|HEAVEN KNOWS, MR. ALLISON (director/writer: John Huston; screenwriters: from the novel by Charles Shaw/John Lee Mahin; cinematographer: Oswald Morris; editor: Russell Lloyd; music: George Auric; cast: Robert Mitchum (Mr. Allison), Deborah Kerr (Sister Angela); Runtime: 105; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Buddy Adler/Eugene Frenke; 20th Century Fox; 1957)|
performances by Deborah Kerr and Robert
Mitchum help make this lightweight survival
pic a small gem."
by Dennis Schwartz
Huston ("Key Largo"/"The Maltese Falcon"/"The
Treasure of the Sierra Madre") directs this sequel to
his The African Queen. It's adapted to the screen by
Huston and John Lee Mahin from the novel by Charles
Shaw. Superb performances by Deborah Kerr and
Robert Mitchum help make this lightweight
survival pic a small gem.
South Pacific, in 1944, Marine Corporal
Allison (Robert Mitchum), after his unit
was hit at sea by Japanese depth-chargers, drifts
alone on a raft to this isolated Japanese-occupied
island and meets the island's sole inhabitant, a
feisty Irish nun, clad in a white habit, named Sister
Angela (Deborah Kerr). The nun explains
she came to the island with the elderly Father Philips
to look for a priest living here to take him back with
them to safety in Fiji Island, but could not find him.
The boat they hired from the natives abandoned them
out of fear of the Japanese, as they searched the
island. The next day father Philips died.
proposes they fix the raft up to take them 300 miles
to Fiji, but the plan is put on hold when they are
forced to live in a cave as a battalion of Japanese
soldiers land on the island to set up a base camp.
educated mannered nun and the poorly educated orphan
Marine bond and relate tidbits about their life. When
they are discovered by the Japanese, they survive only
because of Allied bombers.
genial and tasteful World War II yarn about
opposites marooned on a small Pacific island might be
predictable, but it's entertaining, humorous and makes
for a good character study.
REVIEWED ON 11/10/2013 GRADE: B+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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