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Reap the Wild Wind (1942)

 -  Action | Adventure | Drama  -  15 June 1942 (UK)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 1,712 users  
Reviews: 36 user | 12 critic

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 »


(as Cecil B. De Mille)


(story), (screenplay), 5 more credits »
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Title: Reap the Wild Wind (1942)

Reap the Wild Wind (1942) on IMDb 6.9/10

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »


Cast overview, first billed only:
Stephen Tolliver
Capt. Jack Stuart
Loxi Claiborne
King Cutler
Dan Cutler
Lynne Overman ...
Capt. Phillip Philpott
Cousin Drusilla Alston
Bully Brown
Walter Hampden ...
Cmmdre. Devereaux
Louise Beavers ...
Maum Maria
Martha O'Driscoll ...
Ivy Devereaux
Elisabeth Risdon ...
Mrs. Claiborne
Aunt Henrietta Beresford
Victor Kilian ...
Mathias Widgeon
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

Plot Keywords:

ship | 1840s | pirate | rescue | florida keys | See more »


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:

15 June 1942 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Cecil B. DeMille'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?


The shots of the squid wrapping its tentacles around the actors was done by wrapping the actors in the tentacles, then unwrapping them and showing the film in reverse. See more »


The second time Loxi talks to Jack, she points at him with the index finger of her left hand. In the next shot it is her right hand. 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 »


Referenced in Hollywood Hist-o-Rama: John Wayne (1961) See more »


Sea Chantey (The Nellie B)
(1942) (uncredited)
Written by Victor Young
Lyrics Frank Loesser
Played during the opening credits and often as background music
Sung a cappella by Lynne Overman
Played on piano and sung by Paulette Goddard
See more »

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User Reviews

The Essence of Escapist Golden Age Screen Entertainment
12 September 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Having seen this film many times, I can understand those critics who regard it as yet another ripe example of director Cecil B. DeMille hokum and excess. But for me, it is far easier to side with folks who like "Reap the Wild Wind" as a prime example of rousing old-fashioned screen storytelling at its best.

Made just at the outbreak of World War II, Paramount spared no expense to mount this super-lavish yarn about romance, treachery, maritime adventure, shipwrecks, salvage risks involving "dead" ships, and the spectacle of rivals searching for evidence in the deep-----where diving to find it involves less danger than the chance encounter with a giant squid lurking in a sunken hull.

John Wayne appears in an uncharacteristic role-----a flawed anti-hero (long before that term was ever coined) who is likable, weak, not too swift but yet charming and easy to root for. Ray Milland also does an unusual turn here. He is both a man of intellect and action----clever, funny and brave. Paulette Goddard is a revelation to those who are unfamiliar with her screen work. Remember, this was 1942. The super-independent, feisty woman she plays with such enthusiasm----while a role model for today's feminists----also shows an understandable human vulnerability. She has never appeared in another film that allowed her to be strong, sexy and appealing all at the same time.

The extraordinary supporting cast is an absolute delight. They carry off some of the most outrageously cornball dialogue ever spoken with such conviction that it becomes enjoyable. Raymond Massey's slimy over-the-top villain is unique---and so is Robert Preston's pathetic character as Massey's far less crafty brother. Preston is given the task of uttering one of the film's most unforgettable lines when arriving at a prearranged meeting with his girl friend (a very young Susan Hayward) that may never EVER have been topped as a "groaner.".

Special mention should be made of the beautiful Technicolor employed in "Reap the Wild Wind", the engrossing special effects (outstanding for their time) and the exciting musical score written by Victor Young.

Altogether, this is a film that holds your interest from the start and never lets it down. It is grand entertainment from the Golden Age of Hollywood. Almost 65 years old, it is still fun to watch. Lots of fun!

5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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