Manfish (February 1, 1956)

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Barbara Nichols in Manfish
 

Released on February 1, 1956: Three men search for and find the pirate treasure of Jean Lafitte off the coast of Jamaica, and then the greed of one man leads to murder.

Produced by W. Lee Wilder

Directed by W. Lee Wilder

The Actors: John Bromfield (Captain Frank Brannigan), Lon Chaney Jr. (First Mate Swede), Victor Jory (Professor Walter Fenton), Barbara Nichols (saloon singer Mimi), Tessa Prendergast (Alita, island girl), Eric Coverly (Police Chief Chavez), Vincent Chang (Domingo), Theodore Purcell (Big Boy), Vere Johns (Bianco), Jack Lewis (Scotland Yard Inspector Frank Warren), Arnold Shanks (Aleppo), Clyde Hoyte (Calypso)

 

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Pirate Treasure and Island Girls

This story appears to be about a couple of easy going Jamaican men and a couple of Island girls, and the hidden treasure of legendary pirate Jean Lafitte . . . But in a surprising twist, it turns into an Edgar Allan Poe thriller. John Bromfield is Captain Brannigan, a hard drinking, card playing owner of the Manfish, a small boat that catches turtles off the coast of Jamaica. Lon Chaney Jr. is Swede, his first mate, and together they discover a chest of gold with the help of a British criminal known as the Professor, played by Victor Jory. Barbara Nichols, famous pin-up girl and cheesecake magazine model in the 1940's is a saloon singer who has a thing going with Brannigan. Jamaican born Tessa Prendergast is the Island girl who loves whichever man has the best chance to make her wealthy. Tessa came from a wealthy Kingston, Jamaica family and also used her exotic beauty to make men wild. After her wild-oats years she became a clothing designer and created the wardrobe for Ursula Andress in the James Bond movie "Dr. No" and her design for the scandalous bikini that Ursula Andress wore not only made Ursula Andress an instant movie star, but changed bathing suit design . . . . OK . . . . Now we have a cool pirate treasure hunt with interesting actors, but just as we are getting into the pace of the island adventure everything changes, as the plot takes a wild left turn. The professor, after promising to kill Brannigan in one of the first scenes of the movie, keeps his promise and murders Brannigan . . . . And then, my friends, the story gets very, very interesting. Edgar Allan Poe fans that remember "The Tell-Tale Heart" will enjoy, as we all will, that story plot moved onto a Jamaican fishing boat docked at Port Royal, and for my money, this part of the story is what it's all about. The screenwriter brought the theme to life on a 1956 fishing boat that had as much thrill . . . . Dare I say a bit more thrill, because it played out in a more modern setting? . . . I won't say it, in respect for Edgar Allen Poe . . . . But I might think it . . . . . Yo, Ho, Ho and a bottle of rum . . . . Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and see what you think.

John Bromfield, Tessa Prendergast and Victor Jory
John Bromfield, Tessa Prendergast and Victor Jory
Jack Lewis and Eric Coverly
Jack Lewis and Eric Coverly
John Bromfield and Barbara Nichols
John Bromfield and Barbara Nichols
John Bromfield and Barbara Nichols
John Bromfield and Barbara Nichols
John Bromfield and Victor Jory
John Bromfield and Victor Jory
John Bromfield
John Bromfield
John Bromfield
John Bromfield
Lon Chaney Jr.
Lon Chaney Jr.
Lon Chaney Jr. and Arnold Shanks
Lon Chaney Jr. and Arnold Shanks
Lon Chaney Jr. grabs John Bromfield
Lon Chaney Jr. grabs John Bromfield
Lon Chaney Jr.
Lon Chaney Jr.
Tessa Prendergast
Tessa Prendergast
Tessa Prendergast and Lon Chaney Jr.
Tessa Prendergast and Lon Chaney Jr.
Tessa Prendergast and Victor Jory
Tessa Prendergast and Victor Jory
Tessa Prendergast
Tessa Prendergast
Victor Jory
Victor Jory
Victor Jory and Lon Chaney Jr.
Victor Jory and Lon Chaney Jr.
Vincent Chang and Victor Jory
Vincent Chang and Victor Jory