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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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 »
Thunder Bay is directed by Anthony Mann and written by Gil Doud and George W. George. It stars James Stewart, Joanne Dru, Dan Duryea, Gilbert Roland and Jay C. Flippen. Music is by Frank Skinner and cinematography by William H. Daniels.
Offshore oil drillers set up base at Port Felicity, Louisiana and find the town's shrimpers are not at all happy about this threat to their livelihood. Conflict and affairs of the heart do follow.
One of the eight films that James Stewart and Anthony Mann made together, Thunder Bay was relevant in topicality upon its release, and remains so today. Whilst lacking the psychological smarts that the duo's Western productions had, it's a handsome production with the expected qualities in front of and behind the cameras. There's a lot of talky passages, which given the subject matter pulsing away at the core is understandable, but Mann ensures that action and suspense is never far away. It all builds to a crescendo, with loose ends and quibbles conveniently tied up in a Hollywood bow, but such is the skills of actors and director it rounds out as good and thorough entertainment. 7/10
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