Mary Poppins Returns
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All Critics (4)
| Fresh (3)
| Rotten (1)
| DVD (2)
Starring Alec Guinness, this mildly entertaining British comedy was nominated for the Motion Picture Story Oscar.
Disappointing lighthearted one-note sexual farce about a bigamist
Lacks something of the charm of the Ealing films -- though it's hard to pinpoint why -- it's an all-too-often-overlooked Guinness film that deserves rediscovery
"The Captain's Paradise" starts with Henry St. James(Alec Guinness) calmly asking the firing squad to please hurry up as he has other places to be, while matter of factly refusing a blindfold. His uncle Lawrence(Miles Malleson), who just missed Henry, is told by Henry's now former Chief Officer, Ricco(Charles Goldner), how he came to be in such a predicament. It may not surprise some that it involved a woman, namely Henry's lover Nita(Yvonne De Carlo), as Ricco recounts happier times like their second anniversary in North Africa. On the other side of the Mediterranean in Gibraltar, where his crew has not been granted British visas to disembark, Henry celebrates his third anniversary with his wife Maud(Celia Johnson).
Even though it is more windup than payoff, "The Captain's Paradise" is still a witty and breezy farce that is ahead of its time in exploring gender relations. Here, the joke is on Henry as he underestimates not one but two women which while certainly no record is still very impressive.(Relax, I don't think I'm giving anything away by saying that since we do know he will end up in front of a firing squad but how he gets there might surprise you.) Henry might think of his life as perfect, containing the best of all worlds, including male camaraderie, and, admittedly, it is a rather clever idea. But if he were as smart as he thought he was, then he would have found a cure for cancer.
Cute comedy, Guinness is smooth as always, Yvonne DeCarlo besides being stunning proves herself adroit at comedy.
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