Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.5.
USA, 1957. Twentieth Century Fox. Screenplay by John Lee Mahin, John Huston, based on the novel by Charles Shaw. Cinematography by Oswald Morris. Produced by Buddy Adler, Eugene Frenke. Music by Georges Auric. Production Design by Stephen B. Grimes. Costume Design by Elizabeth Haffenden. Film Editing by Russell Lloyd. Academy Awards 1957. Golden Globe Awards 1957. New York Film Critics Awards 1957.
A Marine Corporal (Robert Mitchum) is stranded on a South Pacific island with a kindly nun (Deborah Kerr) who was herself left to fend for herself on the island after her superior died of a fatal disease. The two are completely at odds with each other until a Japanese squadron sets up camp near their location and they must hide from them in order to survive. The relationship that develops between these two complete opposites in the dire circumstances they find themselves in is brilliantly understated by John Huston’s direction (among the best works of his career), the intelligent screenplay and the pristine performances. Mitchum was never more admirably gruff or anti-heroic, and Kerr’s work puts forth an achingly vulnerable portrait of a complex and interesting woman.