The Captain's Paradise (1953)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Comedy of Manners, Romantic Comedy  |   Run Time - 89 min.  |   Countries - UK  |  
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The Captain's Paradise is not one of the legendary Ealing Studios films which Alec Guinness made in the 1950's, but it's from the same era and has much the same feeling. It also is somewhat more forced and direct than the Ealing offerings, which tended to glide about a bit before landing on their comic targets. This is a forgivable shortcoming in what is otherwise a bright and engaging comedy. While modern audiences may wince at the set-up and find it too dated in terms of male-female relationships, the eventual outcome reveals that Captain's Paradise was a bit more ahead of its time than it initially seems. The Alec Coppel-Nicholas Phipps script is engaging, relying more on character comedy than lines that witty in and of themselves, and supplying enough comic situations to keep the film rolling happily along. Alec Guinness, of course, is the key player here, and without him the film would be only modest fun. He's a fully fleshed-out bounder, and he pulls all the right strings to make the audience alternately go along with and laugh at him. The always-dependable Celia Johnson is a delight, making the most of her chances to let herself go, and Yvonne DeCarlo is a believable sexpot with homebody leanings. All in all, Captain's Paradise is great fun.