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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>
Entertaining sea drama with Paulette at her feistiest as a Southern belle...
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.
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