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Category:    Home > Reviews > Action > Adventure > Swashbuckler > Spy > Napoleonic Era > Literature > Sea Devils (1953/VCI DVD)

Sea Devils (1953/VCI DVD)


Picture: C+     Sound: C     Extras: C-     Film: C+



Raoul Walsh was one of the great Hollywood directors and one who was known for his tough, uncompromising approach to filmmaking.  As compared to his rawest films, Sea Devils (1953) may not be one of his darkest works, yet the adaptation of a Victor Hugo novel with Rock Hudson and Yvonne De Carlo has some interestingly dark moments in what is a British production.


Gilliatt (Hudson) is a fisherman who is also a smuggler, but he encounters and becomes involved with a woman named Droucette (De Carlo) who turns out to be a spy.  Borden Chase (Vera Cruz) delivers a competent screenplay adaptation with some fin ins and outs to the story as dictated by the book, but the resulting film is uneven and somewhat predictable.  The reason to watch are the stars, the color, the fine production value and Walsh’s directing style.  Even when it does not work, it is always interesting to watch.  Michael Goodliffe and Bryan Forbes also star.


The 1.33 X 1 image was shot by the great Wilkie Cooper (Green For Danger, Jason & The Argonauts) in the three-strip dye-transfer Technicolor format and the result is a great color film that even looks good on this DVD.  Clean and consistent with a few good demo shots; VCI should consider making this one of their first Blu-rays.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is somewhat distorted throughout and shows its age more, so be careful of playback levels and audio switching.  Richard Addinsell’s score deserves better.  The only extras are trailers for two other similar VCI DVD releases.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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