Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison (1957)

Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison (1957), directed by John Huston.

This is another in the "adventures of a tough guy and an inaccessible woman" genre, similar to Huston's own The African Queen (1951). Some plausible survival plot -- hide in a cave -- but also crazy heroics, like sneaking into the enemy camp for supplies.

Deborah Kerr played a sharp-witted, flashing-eyed nun in Black Narcissus (1947) ten years earlier. Here she is more of a simple Irish girl, although still amazingly expressive in small movements of her face and eyes.

She hasn't taken her final vows yet, and is sorely tempted by Robert Mitchum's honest and respectful declarations. But it is not to be: this is an exception to the rule that men and women can't be "just friends".

Kerr and Mitchum were life-long friends after this and appeared together again in The Sundowners (1960) and The Grass Is Greener (1960).

According to a booklet with the disc the cement was an incident when she was rowing a boat and Huston yelled "Faster! Faster!" She applied herself and yelled back "Is this ****ing fast enough?" I'd love to see outtakes.

Georges Auric score. Photographed by Oswald Morris.

The Twilight Time Blu-ray is not very impressive. Poor detail and registration. (I say "registration", although I read in the High Def Digest review that this was not done in three-strip Technicolor. I don't know enough about film to explain why I see color fringes, but I do see them). As with many color films of that era, the green is particularly deficient. We expect more vivid saturation in tropical foliage.