-goodie for my taste, Lee Marvin was completely wasted, the Christmas church service was painful to watch, the priest was annoying, the nuns were annoying, the main actress was annoying, the kids were horrible...but man the scenery was beautiful!!  Wow.

Most people will probably like the film, but based off the poster and setting I was expecting a rough and tumble action-comedy that was actually funny, like NORTH TO ALASKA but on a tropical island instead.