The Luck of the Irish Blogathon – Donovan’s Reef (1963)


This is the final of 5 posts dedicated to The Luck of the Irish Blogathon being held over at Pure Entertainment Preservation Society

Tnx Tiffany and Rebekah for letting me take part!

“Well, there is our Mike Donovan. Three children and not one marriage. Oh, I do not say that he’s the first man to put the cart before the horse, but three carts and no horse? Huh?” – Marquis Andre de Lage

Number of Times Seen – 1 (18 Mar 2021)

Brief Synopsis – Three former seamen find themselves on a French Polynesian Island where they try to make a better life for themselves.

My Take on it – Pretty strange comedy that doesn;t wok as well as one might hope.

This movie was directed by John Ford and was his final collaboration with John Wayne.

The story itself is a bit too bland and the attempts at humor fall quite short along the way.

The film has a great cast in addition to Wayne that includes Jack Warden, Cesar Romero, Lee Marvin, Dorothy Lamour and Elizabeth Allen.

The various antics between the characters is meant to be much more fun that it truly is and that hurts things far too much along the way

Some of the characters (especially Wayne’s) should have been much younger and even Wayne who is such a great actor feels miscast in this role which is quite a shame.

The slapstick humor doesn’t work well enough and drags the story into some very strange and farcical directions that takes so much away from the potential that this film had.

The romance aspects of the story are far too unbelievable.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – A few years later John Wayne suggested Lee Marvin should make another film with him. However Marvin had become a major star after Cat Ballou (1965) and told Wayne that he was no longer interested in playing supporting roles. Wayne could never really believe that Marvin was being paid one million dollars per film in the late 1960s. (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (5/10)

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