Would you risk certain death at the hands of the Nazi's to rescue a pregnant cow? Would you toss away fame and fortune to set up a national park in the jungles of East Africa? Well, maybe you wouldn't, but knobby-kneed David Niven and unknown John Steel take care of those two little things in this week's double bill at the Exeter.
Island Rescue starts off like an Alec Guinness movie, makes a brief attempt to stimulate some young love, and winds up on a tight little Channel Island populated by "simple" fishermen, German soldiers (most of whom are named Vogel) and Venus.
Not to be confused with a statue in the Louvre, this Venus is a cow. The hero, David Niven, sheds his kilts to bring the captive back to England (because she is a rare breed and important to the war effort). On the way over, by submarine naturally, he picks up pert Glynis Johns, who is one of the Island's rulers masquerading as an army cook, as well as the oddest expeditionary force in movie history. On the way back Venus has a calf and David and Glynis discover true love. But it's in between the going over and the coming back that the picture is at its funniest. Island Rescue may not be up to the standard of other British comedies, but it is a very funny film.
Unfortunately the co-feature is handicapped by a dime store Western plot and some barnyard acting. Instead of rustling horses, the villain bootlegs ivory. Ivory Hunters has a saving feature, though, because it was shot in the heart of East Africa, and this is one movie where excellent color photography overrides some glaring inadequacies. After all, it isn't every day that you get a chance to see oaks, gazelles, jungle babies, and rhodesian ridgebacks in action.