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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

SOS Pacific (1959)

A small sea plane carrying a few passengers is forced down over the Pacific ocean during a thunder storm. They manage to get their lifeboats to a small uninhabited island. But, to their horror, they discover the island is a test site for an atomic bomb in a matter of hours. This minor entry in the airline disaster genre has a bit of pedigree behind it. The director is Guy Green (A PATCH OF BLUE), dialogue by Bryan Forbes (SEANCE ON A WET AFTERNOON), cinematography by Wilkie Cooper (7TH VOYAGE OF SINBAD) and a score by Georges Auric (Cocteau's BEAUTY AND THE BEAST) so it's surprising how pedestrian it all is. Oh, it's eminently watchable in 2 A.M. late show sort of way but if one has seen the 1953 SPLIT SECOND, which covered similar territory, then it loses points. Particularly dire is Forbes' dialogue but Green, to his credit, manages to sustain tension. The cast includes Richard Attenborough at his most sniveling, Eddie Constantine (ALPHAVILLE), Pier Angeli, Eva Bartok (who has the brunt of the bad lines), John Gregson and Jean Anderson.

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