IMDb > Torrid Zone (1940)
Torrid Zone
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Torrid Zone (1940) More at IMDbPro »

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Torrid Zone -- Trailer for this classic action adventure


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Down 30% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Richard Macaulay (original screenplay) and
Jerry Wald (original screenplay)
View company contact information for Torrid Zone on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
25 May 1940 (USA) See more »
"DADDY, WHAT MAKES THE TROPICS SO HOT?" Reason No. 1: Cagney: The One Man Earthquake - at his Best! See more »
Plagued by revolutionaries that harass his plantation in a banana republic, fruit company exec Steve Case rehires former nemesis Nick Butler to restore order and profits. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Trouble in the Tropics See more (21 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

James Cagney ... Nick Butler

Ann Sheridan ... Lee Donley

Pat O'Brien ... Steve Case

Andy Devine ... Wally Davis
Helen Vinson ... Gloria Anderson
Jerome Cowan ... Bob Anderson

George Tobias ... Rosario

George Reeves ... Sancho
Victor Kilian ... Carlos
Frank Puglia ... Rodriguez
John Ridgely ... Gardner
Grady Sutton ... Sam
Paul Porcasi ... Garcia
Frank Yaconelli ... Lopez (as Frank Yaconnelli)
Dick Botiller ... Hernandez (as Dick Boteler)

Frank Mayo ... Shaffer
Jack Mower ... McNamara
Paul Hurst ... Daniels
George Regas ... Sergeant of Police
Elvira Sánchez ... Rita (as Elvira Sanchez)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Trevor Bardette ... Policeman Escorting Lee on Ship (uncredited)
Max Blum ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Joe Dominguez ... Manuel - Rosario's Henchman (uncredited)
George Humbert ... Hotel Manager (uncredited)
Manuel López ... Chico - Rasario's Henchman (uncredited)
Joe Molinas ... Native (uncredited)
Don Orlando ... Hotel Employee Hanging Mosquito Netting (uncredited)
Tony Paton ... Charley - Plantation Worker (uncredited)
Ralph Peters ... First Train Engineer (uncredited)
Ernesto Piedra ... Policeman (uncredited)
Paul Renay ... Jose - Rosario's Henchman (uncredited)
Victor Sabini ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Betty Sanko ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Rafael Storm ... Man (uncredited)
Leo White ... Smiling Man to Whom Lee Sings (uncredited)
Tom Wilson ... Passerby as Train Moves (uncredited)

Directed by
William Keighley 
Writing credits
Richard Macaulay (original screenplay) and
Jerry Wald (original screenplay)

Produced by
Mark Hellinger .... associate producer
Hal B. Wallis .... executive producer
William Cagney .... producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Adolph Deutsch 
Cinematography by
James Wong Howe (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Jack Killifer (film editor)
Art Direction by
Ted Smith 
Set Decoration by
Edward Thorne (uncredited)
Costume Design by
Howard Shoup (gowns)
Makeup Department
Perc Westmore .... makeup artist
Production Management
Jack L. Warner .... in charge of production
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Frank Heath .... assistant director (uncredited)
Sound Department
Oliver S. Garretson .... sound
Special Effects by
Byron Haskin .... special effects
Hans F. Koenekamp .... special effects (as H.F. Koenekamp)
Music Department
Leo F. Forbstein .... musical director
Other crew
John Mari .... technical advisor
Crew verified as complete

Production Companies
  • Warner Bros. (presents) (as Warner Bros. Pictures Inc.) (a Warner Bros.-First National picture)

Additional Details

Also Known As:
88 min
Black and White (Sepiatone)
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Finland:K-16 | Sweden:15 | UK:A (original rating) | UK:U (video) | USA:Approved (PCA #6091) | USA:TV-PG (TV rating)

Did You Know?

"The Screen Guild Theater" broadcast a 30 minute radio adaptation of the movie on December 8, 1940 with James Cagney and George Tobias reprising their film roles.See more »
Continuity: In the gunfight scene between Butler's group and Rosario's group, Rosario shoots Butler and Butler appears to be grabbing his right arm as he goes down. In the next shot, he is now tending to his wound on his left arm. Later in the scene, after they catch Rosario, Rosario bumps Butler's hat as he walks by.See more »
Nick Butler:Oh, Lee, if you see Case, give him a kiss for me.
Lee Donley:Not even a foriegn general would kiss that guy!
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Breakdowns of 1941 (1941)See more »
I'm Forever Blowing BubblesSee more »


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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful.
Trouble in the Tropics, 25 April 2015
Author: blanche-2 from United States

Even in comparison to today, when films shoot on location, Warner Brothers' tropical set looks like the tropics. It's not distracting; I'm thinking of the obvious painted backdrop in the last scene of "Treasure Island." In 1940's "Torrid Zone," Pat O'Brien is Steve Case, who manages the Banana Company in the Caribbean. His life has been no game since his co-worked, Nick Butler (Cagney) left to take a job in Chicago and continually sends him mocking telegrams - collect.

He needs Nick to take over one of the plantations, so he makes a deal with him - just work for two weeks. Nick agrees; the money will be useful.

There are also troubles with the rebel Rosario (George Tobias), who is on a hunger strike. The prison is afraid that he'll die before they can shoot him. Steve says, then just shoot him now. But Rosario escapes.

Then there is Lee Donley, an earthy, sexy nightclub singer whom Steve wants on a ship bound for the U.S. She doesn't want to go and tells Steve "The stork who brought you must have been a vulture." Lee meets Nick, and sparks fly. Nick meanwhile has a flirtation with the wife Gloria (Helen Vinson) of a former manager Bob Anderson (Jerome Cowan). Lee ends up staying at their house and walks in on a kiss between Nick and the wife. There's a lit cigarette on the floor. Lee picks it up. "I believe Chicago fire started in a very similar manner," she says. "The Chicago fire was started by a cow," an aggravated Gloria says. Lee remarks, "History repeats itself." You just can't beat dialogue like that, and that's one of the things that makes "Torrid Zone" so much fun. Cagney, O'Brien, and Sheridan are all known commodities, with Sheridan at the top of her game, sparring with both Cagney and O'Brien, looking great, and doing her own singing. When she has to be serious and heartbroken, she is.

Even Rosario's impending death is handled with some humor.

Very good and recommended, a real treat from Warners.

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