New governor arrives at a forgotten island corner of the Pacific, where the only other white folk are a priggish missionary brother and sister and the local drunk (Newton, naturally). A cholera outbreak and the need to aid the natives brings the repressed sister (Johns) and the drunk into a relationship, one in which they both become stronger people.
A decent adaptation of W. Somerset Maugham's short story "The Vessel of Wrath," which had been previously filmed in 1938. Johns and Newton make perhaps the most unlikely romantic pairing one could think of, and they give the film its charm. It's always a pleasure to see Newton NOT playing Long John Silver! And also a pleasure to learn that elephants, indeed, never forget. Any resemblance to The African Queen is purely coincidental, of course.
The film is mainly of note as Donald Pleasance's first on-screen credit. A rather inauspicious start, as he plays a native civil servant complete with brownface makeup and sing-song accent, a peculiarly embarassing cinematic trait which was given quite an indulgence in this film.