Thin Romeo and Juliet, only this time it's sponge fisherman
off the coast of Florida. The big Cinemascope production is static with wooden
acting and a spongy script. A vehicle for young Twentieth Century Fox stars Robert Wagner
and Terry Moore, the two play the youngest children of families vying for the best sponge
diving waters. There's a big Bernard Hermann score behind the mile action that's
enjoyable, but it' dominates the action or lack of action actually.
The transfer preserves the old Cinemascope aspect ratio of 2.55:1 perfectly. Not everyone's familiar with that extra width, but that's the way it was at the beginning. The extra width exacerbates the effects of letterboxing and detail suffers consequently. So don't be surprised at some scenes that seem unfocused. There is just less detail available. Color is slightly washed out but acceptable.
The Feature Archive has articles ranging from A Western is a Western is a Western to Screen Voices, The Heistmasters, Akira Kurosawa, film preservationist Robert Harris and Shawshank Redemption director Frank Darabont.
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