4 January 2008 | bkoganbing
Some Bad Choices
It was with some interest that I read that Appointment in Honduras was shot in the Los Angeles Botanical Gardens serving as the Central American jungle. We should probably be grateful that RKO did spring for color and did not use the old King Kong set once again.
I can see the minds at RKO now (read Howard Hughes). Rita Hayworth is Harry Cohn's main meal ticket at Columbia, no getting here, but we can probably get Glenn Ford's services. Since they were such a popular screen team, we can team Ford with another redhead and see if the public will buy it. Ann Sheridan was past her best days and she'd work cheap, so the team of Ford and Sheridan was sent to the tropics.
Central America was in the news at the time. The Central Intelligence Agency had a big hand in overthrowing the government in Guatemala of Jacobo Arbenz. Ford's role is rather unclear in this film. At the end he identifies himself as a planter, but I suspect he's probably got some CIA involvement.
The film opens with Ford on a tramp steamer off Central America. He's got a mission of some kind and HAS to get off there, but the captain won't stop. So Ford's got some bad choices to make. He frees some convicts headed by Rudolfo Acosta to help him get ashore. They in turn take quarreling couple, Zachary Scott and Ann Sheridan along as hostages. Acosta's idea, not Ford's.
After that it's a competition between the steamy jungle and the steamier romance heating up between Ford and Sheridan. The two of them do their best, but they're not Ford and Hayworth. It's definitely not Gilda, it's not even Affair in Trinidad.
Some nice color cinematography of the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanical Gardens is the best thing about Appointment in Honduras. Maybe it might stimulate one to go there to see where a Thanksgiving beauty was shot.