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The Hurricane

USA 1937
produced by
Samuel Goldwyn for the Samuel Goldwyn Company
directed by John Ford
starring Dorothy Lamour, Jon Hall, Mary Astor, C. Aubrey Smith, Thomas Mitchell, Raymond Massey, John Carradine, Jerome Cowan, Al Kikume, Kuulei De Clercq, Layne Tom jr, Mamo Clark, Movita, William B. Davidson, Mary Shaw, Pauline Steele, Flora Hayes, Francis Kaai, Anne Chevalier, Spencer Charters, Roger Drake, Inez Courtney, Chris-Pin Martin
screenplay by Dudley Nichols, based on the novel by Charles Nordhoff, James Norman Hall, adaptation by Oliver H.P.Garrett, music by Alfred Newman, special effects by James Basevi, cinematography by Bert Glennon, Paul Eagler, Archie Stout

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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A little island in the South Seas: Terangi (Jon Hall) is madly in love with Marama (Dorothy Lamour), and since she loves him back, they marry and conceive a child ... but then, Terangi has to return to his job, first mate on a small schooner, and while on shoreleave in Tahiti, he gets in a fistfight with a white man, breaks his jaw - and is convicted to six months in prison. His love for Marama drives Terangi to try and break out of prison though, repeatedly and unsuccessfully, and each attempt only adds more years to his sentence - much top the joy of the sadistic warden (John Carradine).

Back on Terangi's island, colonial gouvernor DeLaage (Raymond Massey) does nothing to try and free Terangi though, as he prides himself to stick to the letters of the law to the t, and he loses more and more support not only from the locals, for whom Terangi is a hero, but also from his friends like the local doctor (Thomas Mitchell) and the priest (C.Aubrey Smith), and even from his own wife (Mary Astor). Still, his pride will not allow him to act on Terangi's behalf.

Eight years have passed, and finally, Terangi makes a successful escape and sails back to his island in a nutshell, and when almost exhausted he is saved by the priest, who sees to it that he gets on land safely. But now, Terangi is charged with murder, because he accidently killed a guard while making his escape - and now the gouvernor is more determined than ever not only not to help him but to recapture him, while the natives already help Terangi in preparing his escape with his wife and daughter (Kuulei De Clercq). The gouvernor even goes on a search expedition on the high sea to get hold of Terangi, but meanwhile a hurricane strikes the island, and Terangi has returned to save his people if possible, but ultimately, all he saves besides his wife and child is the gouvernor's wife, and the four of them are left floating on the high sea on a tree and only eventually make it to a barren island.

The gouvernor returns to find his island erradicated and only a handful of survivors. Desperate, he goes out onto the sea again to find others who might have survived, and against all odds, he ultimately finds his wife - and traces of Terangi and family having made a getaway. It's only now that his humanity wins out over his professional price and he leaves Terangi and company be ...

 

Definitely not John Ford's best film, this is however a competently made piece of escapist adventure. Sure, it's a tad on the cheesy side, but it also makes excellent use of his exotic locations (which are perfectly integrated into the plot) and features a greatly conceived hurricane-finale. And while Jon Hall might be a bit of a lightweight of an actor and Dorothy Lamour isn't given exactly much to do except for give longing looks, the supporting cast including Raymond Massey, Thomas Mitchell, C.Aubrey Smith and John Carradine (at his most despicable) add the necessary colour to the proceedings. So this is a film you might not want to like, but might find yourself liking nevertheless.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD