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Miss Robin Crusoe

Miss Robin Crusoe(1953)

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On 30 September 1659, a fierce storm wrecks the ship captained by Miss Robin Crusoe's cruel father, and only Robin and a sailor named Sykes survive. They are washed ashore on a deserted island, and Robin records in the ship's logbook her horrible experiences as a "cabin boy" aboard her father's ship, on which she continually had to evade the advances of the crew. The lecherous Sykes attempts to force himself on Robin, and during the ensuing struggle, falls to his death off a cliff. Robin then begins exploring the island and building a treehouse. One Friday in March 1660, Robin is alerted to impending danger by a chattering monkey. From a hiding place, she watches as a group of natives try to sacrifice a young woman. Using her gun, Robin frightens away the men and saves the woman, whom she names "Friday." The two women quickly become friends, and Robin teaches Friday basic English. Their efforts to grow crops are successful and all seems to be going well until September, when a storm hits the island, prompting Robin to worry that the longboat in which she came to the island will be destroyed. The boat barely survives, and after the storm subsides, Robin is shocked to discover that Jonathan, a British Naval officer, has been shipwrecked on the island. Jonathan is at first delighted to find Robin and Friday, but Robin levels her weapon at him and repulses any attempts at friendship. Forced to fend for himself, Jonathan builds his own shelter. Jonathan is thrilled to discover Robin's boat, which was damaged during the storm, and offers to help her rebuild it. Robin adamantly refuses, as the boat can carry only two people, and she worries that he intends to maroon either herself or Friday. Jonathan insists that because he is vaguely familiar with the area, he can reach the shipping lanes and find help, but Robin still does not trust him. One night, Robin and Friday catch Jonathan attempting to moor the boat more securely against the encroaching tides, but do not accept his explanation and mistakenly believe that he was trying to steal the boat. In a struggle, the angered Friday stabs Jonathan, and Robin, unable to let him die, takes him to the treehouse to nurse him back to health. Jonathan is bemused by her actions, and as he regains his health, asks her why she always insists on being the captain, which is a "man's place." Jonathan urges Robin to act more feminine, as Friday does, but Robin tells him of her difficult life trying to cope with her father's drunken and violent lifestyle, which prevented her from fulfilling any dreams of romance or courtship. Jonathan gently tells her that not all men are bad, and as the couple spends more time together, their friendship blossoms into a tentative romance. By the time spring comes, both women have grown to trust Jonathan, but one night, he kisses Robin and she furiously rejects him. Heartbroken, Jonathan slips away and steals the longboat, in which he sets out for the shipping lanes. Believing that Jonathan has betrayed her, Robin writes in her diary that she should have killed him. Unknown to Robin, when Jonathan reaches the shipping lane, his concern for her prompts him to turn back to the island. Upon his return, Jonathan discovers that the natives who attempted to sacrifice Friday have returned, and Friday and Robin are under attack. Jonathan joins in the fray, and Friday bravely sacrifices herself to save them. Just then, a ship appears on the horizon, and Jonathan and Robin, who have decided to marry, are rescued. Robin's last entry in her logbook, dated 22 June 1661, states that she is about to embark on "life's greatest adventure."