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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 B. DeMille, other than THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH, produced and directed one of his best films, in this swashbuckler. Along with rough seas, sailing ships, beautiful southern ladies, sea wrecks [he always has to have that disasterous wreck] a giant squid in a spectacular underwater scene in the hull of a wrecked ship, villains and heroes, DeMille rounds up a stellar cast in the likes of Paulette Goddard, fresh from her almost getting the role of Scarlett O'Hara in GONE WITH THE WIND, as Loxi Claiborne, who is in love with handsome Captain Jack, [John Wayne] who was just beginning to gain world wide fame and Steve Toliver, played by suave and sharp tongued Ray Milland, one of his best acting roles, along with a young Robert Preston and Susan Hayward as young lovers who become victims of the war over salvage rights of wrecked ships. Then there's Raymond Massey, as the villain, Cutler, Charles Bickford, Walter Hampden, famous for his stage performance of Cyrano, colorful Lynne Overman as Loxi's ship captain, Hedda Hopper [without a fancy hat] and Louise Beaver as a Mammy-type servant to Paulette [very Gone With Wind stuff]. The color of technicolor still holds up [not used that often in the 40s]. Goddard's performance alone is worth the admission. This was her second film for DeMille [the first being NORTHWEST MOUNTED POLICE] but not her last [ahead she was to play opposite Gary Cooper in UNCONQUERED]. In this film she shows why she came that close to getting Scarlett. Beautiful, oh, those green eyes, and feisty, like Scarlett, Paulette gives her best, including singing a rather salty sea chant at a social elite gathering of all of Savannah's fine ladies. This is available on VHS and worth getting a copy to view if you want to see the magical world of films of the forties. And the stars that made them.
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