tek's rating: ¼

In Search of the Castaways (G)
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This came out in 1962, but I didn't see it until 2020. It's based on Jules Verne's 1868 novel "Captain Grant's Children," which I haven't read (but which is probably a lot better than this movie). The movie's various adventures just seem kind of redonkulous, to me, and so more amusing than actually exciting. (Though I suppose the slide through the ice cave was kind of cool.)

It begins in Glasgow, in 1858. A teenager named Mary Grant (Hayley Mills) and her younger brother, Robert, have traveled there from Plymouth, accompanied by a French geography professor named Jacques Paganel (Maurice Chevalier). He had apparently caught a shark that had swallowed a bottle that had a note in it from Mary and Robert's father, the captain of a ship called the Britannia, which had been lost at sea. The two children and the professor therefore hope Captain Grant and at least some of his crew may have survived, though everyone else believes them to be dead. They try to convince the owner of the Britannia (among other trading ships), Lord Glenarvan, that Captain Grant is alive, in the hopes that he'll mount a rescue expedition. But he believes Paganel forged the note just for a reward. However, Mary manages to talk Glenarvan's son, John, into going along with their plan (which I think isn't so much because he believes the captain is alive, as because he's attracted to Mary, and bored with the usual cruises he takes to the Mediterranean). And he manages to talk his father into going along with the expedition.

So... they have a series of adventures, which I don't want to detail. I will say there are a few songs. And I found Paganel rather amusing. And eventually they find Captain Grant's first mate, Bill Gaye, whom I also found amusing. Although the whole thing with the Maori I thought was rather racist, which detracted from my ability to enjoy the movie. And I didn't find the budding romance between Mary and John believable, particularly from a modern standpoint. (All that "you're not like other girls" stuff was just, ugh.) But for the most part I enjoyed the redonkulousness of the movie, even if it's not something I expect to find particularly memorable.


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