Aboard the freighter Glencairn, the lives of the crew are lived out in fear, loneliness, suspicion and cameraderie. The men smuggle drink and women aboard, fight with each other, spy on ... See full summary »
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
The native village set was on 2½ acres of United Artists' back lot. See more »
When Terangi (Jon Hall) returns to Manukura after a 600-mile voyage across open ocean from Tahiti, he looks the same as when he left except for some mild facial hair on his upper lip and his chin. After a voyage that long with no way to shave, he would have had a full beard. See more »
[from the tree, Terangi sees two columns collapse on the west wall of the church]
The church! It's going!
[after fighting the pounding seas to get inside the church]
Father Paul, come! The sea is breaking in, the walls are going, Look!
[points to the altar, where the wind starts tearing up the corrugated iron roof]
Take those who want to go. I am staying here!
You will drown, Father Paul! You saved me. Take my arm and let me save you!
No, my son, Take Madame.
Madame Germaine De Laage:
No! I'll stay with you Father Paul
[...] See more »
It took John Ford another 18 years to get back to the south seas as a film location after his award winning The Hurricane. He had an incomplete trip with Mister Roberts in 1955, but then made it back for Donovan's Reef in 1963.
Both The Hurricane and Donovan's Reef deal with racism and have as their settings, French colonial possessions in the south Pacific. Of course Donovan's Reef takes a far more light hearted approach. In both films Ford feels that colonialism is at best a mixed blessing for the native populace.
Jon Hall is a happy and content resident of the small island of Manakoora with a new wife. He's a sailor by trade, first mate on a ship captained by Jerome Cowan. While in Tahiti he defends himself in a barroom brawl, but gets sentenced for assault because he struck a white man. An obnoxious lout with political influence. His lot is made worse with repeated attempts to escape adding time on his sentence and all kinds of torture, physical and psychological, by a cruel guard played by John Carradine.
Meanwhile back on Manakoora wife Dorothy Lamour gives birth to a child and Hall becomes something of a native folk hero. That's most unsettling to the Governor Raymond Massey. Massey is one uptight dude with a lot of issues. He says he's defending the law, but he knows he's defending the concept of white supremacy and that fact isn't escaping any of his peers including his own wife Mary Astor.
Thomas Mitchell got nominated for his performance as a doctor with a bit of a thirst problem on Manakoora. A decent man, he's revolted by a lot of what he sees. As is C. Aubrey Smith the priest. Both Mitchell and Smith take comfort where they can, Mitchell in booze, Smith in his Catholic faith. Mitchell lost to Joseph Schildkraut for Best Supporting Actor, but two years later won with essentially the same role in Stagecoach.
The Hurricane won the very first Oscar given out for Special Effects and the hurricane which should have been called a typhoon in that part of the world even today is something to see. You will not forget the fury of nature that destroys C. Aubrey Smith's church. This ain't your Wizard of Oz type storm.
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