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The Captain's Paradise Review

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Captain Henry St. James has a wife in every port, well, at least a traditional housewife in Gibralter and a hot-blooded sexpot in Tangiers. And he'll get away with it too, as long as every one stays exactly where they are…

★★★★★

If anyone ever doubted the subversion that lurked beneath the deceptive cosiness of the Ealing comedies, then this minor but engaging (im)morality tale on the dubious pleasures of bigamy provides conclusive proof. Alec Coppel's Oscar-nominated screenplay about a steamer captain with a wife in both Kalik and Gibraltar may seem tame today.

But Alec Guinness plays the seaman with such a smug sense of satisfaction that it's a pleasure to watch him get his comeuppance, as sexpot Yvonne De Carlo and mousey housewife Celia Johnson reveal contrasting sides of their natures that he never dreamt existed.

This engaging (im)morality tale on the dubious pleasures of bigamy provides conclusive proof of the subversion that underlies the Ealing comedies.

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