Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison

Director: John Huston
Year Released: 1957
Rating: 2.0

How about this for a meeting of opposites: gung-ho, crass Soldier of the Sea (Robert Mitchum) ends up on a deserted island with a prim, dainty penguin (Deborah Kerr) - the two have to get food, cohabitate and dodge the Japanese soldiers that end up on the island with them. The dialogue is banal - Mitchum praises the USMC (with oversight by the USMC, which is thanked in the credits), Kerr praises the Lord - and when he gets lonesome he makes a pass at the pure lady, not realizing that she's engaged to the Lord and the Lord doesn't like being cheated on (You're Lucky, Mr. Allison, that you only get a bullet in the shoulder in the end). Huston - working from Charles Shaw's novel - makes the rather rudimentary argument that you need both courage and faith to get through a conflict, though you'll starve if you hope for fish and canned goods to fall out of the sky and into your lap. I prefer the team-up of Mitchum/Kerr in The Sundowners, a much smarter movie.