Often Poignant World War II Tale Of Forbidden love With Rich
Simon Davis | 04/22/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Those movie fans who only associate Joan Collins with ultra vixen roles like those in "The Stud", and the television series "Dynasty', need to take a look at this quite forgotten dramatic effort from 1957 to see what Ms. Collins was capable of achieving when given a role of some substance to work with. In a marked departure from her usual screen persona here she plays a nun who finds herself marooned with three men firstly on a lifeboat and later on a desert island during the height of World War II after their boat is torpedoed by the Japanese. The tale of forbidden passion and romance that unfolds between Joan Collins and Richard Burton is in some ways similiar to the wonderful and vastly superior "Heaven Knows Mr. Allison", starring Robert Mitchum and Deborah Kerr. While it may lack the excitement and energy of that earlier effort "Sea Wife", has its own unique style and manages in it's own quiet way to tackle a number of quite "risky", subjects for this period such as a nun and her vows under threat from the love of a man, and racial discrimination in it's very raw form. Richard Burton and especially Joan Collins in her very non typical character are both excellent and never once treat the subject matter with any less dignity that it deserves.
This film has been one that has long been lampooned by the critics who in particular targeted Joan Collins for her supposed "miscasting", in the role of the nun. I personally think she does a very credible job in the role and her gutsy and assertive playing opposite not only Richard Burton but also the largely male cast in "Sea Wife", makes for quite dramatic viewing. Her nun is no passive religious creature in the story and in fact reminds me of many of the nuns who I have had dealings with over the years. She and Richard Burton make an unlikely couple all the same and only ever worked together the once here in "Sea Wife". Both might be now remembered for their more famous roles and private life associations however "Sea Wife", is well worth a look and is essential viewing for those viewers like myself who enjoy non typical stories centred around the Catholic clergy. After it's checquered life as a VHS release I'm also hoping that Fox releases this film soon fully restored on DVD. Enjoy"
Joan Collins and Richard Burton in absorbing WW2 drama
Byron Kolln | the corner where Broadway meets Hollywood | 10/10/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"SEA WIFE is an absorbing, energetic melodrama set during the thick of World War II. Based on the novel "Sea-Wyf and Biscuit" by J.M. Scott, it follows four mismatched survivors after their boat is torpedoed by Japanese forces.
Cast adrift in a lifeboat are a young nun (Joan Collins), an RAF officer (Richard Burton), a stuffy old businessman (Basil Sydney), and the ship's purser (Cy Grant). Giving each other nicknames, the group sets out to find land, but slowly "Sea Wife" and "Biscuit" start to develop an unlikely relationship. Holding to her religious beliefs, "Sea Wife" keeps her real identity a secret from the rest of the survivors, despite the ardent pursuit of "Biscuit".
SEA WIFE reminds me a lot of "Heaven Knows, Mr Allison", a similarly-themed film from Fox which starred Deborah Kerr and Robert Mitchum. Whatever the comparison, SEA WIFE stands on it's own as a thoroughly engaging romantic adventure; Collins and Burton are smashing in the leads.
The DVD includes restoration comparison, scene-specific audio commentary by Aubrey Solomon, image galleries, and the trailer. (Single-sided, single-layer disc).
Available separately or as part of The Joan Collins Superstar Collection (The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing / Rally 'Round the Flag, Boys! / The Sea Wife / Seven Thieves / Stopover Tokyo)"