Tony Mastroianni Review Collection

Even Disney Can't Win All of Them

Cleveland Press July 7, 1966

Even Walt Disney can't win them all and this latest from his studio never quite hits it off. "Lt. Robin Crusoe, U. S. N." is pleasant enough and even ingenious at times and Dick Van Dyke works energetically to produce laughs as he is alone on camera for the greater part of the movie's length.

Van Dyke portrays a Navy flier who is forced to bail out of his plane, ends up marooned on a south sea island.

The island is occupied by another, an astro-chimp who overshot the mark during one of the early space shots.

In place of a Man Friday for this latter day Crusoe there is a Girl Wednesday, sarong clad Nancy Kwan, who has been abandoned on the island by her head-hunting chieftain father because she wouldn't marry the man of his choice. She is joined by several dozen female cousins who also are in trouble with the old man.

SO YOU HAVE a Navy lieutenant and a bunch of south sea belles all alone on an island. Forget those other movies. This one is a Disney film and all Van Dyke does is become a combination den mother and army officer as he organizes his troops to repel invaders.

He marches them around in a comic bit that resembles something out of "Bridge on the River Kwai" and they call him Admiral Honey which is all too, too cutsy.

Some of the best comic bits include Van Dyke playing poker with the chimp and losing and Van Dyke wrestling with his life raft as he reads a survival manual

THE MOVIE IS stretched out too long, could have done with some severe cutting.

Besides Van Dyke and Miss Kwan there is Akim Tamiroff as the chief. He grunts and shouts and grimaces in what is probably the worst performance of his career.

Regardless who is on screen, the chimp steals the movie.