Randolph Scott is a young man who refuses to live up to his potential. Though very skilled, and possessing every attribute necessary to excel as a marine, he refuses to do so. When not training, he does one of two things: engage in a battle of wills with the crusty sergeant (John Payne) who knows what Scott should be capable of; or court sensible nurse Maureen O’Hara (who also expects more of Scott than he does of himself).
Don’t approach this hoping for an action flick. Despite t…king its title from the same song, and having an identical title sequence, this is not The Halls of Montezuma. What we get instead is some horsing around, a hell of a lot of marching, and hefty dose of patriotic sentiment. None too surprising, given that this is a wartime film. Not hugely entertaining in and of itself, though.
Once more, we have a choice between the original mono and newly created stereo. Frankly, films from the forties do not lend themselves very easily to surround remastering, and To the Shores of Tripoli is no exception. The only thing to benefit at all from the stereo is the music, and that isn’t enough. After putting up with about twenty minutes of the stereo, I switched back to mono, and the sound improved noticeably. Hiss, buzz and distortion in the rear vanished, as did the rather thin quality of the sound. Stick with the mono, then. It’s so much warmer in the is case.
The picture is sharp and clean, and the condition of the print is damn near perfect. The level of grain is very low, and all in all the pictures looks as good as it did the day of its release. The one flaw is some noticeable edge enhancement. Otherwise, terrific. The ratio is the original 1.33:1 full screen.
As with the other Fox War Classics, the extras are minimal: a very basic menu and a bunch of trailers (To the Shores of Tripoli and nine others).
If you’re in the mood, this has a certain naive charm, and of course a degree of historical interest. But Sink the Bismark this is not.
Special Features List
- Theatrical Trailers