Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5.
USA, 1934. Paramount Pictures. Screenplay by Horace Jackson, Francis Martin, George Marion Jr., based on stories by Walton Hall Smith, Benjamin Glazer and the play The Admirable Crichton by J.M. Barrie. Cinematography by Charles Lang. Produced by Benjamin Glazer. Music by Howard Jackson. Production Design by Hans Dreier, Ernst Fegte. Costume Design by Travis Banton. Film Editing by Stuart Heisler.
Imagine Lina Wertmuller’s Swept Away as a thirties musical-comedy and you have this embarrassingly dated but sometimes enjoyable comedy. Carole Lombard is lovely as a wealthy heiress whose expensive yacht is sunk by an idiot uncle, stranding her and her snobby friends on a deserted island. Now the sailor (Bing Crosby) who has been treated like a slave finally has the upper hand as the only member of the surviving landing party who can deal with life in the great outdoors, but the fancy city slickers refuse to let him lead their new life of thatched huts and fresh seafood. Meanwhile, Lombard is finding it increasingly difficult to hide her lovey-dovey feelings for Crosby, particularly every time he sings another moony song and makes her icy personality melt. The best parts are the appearance of George Burns and Gracie Allen as (what else!) a frustrated scientist and his daffy wife who just happen to be doing research on the same island that the stars are stranded on. The sets are so obviously fake that even Gilligan’s Island looks like a documentary by comparison, and the screenplay is complete idiocy (not to mention most of the performances, particularly Crosby), but fans of the stars will be delighted by this trip down B-memory lane.