Sea Devils (1953) starring Yvonne De Carlo, Rock Hudson, Maxwell Reed, Denis O'Dea, Michael Goodliffe, Bryan Forbes, Jacques B. Brunius directed by Raoul Walsh Movie Review

Sea Devils (1953)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Rock Hudson in Sea Devils (1953)

Lost at Sea

Fisherman turned smuggler Gilliat (Rock Hudson - Horizons West) has a talent for out running the authorities off of the isle of Guernsey and his sailing skills lead him to agreeing to take Droucette (Yvonne De Carlo - Tomahawk) to France after she explains she is on a mission to save her brother from being executed. Unsurprisingly Gilliat falls for the attractive Droucette but then feels cheated when he discovers that she is in fact a spy, a Countess helping with Napolean's planned invasion of England. But what Gilliat thinks he knows is not the truth as Droucette is in fact a double agent who is actually working to stop the invasion and when he discovers this and that Droucette's true identity has been uncovered by the French he returns to try and rescue her.

Most movie fans have actors and directors who they favour and when they stumble across one of their favourite's lesser movies they try to be as generous as they can about it. It is why you can often find glowing reviews of any movie even those which are disappointments. And that is the case when it comes to "Sea Devils" as popular director Raoul Walsh was the man responsible for this forgettable swashbuckler. Now in fairness "Sea Devils" is not terrible, the sets and locations are impressive but when it comes to everything else it fails to leave any sort of impression.

Yvonne De Carlo in Sea Devils (1953)

Part of the trouble with "Sea Devils" is that it feels over written with dialogue and story elements which end up uninteresting. It quickly becomes a case that whenever a scene settles purely on the dialogue you find it hard to stay interested because what they say fails to be exciting or entertaining.

The troubles with "Sea Devils" continue as frankly there is absolutely zero chemistry between Yvonne De Carlo and Rock Hudson. When we have romantic scenes there is no spark of sexual chemistry and so what we end up with is Rock Hudson often in his bare chest as a hunk whilst De Carlo's low cut costumes accentuating her decolletage which grabs your attention. It is left to Bryan Forbes to provide the entertaining performance as Gilliat's sidekick Willie and there is better comic chemistry between Forbes and Hudson than the supposed chemistry between the leads. Of course in retrospect of Hudson's sexuality you could read more into this if you wished but to me it is just a case of an actor and actress not gelling in their roles.

"Sea Devils" has one saving grace other than the scenery and sets and that is that Raoul Walsh was good when it came to directing action and thankfully the action scenes at least bring some attention grabbing energy to an otherwise dull movie.

What this all boils down to is that "Sea Devils" is a forgettable swashbuckler whose only appeal is to those devoted to its stars and director Raoul Walsh. It isn't so much that it is a terrible movie but has nothing to make it truly entertaining or memorable.