Thunder Bay (1953)

Approved  |   |  Adventure, Drama  |  1953 (UK)
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 1,060 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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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:

1953 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Die Todesbucht von Louisiana  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

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



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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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

Shrimps, Oil and Love in Port Felicity
3 October 2013 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

In 1946, the drifters Steve Martin (James Stewart) and his partner and friend Johnny Gambi (Dan Duryea) travel to Port Felicity in Lousianna completely broken to meet the investor Kermit MacDonald (Jay C. Flippen). Steve dreams on building an offshore drilling barge to explore oil in the Gulf of Mexico and MacDonald, who is an entrepreneur and also a dreamer, decides to finance them but gives a short schedule to find oil.

They initially hire the fishing vessel of skipper Dominique Rigaud (Antonio Moreno) since the fishermen are having difficulties to catch shrimps. Steve and Johnny try to befriend the locals but when they use dynamite to locate oil, the population turns against them. Meanwhile Johnny dates the younger daughter of Dominique, Francesca (Marcia Henderson), while her older sister Stella Rigaud (Joanne Dru) feels attraction for Steve, but she rejects him since she is a wounded woman with a past. Steve, Johnny and their crew need to face the hostility and sabotage from the locals and also a hurricane while searching for the valuable oil.

"Thunder Bay" is an entertaining romantic adventure that takes place in the period of the beginning of exploration of oil in the Gulf of Mexico and shows the friction between the local fishermen and the oilmen. The plot is corny, with a feel-good conclusion but James Stewart is always an attraction. Further, for those that work in the oil business, it is great to see the early period of offshore exploration of oil. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): Not Available

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