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A pilot wants a life of ease, flying for drug smugglers and looking the other way until his conscience is tweaked by a woman he has misused. The story unfolds in flashbacks as the pilot battles the storm and recalls his failures, including a love affair with the wife of his best friend. Written by
"Slattery's Hurricane" is not a particularly good film and is a rare career misfire for a young Richard Widmark. Oddly, the bizarre and unlikable plot was from a story by Herman Wouk--a very accomplished writer. Perhaps the screenplay completely botched his story...perhaps he just had a misfire.
Slattery (Widmark) is flying into a hurricane when the film begins. He then has a series of flashbacks that take up most of the rest of the film. It seems that after leaving active duty in the Navy, Slattery's made money flying charters. While he might be working for drug dealers, the money is good and Slattery asks no questions. Additionally, while he has a long-suffering girlfriend (Veronica Lake), he completely ignores her and begins chasing after a friend's wife!! All in all, he's a total jerk and only later, when receiving the Navy Cross (awarded for service during WWII--it was given to Slattery while he was in the Naval Reserves) does he start to reassess his life. But who cares?!
The film has many problems--the biggest of which is the blandness of most of the characters. Darnell cheats on her husband...but you know nothing more about her. Lake is a doormat and nothing more. And Slattery's 'friend' (John Russell) is also quite bland--which is odd considering he often had a commanding presence in films. Add to that that Slattery is thoroughly despicable, you really wonder why you're even watching this film in the first place!
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