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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Devoted Wife in Every Port
I recently purchased The Horse's Mouth (1958) from Amazon as well as "The Alec Guinness Collection" which includes The Captain's Paradise (1953) plus four others: Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949), The Man in the White Suit (1951), The Lavender Hill Mob (1951), and The Ladykillers (1955). Frankly, I was amazed how well each of the six films has held up since I first saw...
Published on 26 Sep 2005 by Robert Morris

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Old Hat But Fun
Now looking very dated, but a good bit of fun if you dont take it too seriously.
Published on 15 Jan 2010 by J. Hayler


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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Devoted Wife in Every Port, 26 Sep 2005
By 
Robert Morris (Dallas, Texas) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Captain's Paradise [DVD] (DVD)
I recently purchased The Horse's Mouth (1958) from Amazon as well as "The Alec Guinness Collection" which includes The Captain's Paradise (1953) plus four others: Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949), The Man in the White Suit (1951), The Lavender Hill Mob (1951), and The Ladykillers (1955). Frankly, I was amazed how well each of the six films has held up since I first saw it.
Although I do not rank The Captain's Paradise in the highest echelon of Guinness' comedies, his character is nonetheless a highly entertaining variation on Thurber's Walter Mitty. As the film begins, Captain Henry St. James seems to be having his cake and eating it too. In a word, bigamy. He has Maud in Gibraltar (played by Celia Johnson) and Nita (played by Yvonne de Carlo) in North Africa. This ship's captain has not only a girl but a devoted wife in each port. Working with a script by Alex Coppel-Nicholas Phipps and directed by Anthony Kimmins, Guinness is in fine form as both the prim and proper husband of homebody Maud and the night clubbing companion of the sultry Nita. One of the oldest and most effective of comic devices is the role reversal. In reality, Maud years to be viewed as St. James sees Nita and Nita...you get the idea. That is the basic conceit of this delightful film.
The plot developments accelerate when St. James purchases what he deems to be appropriate gifts for his two wives, only to get them mixed up and inadvertently gives the wrong one to each. Their reactions threaten his paradise. How does he handle the crisis? What is his situation as the film ends? And are there any lessons to be learned from all this? Judge for yourself. One final point: If you have not already seen this and the other four films in "The Alec Guinness Collection," I envy you. I really do.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE best Alec Guinness film!, 11 July 2011
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This review is from: Captain's Paradise [DVD] (DVD)
My personal favourite of Alec Guinness' british comedy efforts and nice to see him in exotic surroundings. A great story of a girl in each port, a schizophrenic's dream! Great playing by the female co-stars and the Captain's second in command who takes the role of narrator of this extraordinary life - a man who wanted his cake and stuffed his face with it. Deserves to be as famous as his other great films. No extras besides the film.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Captains Paradise, 18 Dec 2012
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This review is from: Captain's Paradise [DVD] (DVD)
Being a regular visitor to Gibraltar I found the film `The Captains Paradise,true to the atmosphere of the original Mons Calpe ferry and the people. It is dated of course and the humour and pleasantness is of my time and would not be considered an earth shaking film by todays filmgoers.Although black and white, the scenes were as well shot as they were acted.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Seamless, Sweetly-Spun, Sly Confection, 9 Mar 2011
By 
Stephanie De Pue (Wilmington, NC USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Captain's Paradise [DVD] (DVD)
The Captain's Paradise (1953), is another brisk, (94 minutes), silly little black and white classic of English comedy that could, I guess best be classified as a romantic comedy. It's witty, and rather high-concept, with a plot that's a seamless, sweetly spun, sly confection, and was nominated for a Best Writing Oscar. It stars the uber-talented Alec Guinness. (He was, at this time, rather early in his career, considered a comic actor--see [ASIN:B000I5XNEW Kind Hearts And Coronets [DVD] [1949]]]; but he would win a Best Actor Oscar in the late 1950's for The Bridge On The River Kwai [DVD] [1957], and then become internationally famous, as never before, in Star Wars - The Original Trilogy [DVD] [1977].) Here he plays the title part in the movie, a part that might have been tailored just for him: Mediterranean ferryboat captain Henry St. James. The Captain has things nicely organized for himself, thank you very much: He's got a loving, conventional, "veddy" English wife Maud (Celia Johnson,Brief Encounter [DVD] [1945]) in the restricted British colony of Gibraltar; and a possessive, hot-blooded mistress Nita (Yvonne De Carlo,McLintock [DVD] [1963]), in Spanish Morocco. It's a perfect arrangement, as long as he can keep them apart. But what happens when one woman decides to follow him to the other port?

Guinness is said to have respected, and enjoyed working with De Carlo, who is said to have found this one of her best roles. She had supposedly been a professional dancer, and is said to have taught him the tango for their memorable dance scene. Furthermore, this movie allows Johnson a chance to give her hanky a rest: she doesn't cry once. Guinness has also got some strong supporting players in this one. Miles Malleson (KIND HEARTS) plays Lawrence St. James; Charles Goldner plays Chief Officer Ricco; Bill Fraser is Absalom, the taxi driver. Sebastian Cabot (FAMILY AFFAIR: SEASON 1 (1966)) is Ali, the vendor. The movie was filmed on location at Gibraltar, and at Shepperton Studios; it was not made by Ealing Studios, powerhouse of British comedy in the 1950s. The movie was remade as a mediocre TV entertainment, centered upon an airline stewardess, titled COFFEE, TEA OR ME, in 1973. CAPTAINS PARADISE is a well-known and much-honored movie. It's sexist, of course, but don't go getting all riled up about that. It's quite entertaining, and surely worth a look, though not necessarily a purchase.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very amusing, 2 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Captain's Paradise [DVD] (DVD)
It is a pity that there are no subtitles (English is not my mother tongue). Otherwise the film is okay.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Oldie, but goldie!, 29 May 2013
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This review is from: Captain's Paradise [DVD] (DVD)
My mother has seen this film a while ago and asked me to get the dvd, which I did. It is a nice Sunday afternoon movie with the great Alec Guinness. But more importantly, the seller sent it quickly and it was in immaculate condition.
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4.0 out of 5 stars great movie, 26 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Captain's Paradise [DVD] (DVD)
It's nice to go back to the movies of the past but although funny, it's dated and not as intrigueing as I remembered it
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4.0 out of 5 stars captains paradise. two worlds collide, 31 May 2012
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J. hamilton (uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Captain's Paradise [DVD] (DVD)
a rare alec guiness film a little gem of a film a captain who has 2 wives and 2 different lifestyles, a very enjoyable film.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Relax and enjoy it, 8 Oct 2009
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Mrs. K. M. Hunt (Norfolk, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Captain's Paradise [DVD] (DVD)
A delightful comedy from this fine actor. The Captain of a ship plying between two ports furnishes himself with a wife in each - an exotic wife to fulfill one side of his life,and a domestic wife to fulfill the other. Unfortunately, one day this ideal situation begins to unravel.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Old Hat But Fun, 15 Jan 2010
By 
J. Hayler (South UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Captain's Paradise [DVD] (DVD)
Now looking very dated, but a good bit of fun if you dont take it too seriously.
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