US, 1978, 105 minutes, Colour.
Marjoe Gortner, Robert Lansing, Ed Nelson.
Directed by Burt Brinckerhoff.
A routine drug thriller set in Hawaii and seems, at times, little more than attractive travelogue gracing a Hawaii Five-O plot. Robert Lansing and Ed Nelson are veterans enough to carry their roles of hero and villain with case. Marjoe Gortner used films like this to build up his career as an actor. His performance in 'When are you coming back Red Ryder?' showed he was capable of a much better performance than in routine thrillers.
1. The appeal of thrillers, T.V. series and their conventions, popularity? Police, narcotics squad, drug smuggling?
2. The Hawaiian backgrounds and the sea, the tour of Hawaii by helicopter etc? The musical score, the song?
3. The basic drug situation of the seventies - the wealthy world, the popularity of drugs, their widespread use, exploitation? The hero's use of drugs? The smuggling at the beginning, the incident with the nun, prison? Ralph and his being victimised, the encounter with Solberg? The entanglement with Fry and Sally? The basin for the development of a thriller plot?
4. Audience attitude towards drugs, their peddling, international smuggling, the wealthy and the criminals, violence and murder?
5. The various twists in the plot and audience enjoyment of
mystery? Solberg as under-cover agent? Hollister as the villain?
6. The basic set-up and the way the film presented it: Fry and his desire for wealth, Sally an his mistress ready to betray him, the Chinese connection and his influence, George as the strong man, getting the boat to Hawaii? Various types - how well presented and developed their characters?
7. Solberg as a character, his reputation, sailing
ability, friendship with Ralph, getting him out of prison from the guards and the use of the prostitutes, the voyage? Solving the mystery? Background stories? Credib1e,% his being caught by Fry, coming to the rescue?
8. The contrast with Hollister and his ability to handle the Congress-man with his smooth talk, Los Angeles, narcotics squad and detection? The iron of his control, his violence at the end?
9. Sally and her change of heart, her help? The death of George? The build-up to the exchange on the golf links, the boat? Betrayal, deaths?
10. The conventions of the American action thriller, police, drugs, money, violence, ruthlessness, heroism? How well did the film work at this level?