Monday, January 28, 2013

Miss Robin Crusoe

"Miss Robin Crusoe," a TCM obscurity. 1954, in Pathecolor. I recorded this because I'd never heard of it. Luckily, it turns out to be gruesome, with a chance of race and gender perplexity. My favorite forecast!
Miss Robin Crusoe (Miss Kitty from "Gunsmoke") is on a ship disguised as a cabin boy. The ship founders in a storm. She washes up on an island (portrayed by Rancho Palos Verdes, a jungle set, and stock footage) with a creepy sailor, who immediately tries to rape her, so she has to throw him off a cliff.
She builds a tree house and befriends a monkey. She then bathes naked, so the monkey covers its eyes, because monkeys, as is well known, cannot bear to gaze upon the undraped female form.
Now headshrinking cannibals come, with two trussed up women on poles as sacrifices. They turn one woman upside down, bend over two trees, tie them to her feet, then let go the trees, so that she is torn in half right down the middle (off camera). While they are amusing themselves in this wise, Robin rescues the other woman, brings her back to the treehouse, and names her Friday (This is the wonderful Rosalind Hayes, a pinup girl who went on to appear in six episodes of Amos 'n Andy before disappearing from view.).
The savages then attack the treehouse. Robin shoots some, and Friday runs several through with spears, and they are discouraged. Friday offers herself to Robin as a slave. Robin progressively suggests that they be "companions" and "sisters."
The sororal companions are interrupted by more trouble in paradise! Another ship founders in a storm. The movie repeats the earlier shot of a ship foundering in a storm. The shot is probably from some other movie, anyway. George Nader washes ashore in tight blue shorts, so Robin ties him up and tells him she's the Captain and he better be obedient. Friday gets jealous and tries to stab him in the throat.
Later Robin and George Nader make out on the beach. Friday caresses Robin while she sleeps. The savages come back, with the renewed ambition of ripping Friday in half. Eventually everyone escapes the island. We don't find out how Friday adapts to England under Charles II.
Closing words: "God's world is wide and free and fair. There is no island of despair." "Miss Robin Crusoe" was awesome enough to redeem this difficult day. Thank you. TCM!

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