Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Kings Go Forth (1958)

Kings Go Forth is the story of Lieutenant Sam Loggins (Frank Sinatra) and Corporal Britt Harris (Tony Curtis). On a weekend leave the Lieutenant and his outfit take holiday in Nice where Sam meets the beautiful Monique (Natalie Wood). Monique was born in American, but moved to France as an infant and was raised French. Sam immediately falls in love with Monique, but she is less than receptive. She likes Sam, but only as a friend. After a few weeks of Sam coming down to Nice to see her, she confesses to him that her father was a "negro". Of course because of the way American's viewed interracial relationships in the 1940's she never expected to see him again. Sam struggles with this information all week, but at the last minute he decides that this isn’t as big an issue for him as he initially had thought and heads back down to Nice. Monique and her mother are ecstatic to see he has returned, and it looks as though a romantic relationship might happen between the two. In celebration, Sam takes Monique out on the town where they run into Cpl. Harris. Harris is quite the smooth operator, and Monique immediately shows fondness towards him. It seems that her father being black is not an issue for Britt, and Sam just wants Monique to be happy so Sam and Britt continue to come see her every Saturday. As the weeks go on it is apparent that Monique and Britt are falling in love. After a long night, Britt comes back to the hotel and informs Sam that he and Monique are to be married. Sam seems apprehensive, but ultimately wishes Britt the best. Britt, of course, isn't all he's cracked up to be as you will come to learn and as you will have suspected from the very beginning. Kings Go Forth really isn't that great of a film, it is really very mediocre. Frank Sinatra isn't bad but Tony Curtis definitely doesn't give his best performance and the usually magnificent Natalie Wood is not believable as a French woman. The story isn't very original either, and some of the scenes are really pretty cheesy. I'd only see this if you are an enormous fan of the stars or director Delmer Daves. Overall 2.5/4 Stars Grade = C

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