Lt. Robin Crusoe, U.S.N.

1966, Movie, NR, 115 mins

Review

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Van Dyke is a Navy pilot who is forced to abandon his plane when it catches fire. He washes up on an abandoned island, where he meets Floyd, an astro-chimp whose space capsule has crashed onto this isle as well. Together they build themselves a small civilization containing everything from living quarters to a South Seas golf course. One day he spots footprints and follows them to find Kwan, a beautiful island girl (Daniel Defoe's hero should have been so lucky) who has been exiled by her father for not marrying the man of his choice. Van Dyke dubs her "Wednesday" and organizes her and her disgruntled sisters into an all-woman army. They fight off an attack by her father, native chief Tamiroff, but when Kwan and Van Dyke do a victory dance, the white man accidentally discovers his dancing is an exact replica of a native marriage-proposal dance. Just in the nick of time a Navy helicopter comes to rescue him, taking Floyd along as well. Van Dyke, who was a great clown in his popular television series as well as MARY POPPINS, is completely wasted in this witless and insipid outing. He's reduced to pratfalls and mugging without much opportunity to show his real talents. The Robinson Crusoe update is wholly contrived and not really creative. The story is credited to "Retlaw Yensid," which is backward for Walter Disney. His name is not the only backward thing here, considering the usual standards he set for his films. Despite the overall weaknesses of the film, it grossed a fairly impressive $8 million. The kids will love it. leave a comment

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