High Tide At Noon goes for the two pronged soap opera attack.
Its main plot is about a girl named Jo, the daughter of a man who owns an island where everybody earns their living lobster fishing, and the various loves of her life:
- Simon, who isn't really a love of her life at all he's just the dreamy and overbearing rebel who Jo decides she doesn't like about five minutes into their first date when he tries to get her into bed (jeez, he's not as bad as the guy he played in Silver Streak, but Patrick McGoohan is not nice guys tonight).
- Nils, Jo's childhood friend who's been in love with her forever even though she doesn't return the feelings (I felt so damn bad for him and could understand how he felt. Therefore, I was rooting for him).
- Alec, the charming newcomer to the island who is a manly gamblin' man, but who quotes poetry and plays the violin so obviously she wants to marry him (I didn't like him; he's not as good looking as Simon nor as sympathetic as Nils).
Lurking over the main plot is the underlying plot of all the lobsters disappearing due to not wanting to be killed (I guess) and the island community disappearing to find work on the main land.
There's also a third, minor plot (that wraps itself up by about half an hour in) about Jo's brother marrying a girl "because he had to." Yeah.
The thing that's weird about High Tide At Noon is there's no way at all to tell how much time has passed. When it starts, Jo is seventeen and coming home from school on the main land. The next day she goes on a date with Simon until she realizes she's better off running away. The day after that she tells Nils she doesn't love him back. The next day she meets Alec, the day after that they're getting married and the day after that she's twenty and is talking about wanting a baby.
Wait, what? Those weren't days? I thought she was ready to get married awfully fast, but the movie made no attempt to let us know how much time passed and that made things kind of confusing.
Also, you know how my general reaction to the 1989 version of The Phantom Of The Opera is "Robert Englund is throwing himself at you, and you're saying no?!? What is wrong with you?" Replace "Robert Englund" with "Patrick McGoohan" and you've got my reaction to High Tide At Noon. Sure, I was rooting for Nils (poor guy). Sure, Simon's pretty much entirely unsavory with no redeeming qualities that the audience can see and he went too far for a first date. So kick him until he backs off, but don't write him off completely. (...I guess Silver Streak didn't completely destroy my tendency to take his side.)
P.S. What the heck kind of a name is Nils, anyway? Was I just hearing it wrong or is it really kind of an odd name?
End of line.