Sunday, August 11, 2013

Nugget Reviews - 4

It's Nugget time again! We have some golden nuggets thrown in this batch as well as an adventure/jungle theme going here ( to tie in with our Jungle Classics post coming soon ). Enjoy!

Sahara ( 1943 ) 24k

A U.S tank commander and his group of  misfit desert hitchhikers band together at a deserted old water-hole to fight off a battalion of German soldiers in Libya. Humphrey Bogart, Bruce Bennett, Dan Duryea, J. Carrol Naish. Columbia Pictures. Directed by Zoltan Korda. 

Sahara is one of the best war time films depicting the grueling conditions of the North African campaigns of WWII. It also boasts excellent cinematography and one of Bogart's finest performances as Sergeant Joe Gunn. Whenever you see a film with Philip MacDonald listed on the writing credits you know you are in for a gem and this is a golden nugget for sure! 


Father Goose ( 1964 ) 18k

A boozie boat bum gets recruited by the British Navy to help with plane-spotting on a secluded Pacific island. While there he - reluctantly - rescues a group of schoolgirls along with their attractive teacher. Cary Grant, Leslie Caron, Trevor Howard, a group of little girls. Universal. Directed by Ralph Nelson.

This is one entertaining film! No matter how many times you see it, it will always put a smile on your face. Cary Grant is excellent as "Mother Goose", the rum-hunting recluse who tries his best to stay out of the war, as is Leslie Caron and Trevor Howard. A fun and adventurous comedy.


Congo Maisie ( 1940 ) 14k

Maisie gets herself into alot of jams but this time she finds herself stranded in an African village with a sarcastic doctor and a group of hostile natives being rattled up by a wild witch-doctor. A Maisie-fied interpretation of the old Red Dust plot...with MGM's Clark Gable war-time replacement - John Carroll. Ann Sothern, Sheppard Strudwick, Rita Johnson. MGM. Directed by H.C Potter. 

Maisie is always a darling to watch. This time she slinks and smartalecks her way through the jungle in robust fashion, dispensing little gems of wisdom to the comely wife of the resident hospital on staying clear of "wanderers" in life and falling in love in the process herself. Her showgirl/magic performance used to drive away the witch-doctor is the highlight of the film. 


The Spiral Road ( 1962 ) Elctr.

An ambitious doctor heads to the jungles of the East Indies to study under a great tribal doctor, but along the way he finds that there is more to life than worldly ambitions. Rock Hudson, Burl Ives, Gena Rowlands, Geoffrey Keen. Universal. Directed by Robert Mulligan.

This film is a doozy! Rock Hudson as an atheist Norwegian I can buy, but his conversion to "seeing the light" at the end is another matter entirely! Hudson was woefully miscast. Although seeing him grope around the island as a bushy-bearded "wild man" and Burl Ives excellent performance were worth sitting through the 2 1/2 hour film. I guess....


An Elephant Called Slowly ( 1969 ) 14k

The Travers are off to Africa to house-sit for a friend and find a group of orphan elephants who have "adopted" them as their parents during their stay. Bill Travers, Virginia McKenna, George Adamson. Morningstar Prod. Directed by James Hill.

After the success of "Born Free", Virginia McKenna and Bill Travers teamed up again for another African adventure, this time with elephants ( in case you didn't read the title ). Unlike "Born Free" however, it lacked a great John Barry score, and the film dragged in spots. Still, if you want something to watch with your cats on a rainy day it's worth a peek-see. The film also features a great beat-up Land Rover named Mister Mopagee. 


  1. I like nugget reviews.

    "Sahara" is indeed most engrossing. "Father Goose" was my introduction to Cary Grant and he's been a favourite since childhood. What a fun movie! Who doesn't love Maisie? I've not heard of "The Spiral Road", but now I'm intrigued. PS: John Barry was the composer of "Born Free".

    1. Whoa! How did I miss that one...thanks for the correction Caftan Woman. And how true, who doesn't love Maisie? My sister and I were introduced to the series only this year ( with it being released on dvd ) but now we are hooked on the showgirl with a heart-of-gold.