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Thunder Bay (1953)

Approved  |   |  Adventure, Drama  |  16 September 1953 (Denmark)
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 1,042 users  
Reviews: 21 user | 13 critic

Shrimpers and oilmen clash when an ambitious wildcatter begins constructing an off-shore oilrig.



(screenplay), (screenplay), 3 more credits »
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Title: Thunder Bay (1953)

Thunder Bay (1953) on IMDb 6.6/10

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Complete credited cast:
Stella Rigaud
Teche Bossier
Kermit MacDonald
Marcia Henderson ...
Francesca Rigaud
Robert Monet ...
Phillipe Bayard
Dominique Rigaud
Rawlings (as Henry Morgan)
Fortunio Bonanova ...
Sheriff Antoine Chighizola
Mario Siletti ...
Louis Chighizola


In 1946, ex-Navy engineer Steve Martin comes to a Louisiana town with a dream: to build a safe platform for offshore oil drilling. Having finessed financing from a big oil company, formerly penniless Steve and his partner Johnny are in business...and getting interested in shrimp-boat captain Rigaud's two lovely daughters. But opposition from the fishing community grows fast, led by Stella Rigaud. Other hazards include sabotage, a hurricane...and a treacherous board of directors. Written by Rod Crawford <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Brawling, Mauling Story of the Biggest Bonanza of Them All !


Adventure | Drama


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

16 September 1953 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

Die Todesbucht von Louisiana  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording) (5.0) (L-R)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Although filmed in the standard 1.37-1 aspect ratio, Thunder Bay was chosen by Universal-International as its first wide screen feature, accomplishing this by cropping the top and bottom and projecting it at 1.85-1 at Loew's State Theatre in New York City, as well as other sites. Its initial presentation also marked UI's first use of directional stereophonic sound. See more »


Johnny Gambi: Can you, uh, juggle or anything like that? We might pick up a few bucks.
Steve Martin: I can imitate a movie star.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: LOUISIANA 1946 See more »


Referenced in Cinemania (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

Joanne Dru looks very sensual under Mann's direction...

"Thunder Bay," strictly a man's picture, may be considered a Western, with boats and oil substituting for horses and guns, on the Gulf Coast off Louisiana...

Stewart and Mann considered as regular partners begun for what they thought were fresh pastures... Stewart is properly tough, wild and laconic as the enthusiastic engineer convinced that oil reserves might lie beneath the Louisiana waters, and Duryea have come up with a drilling platform that resists the fury of even the worst storms... Away they go to find offshore oil, with the encouragement of Jay. C. Flippen willing to ramp up, pumping money on exploration...

The drilling clashes with the plans of shrimp fishermen who are opposing the test on the fishing grounds... It may have an adverse affect on their marine life...

Duryea adds more complications to the action-drama by falling in love with the girlfriend of one of the fishermen, whose sister, Joanne Dru (echoing the sentiments of Janet Leigh in "The Naked Spur") is putting her eyes on Stewart... But the machinations of the two girls seem worthless material against the struggles between the guys, which are actually the main force of the movie...

After several obstacles, violent storms, romantic distrust, and the retraction of magnate Flippen, who has lost faith in the project, all ends wonderfully when Stewart (hard to believe) discovers not only oil but an abundant source of shrimp...

Subsequently the lovers pair off, and the former enemies become allies as they share their beneficial trades...

Photographed in Technicolor, "Thunder Bay" is a well-produced movie, an entertaining piece of film making...

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