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4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 18 November 2004
The story of this John Huston film is deceptively simple: a nun (Deborah Kerr) and a marine (Robert Mitchum) find themselves alone in a Pacific island in 1944, but soon they are facing japanese soldiers. Although it has similarities with an earlier Huston, the better know "The African Queen" (and I'm sure anyone who has seen it will agree with me), it still manages to have a life of its own. It's more subtle, more restrained than "The African Queen" and is made of little things, and this was what did it for me. I really enjoyed the film, with Mitchum and Kerr in top shape, giving excellent performances (she got an Oscar nomination for this). The DVD is a barebone release of the film but it is quite cheap and the film is presented in a very good copy in its original cinemascope format.
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on 30 May 2016
Charming film with two very good Actors, placed in a strange situation: a nun and a Marine on an Island, alone except for the presence on two occasions, of Japanese soldiers. The interaction between the soldier and the nun, young and still unaware of the world as it really is, is really fantastic. The script is very good considering that the film revolves around the two characters and how they cope with one another without giving up on their way of thinking, feeling and their future. The hard and the soft, the pure and the experienced one, their view of the world how it is and how it could be for both of them if the situation they find themselves in does not change drastically. Nice story. It never gets old.
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If John Huston went to deepest Africa to make a film as an excuse to shoot elephants, then he came out with a damn fine film in "The African Queen". He has done exactly the same thing with "Heaven Knows Mr. Allison", which was shot in exotic Trinidad and Tobago, where he was cleverly able to use blocked funds from the UK to provide British finance. Thankfully there were no elephants for Huston to shoot in the Caribbean! As other reviewers have already mentioned the film bears remarkable similarities to "The African Queen", and could almost be seen as a remake. Both films are two-person stories and involve relationships between religious women and a coarse, rugged male loner.

This film has Robert Mitchum as the US marine who finds himself washed up on a remote Pacific island beach where the only inhabitant left is a young attractive Irish nun played by Deborah Kerr who was deservedly oscar nominated for her role. The two form a deepening friendship as they struggle to find food and then hide from the invading Japanese. The script by John Huston and John Lee Mahin intelligently manages to avoid the cliche of the nun and the marine. Huston was no fool, and it is why his films still tend to look fresh today! Robert Mitchum was perhaps more deserving of an oscar nomination than Kerr. Huston thought he was up there with Olivier, Burton and Brando in his autobigraphy "An Open Book", which although stretching it a bit, he does have a point. Mitchum is at his totally believable best in the role.

The film compares the commitments of both characters. Mitchum to the Marine Corps and Kerr to her religious order. There is certainly more insight into why a man should join the Marines than why a woman should become a nun. Thankfully the film avoids the pitfall of any cloying sentimentality, and there are good scenes between Mitchum and Kerr. Huston said "Allison is seldom referred to, but I think it was one of the best things I ever made. It was unostentatious, had very simple dialogue and was built on a first-rate foundation". Words that I find hard to disagree with. This is not your usual war film, or stranded on a desert island film for that matter. It is a satisfying character study and a very entertaining film.
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on 16 January 2016
What a lovely film this is. I've lost count of how many times I've seen it over the years - yet I'm forever drawn to watching it again, even though I know the plot so well. It's the magic created by two such talented actors that make this film an evergreen. Another fine DVD added to my collection.
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on 4 November 2015
I have had this on my wish list for some time and am very glad that got around to order it. Two very different characters connect in very special circumstances but no conventional happy ending. Adorable.
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on 13 December 2010
It's not the African Queen but you can see the similarities and it is a fine film.

I really liked the charming and innocent relationship between Mitchell and Kerr.

No its not a fast paced film but it had me hooked and I feel the better for seeing it.
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on 12 November 2015
A very pleasing and ultimately very moving film well-acted throughout with impressive and believable bombing and violence. Robert Mitchum is convincing as always as, this time, a pretty well lowly-educated American of immigrant stock and the great Deborah Kerr doing her Oirish nun convincingly. Poignant moments of human contact. There are serious debates about love and duty; never dull; always cinematic. A nearly great film. Why isn't it great? Not sure. Not quite subtle enough? Not quite questioning enough? Robert is just too decent throughout. He loves her. She loves him. That's the tragedy I suppose.
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on 28 August 2011
The two stars: Robert Mitchum and Deborah Carr make this movie into a real classic. It is about two people, a nun and a marine together marooned on an island in the Pacific, with the Japanese sometimes around them.
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on 5 November 2013
I was instrumental by processing the order at the request of my wife.

On receipt of the DVD both of us perused the presentation. I am not a Robert Mitchum fan but needless to say my wife is.

The result, I thought it was mediocre, but as you would expect my wife, thoroughly enjoyed it.

This summarises the respective opinions!
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on 19 December 2014
Starring two of Hollywood's all time greats, Robert Mitchum and Deborah Kerr. Ms Kerr especially gives a flawless performance as the Roman Catholic nun who has dedicated her life to Christ.
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