South Sea Woman, ( 1953) starred Burt Lancaster and Virginia Mayo. The story takes place two weeks before the attack on Pearl Harbor. It is the story of a U.S. Marine (Chuck) who wants to marry a woman (Virginia Mayo) who works in a Shanghai nightclub so she can be evacuated as his wife. The Sergeant (Burt Lancaster) gets involved when they
It was Chuck's biggest role to date and actually he made his decision to retire from baseball and focus on his acting career while doing this movie. As documented in David's Fury's biography of Chuck, The Man Behind the Rifle, Chuck also was grateful to Burt Lancaster for being so generous to a young actor because Burt coached Chuck on his audition. Chuck admired Burt for the rest of his life. The movie had two titles prior to the final South Sea Woman. It was first called Sulu Seas and then The Marines Have a Name for It.
South Sea Woman
are accidently reported as AWOL. The story covers their attempts to re-unite with their unit, via several mishaps and confrontations. Chuck's character evolves from a happy-go-lucky guy determined to marry his girl, to one who decides AWOL isn't a bad way to go and finally to one who remembers he is a U.S. Marine.