Sunday, August 29, 2021

#2,607. Captain John Smith and Pocahontas (1953)


I’ll say this for Captain John Smith and Pocahontas: it crams a hell of a lot into 76 minutes!

Based on actual events, this 1953 film whisks us back to 1607, when John Smith (Anthony Dexter) was the designated leader of Jamestown, Virginia - Britain's first colony in the New World. Low on food and surrounded by hostile natives, Smith and his good friend John Rolfe (Robert Clarke) try to secure the future of Jamestown by making peace with Powhaten (Douglas Dumbrille), chief of all the tribes.

It’s at this time that Smith meets Pocahontas (Jody Lawrence), daughter of Powhaten, who saves his life and eventually becomes his bride.

But even if he does reach an agreement with Powhaten, Smith’s leadership remains tentative at best, as he is opposed at every turn by fellow settler Wingfield (James Seay), a gentleman of high birth who only came to America to find gold.

Like I said, things move quickly in Captain John Smith and Pocahontas. Director Lew Landers managed to squeeze a lot into the movie, including a handful of skirmishes between the settlers and natives.

Yet despite it’s brisk pace, the movie isn’t particularly memorable. The performances are mediocre at best (Dexter is somewhat bland as Smith), and the action scenes, though plentiful, never generate much excitement. Captain John Smith and Pocahontas isn’t a bad film, per se, but it could have been better.
Rating: 5.5 out of 10

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