Reap the Wild Wind (1942)

Not Rated  |   |  Action, Adventure, Drama  |  4 June 1942 (Mexico)
Your rating:
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 2,099 users  
Reviews: 39 user | 12 critic

Florida ship salvager, Loxi, falls for Jack, captain of a ship wrecked on the Key West shore. However, their romance is complicated by the arrival of another suitor, and eventually leads to tragedy.


(as Cecil B. De Mille)


(screenplay) (as Alan LeMay) , (screenplay), 5 more credits »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lynne Overman ...
Master of the 'Tyfib'
Walter Hampden ...
Commodre Devereaux
Louise Beavers ...
Maum Maria
Martha O'Driscoll ...
Ivy Devereaux
Elisabeth Risdon ...
Mrs. Claiborne
Aunt Henrietta
Victor Kilian ...
Oscar Polk ...
Salt Meat


Clipper ships taking the shortest route between the Mississippi and the Atlantic often end up on the shoals of Key West in the 1840s. Salvaging the ships' cargos has become a lucrative business for two companies -- one headed by a feisty young woman. Then she falls in love with the captain of a wrecked ship while he recuperates at her home. She travels to Charleston and is charming to the man most likely to be head of the captain's company, thinking she will be able to get the captain the position he wants on the company's first steam ship. Written by Dale O'Connor <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Cecil B. DeMille's Might Spectacle Of Tempestuois Love...Violence Under And On The High Seas! (1964 poster) See more »


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

4 June 1942 (Mexico)  »

Also Known As:

Cecil B. De Mille's Reap the Wild Wind  »

Box Office


$4,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This was John Wayne's biggest ticket seller as lead actor, grossing in 2010s terms roughly $240 million in the US alone. See more »


Incorrectly regarded as a goof: John Wayne's reference to Mother Carey's Chickens has nothing to do with Kate Douglas Wiggins 1911 novel. It is a seafaring name for the Storm Petrel, so-called because the birds appear before a storm. Mother Carey is a corruption of Mater Cara (Dear Mother), an epithet of the Virgin Mary, to whom Portuguese and Spanish sailors used to pray before a storm. See more »


Loxi: Where is Captain Jack?
Capt. Phillip Philpott: He's on a diving job. He'll be back this afternoon
Capt. Phillip Philpott: if his hat didn't leak!
See more »


Featured in Cecil B. DeMille: American Epic (2004) See more »


Bye and Bye
(1942) (uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by Troy Sanders
Sung by black chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

Entertaining sea drama with Paulette at her feistiest as a Southern belle...
25 June 2001 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

In 'Reap the Wild Wind' we have a chance to see Paulette Goddard, front-runner for the Scarlett O'Hara role until Vivien Leigh showed up, sporting a Southern accent and enjoying herself as a feisty Southern belle heroine. Unfortunately, her part is nowhere as complex as the role she almost got in the Selznick epic.

It's a lusty period adventure about two battling ship salvagers who vie for a strong-willed Georgian girl. The outstanding special effects steal the film, as do the lavish sets and costumes of a bygone era. Susan Hayward is featured in a smaller role as Paulette's unfortunate cousin. Both are heavily burdened by Southern accents and roles that are paper-thin giving them little more to do than flounce around in frilly costumes and bonnets while the men--Ray Milland, John Wayne and Robert Preston--carry the main weight of the action-filled romance.

A stunning climax involves an underwater battle with a giant squid. Understandably, it won an Oscar for Best Special Effects. Beautifully photographed in technicolor, it's given the lavish Cecil B. DeMille treatment and makes an entertaining if foolish epic that shows its pulp romance origins.

24 of 29 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Pitiful special effects for 1942 billellis
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