Pearl of the South Pacific (1955)

Genres - Adventure  |   Sub-Genres - Adventure Drama  |   Release Date - Sep 16, 1955 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 86 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

One can just about tell from its title that Pearl of the South Pacific is not going to be a movie that has "Best Picture Oscar" written all over it. Indeed, Pearl is a pretty dumb little picture, and if one approaches it with that in mind, it can provide a decent amount of entertainment. The entertainment, of course, doesn't come from great acting, impressive direction or an imaginative screenplay. It comes from sitting back and pretending one is a twelve-year-old boy who is willing to sit through a lot of boring sections for "the good stuff:" the voluptuous Virginia Mayo, some neat underwater shots, a cool jungle set, and, best of all, a giant octopus. But approached as a film that is intended to be taken at all seriously, Pearl falls far short. None of the leads turn in a good performance, but how could they with this story and the inane, stilted dialogue they're forced to spout? Allan Dwan's direction is strictly by the book; one can practically imagine him shouting "cut" when achieving a half-decent shot so that he could hurry on to the next set-up and get this baby out of the way. Viewing it, one might feel the same way oneself, unless one sets one's sights at the appropriate low expectation level.