Guinness at his conniving best in a droll, consistently funny comedy. He plays the captain of a steamer that sails between Gibraltar and North Africa. Instead of having a girl in every port, Guinness has a wife at either end, each offering him a completely different lifestyle. In
Gibraltar it's Johnson, a sedate British housewife who makes him home-cooked meals and is content to stay at home by the fire. In North Africa, it's De Carlo, a sexy, voluptuous woman with whom he does the hot spots, dancing through the exotic nights. (On his ship, Guinness keeps a revolving
picture frame that has a photo of Johnson on one side and De Carlo on the other!) In flashback, we watch as Guinness manages to have the best of both worlds, while his chief officer, Goldner, slavishly admires this grand deception and seeks to emulate his captain.
Suspense is sustained throughout THE CAPTAIN'S PARADISE because as the film opens Guinness is about to be shot by a firing squad and the viewer does not become privy to his fate until the very surprising ending. In between, the scheming captain is undone by the women in his life. Guinness's life
goes topsy-turvy when Johnson insists on seeking adventure and excitement, while De Carlo suddenly takes up cooking, tiring of night life and desiring domestic tranquility. When Guinness resists these disturbing transformations both women leave him.
Guinness gives a masterful performance, and Johnson and De Carlo are superb in their unpredictable parts. The pace is vigorous under Kimmins's direction, and he manages to relate the subtle and frivolous story with verve, his transitions from scene to scene as smooth as Guinness's own incomparable
style. A generous serving of delicious whimsy.
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- Rating: NR
- Review: Guinness at his conniving best in a droll, consistently funny comedy. He plays the captain of a steamer that sails between Gibraltar and North Africa. Instead of having a girl in every port, Guinness has a wife at either end, each offering him a completely… (more)