Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Tonight's Movie: Sea Devils (1953)

SEA DEVILS is an adventure film which finds Rock Hudson and Yvonne DeCarlo repeatedly traversing the English Channel, falling in love while she attempts to spy on Napoleon.

DeCarlo is a British woman who impersonates a member of the French nobility as part of an elaborate espionage plan. Hudson is a smuggler who quickly falls in love with DeCarlo as he delivers her to France, then kidnaps her and returns her to England when he believes she's betrayed him.

Before long DeCarlo has made her way back to France to carry out her mission, but then her life is endangered and Hudson must cross the Channel once more to save her.

That's pretty much all there is to this 91-minute movie, which gets quite repetitive between the Channel trips and either Hudson or DeCarlo continually tied up or jailed. The screenplay by Borden Chase (RED RIVER) frankly isn't the most scintillating, yet there's still pleasure to be had in watching two gorgeous actors filmed in Technicolor at the height of their attractiveness. Director Raoul Walsh does what he can to build up the action and suspense.

DeCarlo uses a British accent; of course, this being movie land, she continues speaking English when she's supposed to be masquerading as a Frenchwoman! It's a bit mind-bending if one thinks about that too long, yet countless movies have done the same. Rock Hudson, perhaps wisely, simply talks like Rock Hudson, American. So what if he's British?

The film may be fairly weak, but fans of the two lead actors will likely find it diverting enough to be worthwhile, as I did.

One might expect an early '50s movie starring Rock Hudson and Yvonne DeCarlo to be a Universal film, but SEA DEVILS was made in Great Britain by RKO. The supporting cast includes Dennis O'Dea, Maxwell Reed, Bryan Forbes, and Michael Goodliffe.

SEA DEVILS was released on DVD by VCI Entertainment in 2010.


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