In the Island of Manukura, a French colony in the South Seas, the joyful Terangi is a leader among the natives and the first mate of the Katopua, the tall ship of Captain Nagle. Terangi gets married with Marama and sooner he sails to Tahiti. While in a bar playing with other natives, Terangi is offended by an alcoholic racist French and he hits his face, breaking his jaw. Despite the testimony of Captain Nagle, Terangi is sentenced to six months of forced labor since the victim had political connections with the Powers That Be. Captain Nagle asks the Governor Eugene DeLaage to uses his influence to help Terangi, but the governor refuses. Terangi unsuccessfully tries to escape from the prison, and each attempt increases his sentence. Eight years later, he finally escapes and his jailbreak is celebrated in Manukura. Father Paul finds his canoe and brings Terangi to the island. But a devastating hurricane also arrives in the island threatening the dwellers. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Jon Hall was the nephew of James Norman Hall, co-author of the novel, "The Hurricane," on which the movie was based. Although he had made several previous films using his real name, Charles Locher, the actor officially adopted "Jon Hall" as his professional name for this movie, in order to capitalize on his real-life relationship with the book's co-author. See more »
During the hurricane towards the end of the film, the roof on top of the church's bell tower disappears and reappears. See more »
[to terangi's friends]
"Get up! Get up I said!
[2 people flee the table, Terangi does not move]
"Clear out! Get up when a white man tells ya!
[he hits Terangi, Terangi hits him back, braking his jaw]
See more »
The Hurricane is a terrific but overlooked film from 1937, often thought of as a tepid "island romance," but in actuality a solid dramatic film (directed by John Ford) with great special effects and music by Alfred Newman.
Dorothy Lamour and Jon Hall play the leads, Pacific Islanders who get caught in French provincial law and governance, as applied by strict governor Raymond Massey. Despite sympathetic tendencies of others Hall is convicted of striking a white man and imprisoned in Tahiti-600 miles away. He escapes in time for the "big blow" that seems to his the island in retaliation for the white man's laws.
Lamour is quite good as the island beauty, and Hall brings more to his role than the usual "hunk" attitudes and poses. Massey is solid as the taciturn governor who finally sees the light. Mary Astor is good as always as the governor's wife. Thomas Mitchell is the drunken doctor. Jerome Cowan is the ship captain. John Carradine is the sadistic guard. Spencer Charters is the inept judge. Inez Courtney is the girl on the ship. And best of all is the regal C. Aubrey Smith as the island priest.
The hurricane is awesome and the special effects among the best of the decade. The scenes of Astor crawling along a rope to find refuge in a tree and windblown Smith playing the organ as the church roof blows away are great. The destruction of the island is totally convincing and becomes almost mythic as a natural force to wipe out man's inhumanity.
Great film and very underrated.
11 of 14 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?