Special effects are used to advantage to spotlight the high romance of adventuring on the bounding main. Film’s big moments include the excitement stirred up by the dangers of 19th century whaling and the climactic mass battle with mutineers aboard a sailing vessel.
Directorial vigor of Richard Thorpe helps picture through its faltering spots. The latter come from shallow character development in the script [from a novel by Ben Ames Williams] and a rambling story line. Stars Robert Taylor, Stewart Granger and Ann Blyth are competent but the people they portray haven’t enough depth or reality to come robustly alive.
Taylor and Granger are brothers in a seafaring family. When Granger, the elder, disappears on a whaling voyage, Taylor takes over his ship and, with his bride (Blyth) sails off to find him. At a South Seas stopover he finds Granger who goes for his brother’s bride and incites a mutiny aboard ship, which he wants to use to recover a fortune in pearls he had found during his disappearance.
1953: Nomination: Best Color Cinematography