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 ... See full summary »
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Cecil B. DeMille
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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 <email@example.com>
Cecil Blount DeMille, CB. The original 'Name Above The Title'. No matter what Frank Capra stated it was DeMille who put the Director/Producer over the title. His was a name that brought in the public and their money when Capra was still a 'gag man' for Mack Sennett. From the first feature film in Hollywood, THE SQUAW MAN (1914) to his last production, THE BUCCANEER (1958) he represented HollyWoods commercial success.
With DeMille people fall into two (2) camps. We HATE that hack and his hokey movies or we love him for he put our dreams on the screen. We fall into that second group seeing our first DeMille film circa 1957 THE TEN COMMANDMENTS (1956). My brother was four (4) and I was six (6) and we were enthralled with CB from then on. He dared to put BIG THINGS on the screen. They may not of always worked but he was unafraid to do them, stretching the envelope technically and did not give a damn what his critics thought and neither do we.
REAP THE WILD WIND (1942) was his second color film and we saw it in a re-release circa 1958. The plot is typical DeMille, obscure historical incident blown up for the big screen. Romance triangle punctuated by action sequences leading to a rousing conclusion. The film is well cast with Paramount Stars Paulette Goddard and Ray Milland. Not able to get Errol Flynn or Tyrone Power CB obtained John Wayne who turned in a credible and sincere performance. Milland stood up well to the 'Duke' and Ms. Goddard was a radiant love interest. A young Susan Hayward also showed her stuff with Robert Preston. Over shadowing all was Raymond Massey as the head villain with stooge Victor Kilian. Not to be forgotten was the CB stock company, from players who were with him during the silent era to Akim Tamiroff in a voice over for the 'Lamb'. Paramounts special visual effects wizard Gordon Jennings led that team and garnered a Oscar and Victor Young provide the score. Music being very important in carrying some of the fantastic goings on. Especially the Giant Squid scene that was directed underwater by CB himself.
The one (1) thing we never understood about CB is that he left many (BETTER) projects go fallow after investing money and time developing them. A few were THE WAR OF THE WORLDS, TITANIC and WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE. Two (2) were done by George Pal with CB as uncredited producer. It would have been very interesting to see how these would have turned out if made in the 1930s. Just thinking about the casting and how the special visual effects would have been done is a fascinating mind game.
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