During the early Pacific war years, American seaman George Tweed is the only U.S. serviceman on Guam not captured by the Japanese forces.During the early Pacific war years, American seaman George Tweed is the only U.S. serviceman on Guam not captured by the Japanese forces.During the early Pacific war years, American seaman George Tweed is the only U.S. serviceman on Guam not captured by the Japanese forces.
Second-rate treatment of a noble adventure.
Jeffrey Hunter plays the part of George Tweed, the redoubtable U.S. Navy radioman who survived in hiding on Guam during the Japanese occupation of that island, with the assistance of many Guamanians who willingly turned their lives upside-down to protect him. Hunter is woefully miscast; devout Antonio Antero, the Chamorro who was Tweed's principal benefactor during his ordeal, was convinced of his Christian duty to assist the American due to the latter's appearance: gaunt and dirty with long hair and sullied clothing, akin to Christ before the crucifixion, but Hunter is obviously well-nourished with his hair style never disturbed, and with barely a nod by his demeanor to his taxing situation. Tweed, as the sole American survivor of the invasion, was a totem to the people native to Guam that the United States was still there, but this fact is overlooked in this production. Although Tweed was hidden within a cave in the island's southeast, a popular tourist attraction today, the scenario places him atop a mountain where he would be in plain view of enemy aircraft, a serious miscue in light of the fact that much of the occupiers' activity was revolving about attempts at his capture. Tweed cleverly repaired a damaged radio and typewriter and through skillful use of both helped to offset Japanese propaganda concerning the true progress of the war; however, this is touched on but briefly and in a distorted fashion, at that. Although obviously designed as packaged Hollywood entertainment, the screen story appears jejune when one recalls that many died to preserve the safety of the real-life Tweed. Filmed in the Philippines with largely local performers, NO MAN IS AN ISLAND flags from consistently poor production characteristics, which tend to jar a viewer's sensibilities. Not surprisingly, the acting is variable, with Marshall Thompson being wasted, and Hunter swallowing many of his lines as well as being uncomfortably saddled with a vapid love interest. Since the script does not delineate a point of view, and there is scant in the way of direction, we are left with one cliché-ridden scene after another. Some potentially engaging sub-plots, in particular one formed from the plight of Japanese-Americans remaining on Guam during the occupation, are only grazed fragments here. Talented Basil Wrangell does his best at editing this affair, but his cachet is finally defeated as the movie flounders forward to its hackneyed conclusion.
- May 6, 2002
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