HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Invisible Man, The
Honey Boy
System Crasher
Judy & Punch
Bacurau
Battling Butler
Vivarium
Seven Chances
Dogs Don't Wear Pants
Navigator, The
Knives Out
Hit!
Charlie's Angels
Passport to Shame
Le Mans '66
Keep Fit
Doctor Sleep
Friend or Foe
Brass Target
Mine and the Minotaur, The
Sky Pirates
Syncopation
Sea Children, The
Ghost of a Chance, A
Go Kart Go
Great Buster, The
Seventy Deadly Pills
Wings of Mystery
Treasure at the Mill
VFW
Crime Wave
Terminator: Dark Fate
Slithis
Antonio Gaudi
Oscar, The
Color Out of Space
Last Holiday
Zombieland: Double Tap
Mind Benders, The
Mighty Wind, A
   
 
Newest Articles
Put the Boot In: Villain on Blu-ray
The Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 2: Vic Pratt Interview
All the Lonely People: Sunday Bloody Sunday on Blu-ray
Desperate Characters: Beat the Devil on Blu-ray
Chansons d'Amour: Alfie Darling on Blu-ray
Ozploitation Icon: Interview with Roger Ward
Godzilla Goes to Hollywood
Demy-Wave: The Essential Jacques Demy on Blu-ray
The Makings of a Winner: Play It Cool! on Blu-ray
Sony Channel's Before They Were Famous: A Galaxy of Stars
Start Worrying and Hate the Bomb: Fail-Safe on Blu-ray
Completely Different: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 2 on Blu-ray
Bash Street Kid: Cosh Boy on Blu-ray
Seeing is Believing: Being There on Blu-ray
Top Thirty Best (and Ten Worst) Films of the 2010s by Andrew Pragasam
Top of the Tens: The Best Films of the Decade by Graeme Clark
Terrorvision: A Ghost Story for Christmas in the 1970s
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
   
 
  Assault on a Queen All at Sea
Year: 1966
Director: Jack Donahue
Stars: Frank Sinatra, Virna Lisi, Anthony Franciosa, Alf Kjellin, Errol John, Richard Conte, Reginald Denny
Genre: ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: A group of treasure hunters approach deep sea diver Mark Brittain (Frank Sinatra) to search for a sunken galleon. Reluctant at first, money troubles eventually drive Mark and his friend Linc Langley (Errol John) to partner with beautiful high-roller Rosa Lucchesi (Virna Lisi), her slimy boyfriend Vic Rossiter (Anthony Franciosa), and former Nazi u-boat captain Eric Lauffnauer (Alf Kjellin) on this dangerous dive. Instead of the galleon, Mark discovers a sunken Nazi submarine, which Lauffnauer decides to raise and refit and stage and audacious ocean heist upon the luxury liner, the Queen Mary.

Based on a novel by Invasion of the Body Snatchers author Jack Finney, Assault on a Queen aims to be a sort of The Asphalt Jungle (1950) at sea, but is nowhere as taut. In fact it’s downright leisurely, constrained by a talky script by Twilight Zone creator Rod Serling far too hung up on the romantic tension between Mark and Rosa while supporting characters lounge about, smoke endless cigarettes, and switch from canny conspirators to panicky idiots amidst the last twenty minutes. Sinatra and Lisi are class acts, but the former trades largely on his Rat Pack cool being laid back to the point of nonchalance, while the latter is reduced to glamour gal despite being a great actress as well as a great beauty. Check out her award-winning turn in La Reine Margot (1994) as proof.

Co-financed by Sinatra’s own production company, the man behind the camera was Jack Donahue, a onetime chorus boy who made the Disney musical Babes in Toyland (1961), but was largely a TV hand including sitcoms and episodes of The Frank Sinatra Show. Glossy cinematography by William Daniels and William H. Clothier imparts a seductive sheen upon everything from the ocean view to Lisi’s suntanned legs, but Donahue brings nary an ounce of zest to the B-movie plot.

Much of it rests on Mark’s moral dilemmas and the intricacies of planning the sea hijack, with wrinkles caused by Vic’s inability to master a British accent and intervention from the U.S. Coast Guard. Franciosa’s ill-characterised villain trades tough talk with Sinatra, but while greedy, racist and self-centred, emerges more foolish than menacing. Crime film veteran Richard Conte turns up later as the engineer hired to refurbish the sub, but his character switches from matey to menace at the drop of a hat.

Every submarine movie features at least one episode wherein they run silent to avoid depth charges from above. Here, Donahue finally works up some tension when Mark refuses to fire on a U.S. vessel, although fails to explain why the hitherto ice-cool Lauffnauer panics so easily he abandons the loot. Swinging soundtrack by Duke Ellington.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 4276 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
Andrew Pragasam
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Paul Shrimpton
   

 

Last Updated: