Grace Conway on Films
ANGELS ONE FIVE (EMPIRE: Certificate U) Director: George More O'Farrall
IN a week almost blinded by lavish and fantastic stories in technicolor 1it comes as something of a shock and even relief to see the black and white documentary type version which George More O'Ferrall has directed of an episode in the Battle of Britain.
It might be argued that after "The First of the Few" and " The Way to the Stars " there was not much to say on the subject filmically.
And this has little new to say except that it dwells more than its predecessors on the work of the backroom boys and girls in historic June 1940. Indeed it comes something of a surprise to the layman to know that even at that early stage of the war, Radar was playing such an important part in the spotting and plotting of enemy planes.
An indeterminate script, a very slight story, and some worn out conventions must be listed on the debit side, but the flying sequences are goodand the Hurricanes lent for the purpose by the Portuguese Government are genuine enough.
Two fat women who sat behind me and talked and ate incessantly throughout, grumbled "I thought there was going to be dancing in this!" I wonder if they thought that if it had not been for the boys whose heroic efforts they were witnessing on the screen they might not have been there at all.
Principal parts are played by Jack Hawkins, Michael Denison, John Gregson, Dulcie Gray, and Veronica Hurst, with a large supporting cast.
SATURDAY ISLAND (ODEON, LEICESTER-SQUARE: Certificate A)
Director: Stuart Heisler.
IF " Blue Lagoon " made demands upon your credulity, then see " Saturday Island," which is Hollywood's answer to it. Not only does Linda Darnell, as a Canadian Navy nurse marooned on a South Pacific island, knock herself up the latest thing in off-the-shoulder (or is it cold shoulder?) beach attire, but she manages to dye it a becoming cardinal red.
Miss Darnell's companion on the island is a golden-haired youthful Apollo-an American corporal (Tab Hunter). The two are survivors after the ship hits a magnetic mine. and no sooner have they left behind the dark tragedy of the burning wreck and the cries of the drowning than they begin to wisecrack in Hollywoodese on their raft.
And, of course, we all know that when a couple begin by sparringespecially on a desert island-it is only love finding a way. Heaven once again looks down on unofficial nuptials, and while the little woman sits at home in the wattle shed. weaving wonders on the home-made loom. Mr. Hunter builds a diving raft and spears the fish for dinner.
And there's even a shark to slay, under water.
Donald Gray as a R.A.F. pilot inconsiderately chooses the island on which to crash-and the idyll is over.
it was Daniel Defoe who started all this desert island stuff. He has a lot to answer for.
DISTANT DRUMS (WARNER'S, March 27: Certificate U)
Director: Raoul Walsh
IN the days when Florida was a swamp, and before the realestate gentlemen moved in and turned it into a millionaire's playground, it was the last stand of the Seminole Indians. And here is Gary Cooper, seasoned and tough as an old hide, to hunt them down for the U.S. Army. This could have been a very good film, with men enduring the hazards of jungle and Indian bullet. But they have to trail Miss Mari Aldon-in a long skirt and low cut muslin blouse-through bush, through briar, not to mention having to carry her over the crocodile-infested river. Need I say that very soon she is promoted to Mr. Cooper's entourage?
Now if the studio had only the courage to film the true story of the Seminole's-and the way in which the flag of truce was violated by the white men-that would have been worth doing. For once it would have been enlightening to observe the Indian's point of view.