Tiara Tahiti (1962)

Not Rated   |    |  Drama, Comedy

Tiara Tahiti (1962) Poster

James Mason and Sir John Mills star in this comedy-drama about a tough Colonel and a refined Captain who clashed during the war, and continue their personal battle in peacetime Tahiti.


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15 November 2005 | ianlouisiana
| Mason and Mills' most excellent adventure
Lt.Col. Southey (John Mills) is an officer promoted a rank,or,perhaps,two above his abilities - not an uncommon occurrence in wartime - Capt.Aimsley(James Mason) a natural leader and charming rogue a class above Southey in every respect but one.He treats his nominal military superior as he might the ageing family labrador.Popular and charismatic,Capt.Aimsley is everything Col. Southey is not but aspires to be.The scene where,alone in his office,he practises copying Aimsley's accent is brilliantly observed. Unfortunately money is Aimsley's Achilles Heel and his profligacy sees him removed from Southey's command. Some time after the war Aimsley's comfortable exile in Tahiti is rudely interrupted by the arrival of his old adversary now director of a hotel chain looking to expand into the burgeoning South Seas market. What was virtually a two-hander featuring two of Britain's best film actors then,regretfully,broadens out into a not particularly funny or engaging comedy with stereotyped minor characters and a largely superfluous love interest.Some of the exchanges between Mills and Mason shine through the fog of ordinary,but the film loses most of its impetus. James Mason has exactly the right air of supreme self-confidence that the public school man exudes,the sense of being comfortable in his own skin whether in an Officers' Mess or on a South Sea Island. John Mills,probably a Grammar school boy,certainly not quite a gentleman.He may have money and business acumen but he will never be one of "them" no matter how rich and successful he becomes and that rankles. Whenever they are on the screen together "Tiara Tahiti" comes alive. Without them it would be very thin gruel indeed. If you want to see another film with James Mason exiled on an island try to catch the little-known British comedy "A Touch Of Larceny",it's clever,funny and altogether enchanting.John Mills out - acts Alec Guiness's bravura performance in "Tunes of Glory" as Col Barrow,on the face of it rather a cold fish,but with unsuspected sensitivities,not unlike Col Southey

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