Sunday, January 21, 2018

First Nigerian Hollywood Star, Orlando Martins in "Abandon Ship!" Thriller

Seven Waves Away (alternate U.S. titles: Abandon Ship! and Seven Days From Now) is a 1957 British drama film starring Tyrone Power, Mai Zetterling, Lloyd Nolan, and Stephen Boyd. When his ship goes down, an officer has to make an agonizing decision on his overcrowded lifeboat.

After the massive luxury liner the Crescent Star sinks into the ocean, the ship's officer (Tyrone Power) must command a rickety life boat, built for only nine, that is stuffed with 20 desperate and injured passengers. As a hurricane approaches, and the many wounded passengers struggle for life, difficult life and death decisions must be made about who will remain on the boat and who must be cast to the sea in order to give others the chance to survive.

The Plot:
The luxury liner SS Crescent Star sinks in seven minutes after striking a rogue mine in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, taking with her nearly all of the 1,156 people on board. Twenty-seven of the survivors converge on a single lifeboat designed to accommodate only nine. The dying captain passes command to executive officer Alec Holmes (Tyrone Power). Holmes then learns from "Sparks" Clary (John Stratton), the ship's radio operator, that both transmitters were destroyed before a call for help could be sent. Holmes decides to try to reach the nearest land, Africa, 1,500 miles away.

With a major storm approaching, Frank Kelly (Lloyd Nolan) warns Holmes that the overloaded boat will be swamped unless some of the passengers are jettisoned. The mortally injured Kelly then sacrifices himself by jumping overboard. Holmes decides to get rid of the old and injured, over the shocked protests of his girlfriend, ship's nurse Julie White (Mai Zetterling). When he orders Will McKinley (Stephen Boyd) to dispose of an unconscious woman, McKinley obeys, then jumps in after her. One by one, Holmes sends others to certain death, until there are 15 left aboard. Edith Middleton (Moira Lister) observes that an atomic scientist, a brilliant playwright, and a famous former opera singer have been sacrificed to save two "apemen", a racketeer, and a devout coward. Passenger Michael Faroni (Eddie Byrne) demands Holmes go back for the others. When Holmes refuses, Faroni seriously wounds him in the shoulder with a switchblade and is in turn shot dead with a flare gun.

The lightened lifeboat weathers the storm and the rest of the survivors thank Holmes for saving them. Realising he is now a liability due to his wound, Holmes throws himself overboard, but Julie brings him back aboard. Then, they spot a ship. As it comes to pick them up, the others, with the exceptions of Julie White and Edith Middleton, quickly distance themselves from Holmes' actions.

Based on:
Seven Waves Away; 1938 short story; by Richard Sale.

Tyrone Power as Executive Officer Alec Holmes
Mai Zetterling as Julie White
Lloyd Nolan as Captain Frank Kelly
Stephen Boyd as Will McKinley
Moira Lister as Edith Middleton
James Hayter as "Cookie" Morrow
Finlay Currie as Mr. Wheaton
John Stratton as Jimmy "Sparks" Clary
Victor Maddern as Willy Hawkins
David Langton as John Hayden
Eddie Byrne as Michael Faroni
Noel Willman as Aubrey Clark
Moultrie Kelsall as Daniel Cane
Robert Harris as Arthur J. Middleton
Gordon Jackson as John Merritt
Orlando Martins as Sam Holly

Source for the summary.

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