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|Reap the Wild Wind|
|Directed by||Cecil B. DeMille|
|Produced by||Cecil B. DeMille|
|Written by||Thelma Strabel (book)|
|Screenplay by|| Charles Bennett |
Jesse Lasky, Jr.
Alan Le May
|Based on||Reap the Wild Wind (1941 novel)|
|Starring|| Ray Milland |
|Music by||Victor Young|
|Cinematography|| Victor Milner |
|Edited by||Anne Bauchens|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|Box office||$4 million (US/ Canada rentals)|
Reap the Wild Wind is a 1942 American adventure film starring Ray Milland, John Wayne, Paulette Goddard, Raymond Massey, Robert Preston, and Susan Hayward, and directed by Cecil B. DeMille, his second picture to be filmed in color. It is based on a serialized story written by Thelma Strabel in 1940 for The Saturday Evening Post . The movie, released shortly after the United States' entry into World War II, was a swashbuckling adventure set in the 1840s along the Florida coast, and was wildly successful.
While he based his film on Strabel's story, DeMille took liberties with details such as sibling relationships and subplots, while staying true to the spirit of the story, which centers on a headstrong, independent woman portrayed by Paulette Goddard.
In 1840, Loxi Claiborne (Goddard) is running a marine salvage business started by her deceased father. A hurricane is passing through the Key West area, leaving behind at least one wreck on the nearby shoals. The Jubilee founders, and Loxi and other salvagers race to claim the cargo. Not arriving first, Loxi and her crew rescue the captain, Jack Stuart (Wayne), but do not share in the salvage rights. Apparently, the first salvager on the scene, King Cutler (Massey), may have actually planned the wreck.
Nursing Jack back to health, Loxi falls in love with him. When she visits Charleston with her cousin Drusilla (Hayward), Loxi schemes to win a plum captain's position for Jack by seducing Steve Tolliver (Milland), who is running the sailing ship line for which Jack works. Steve falls for Loxi and returns with her to Key West to investigate the truth about Jack's shipwreck.
Drusilla goes home to Havana when Loxi and Steve return to Key West. Steve has come to rid the Keys of pirates like Cutler (and to be near Loxi). Cutler, in turn, arranges to have Steve shanghaied by the crew of a whaler. Loxi hears of the plot and gets Jack to help her save Steve. Later, they discover that Steve has concealed Jack's appointment to the steamship Southern Cross on orders from his superior. Angry over a seemingly underhanded act, Jack meets with Cutler. He learns that Steve's boss has just died and that Steve will be taking over the shipping line. Jack realizes that he is unlikely to keep his command with Steve in charge and agrees to work with Cutler to sabotage his new ship; he sails to Havana to take command.
Rumors circulate and prices of the cargo of the Southern Cross fluctuate wildly, leaving Steve to suspect a wreck is planned. He commandeers the Claiborne with Loxi on board and heads to Havana to stop Jack. Loxi, believing Jack is innocent, disables her ship, and they sit becalmed in a fog bank as the Southern Cross piles into a reef and sinks. Unknown to Jack, Drusilla had stowed away to be with her lover, King Cutler's brother Dan (Preston), and she drowned.
Jack is put on trial for wrecking his ship. The testimony reveals a woman may have been on board, though none was rescued. To determine if a woman is in the wreck, Steve agrees to dive to the wreck with Jack. While down in the wreck, Jack and Steve discover proof that Drusilla was on board and has been drowned. They are attacked by a giant squid. Jack saves Steve's life, but is lost when the Southern Cross slips off the continental shelf into deep water. Dan Cutler accuses his brother of murder and is shot dead by him, whereupon, Steve shoots King Cutler, killing him.
Loxi and Steve return to Charleston together.
The film is unusual among films starring John Wayne since it is one of relatively few films in which he plays a character with a notable dark side. Wayne subsequently starred in a 1948 seafaring adventure titled Wake of the Red Witch which had numerous similarities to Reap the Wild Wind, including Wayne's portrayal of an even darker character.
This film also marks the final appearance by Hedda Hopper as an actress in a significant role. The gossip columnist would, however, make cameo appearances in subsequent films.
At the 15th Academy Awards, Reap the Wild Wind won an Academy Award and was nominated for two more:
Reap the Wild Wind received two awards in The Film Daily's Filmdom's Famous Fives poll:
Cecil Blount DeMille was an American film director and producer. Between 1914 and 1958, he made 70 features, both silent and sound films. He is acknowledged as a founding father of the American cinema and the most commercially successful producer-director in film history. His films were distinguished by their epic scale and by his cinematic showmanship. His silent films included social dramas, comedies, Westerns, farces, morality plays, and historical pageants.
Ray Milland was a Welsh-American actor and film director. His screen career ran from 1929 to 1985, and he is best remembered for his Academy Award-winning portrayal of an alcoholic writer in Billy Wilder's The Lost Weekend (1945) and also for such roles as a sophisticated leading man opposite John Wayne's corrupt character in Reap the Wild Wind (1942), the murder-plotting husband in Alfred Hitchcock's Dial M for Murder (1954), and Oliver Barrett III in Love Story (1970).
Hold Back the Dawn is a 1941 American romantic drama film in which a Romanian gigolo marries an American woman in Mexico in order to gain entry to the United States, but winds up falling in love with her. It stars Charles Boyer, Olivia de Havilland, Paulette Goddard, Victor Francen, Walter Abel, Curt Bois and Rosemary DeCamp.
The year 1947 in film involved some significant events.
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Susan Hayward was an American actress and model. She was best known for her film portrayals of women that were based on true stories.
Paulette Goddard was an American actress, a child fashion model and a performer in several Broadway productions as a Ziegfeld Girl; she became a major star of Paramount Pictures in the 1940s. Her most notable films were her first major role, as Charlie Chaplin's leading lady in Modern Times, and Chaplin's subsequent film The Great Dictator. She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in So Proudly We Hail! (1943). Her husbands included Charlie Chaplin, Burgess Meredith, and Erich Maria Remarque.
Mildred Harris was an American film actress during the early part of the 20th century. Harris began her career in the film industry as a child actress when she was 11 years old. She was also the first wife of Charlie Chaplin.
The Ghost Breakers is a 1940 American mystery/horror comedy film directed by George Marshall and starring Bob Hope and Paulette Goddard. It was adapted by screenwriter Walter DeLeon as the third film version of the 1909 play The Ghost Breaker by Paul Dickey and Charles W. Goddard.
Variety Girl is a 1947 American musical comedy film directed by George Marshall and starring Mary Hatcher, Olga San Juan, DeForest Kelley, Frank Ferguson, Glenn Tryon, Nella Walker, Torben Meyer, Jack Norton, and William Demarest. It was produced by Paramount Pictures. Numerous Paramount contract players and directors make cameos or perform songs, with particularly large amounts of screen time featuring Bob Hope and Bing Crosby.
Unconquered is a 1947 American historical epic adventure film produced and directed by Cecil B. DeMille and starring Gary Cooper and Paulette Goddard. The supporting cast features Boris Karloff, Cecil Kellaway, Ward Bond, Howard Da Silva, Katherine DeMille, C. Aubrey Smith and Mike Mazurki. Released by Paramount Pictures, the film depicts the violent struggles between American colonists and Native Americans on the western frontier in the mid-18th century during the 1763 Pontiac's Rebellion, primarily around Fort Pitt. The film is characterized by DeMille's lavish style, including colourful costumes and sets, thousands of extras, violence, and sensationalism.
Wake of the Red Witch is a 1948 American adventure film directed by Edward Ludwig and starring John Wayne, Gail Russell, Gig Young, Adele Mara, and Luther Adler. Produced by Edmund Grainger, it is based upon the 1946 novel of the same name by Garland Roark. The film was distributed by Republic Pictures. Rare for a film produced by Republic Pictures, Wake of the Red Witch is an A movie that had a relatively high budget for its production, later becoming one of Republic Pictures' most successful releases.
Star Spangled Rhythm is a 1942 American all-star cast musical film made by Paramount Pictures during World War II as a morale booster. Many of the Hollywood studios produced such films during the war, generally musicals, frequently with flimsy storylines, and with the specific intent of entertaining the troops overseas and civilians back home and to encourage fundraising – as well as to show the studios' patriotism. This film was also the first released by Paramount to be shown for 8 weeks.
Katherine Lester DeMille was a Canadian-born American actress who played 25 credited film roles from the mid-1930s to the late 1940s.
Alan Brown Le May was an American novelist and screenplay writer.
North West Mounted Police is a 1940 American adventure film produced and directed by Cecil B. DeMille and starring Gary Cooper and Madeleine Carroll. Written by Alan Le May, Jesse Lasky Jr., and C. Gardner Sullivan, and based on the 1938 novel The Royal Canadian Mounted Police by R. C. Fetherstonhaugh, the film is about a Texas Ranger who joins forces with the North-West Mounted Police to put down a rebellion in the north-west prairies of Canada. The supporting cast features Paulette Goddard, Preston Foster, Robert Preston, Akim Tamiroff, Lon Chaney Jr. and George Bancroft. Regis Toomey, Richard Denning, Rod Cameron, and Robert Ryan make brief appearances in the film playing small roles.
Thelma L. Strabel was an American novelist who specialized in tales of the American South and sea adventures. She is best known for her novel Reap the Wild Wind, which was serialized in the Saturday Evening Post and became a successful film.
Lila Georgia Everett Finn Shanley, stage name Lila Finn, was an American stuntwoman, stunt double, actress, and athlete. After first working as a stunt double for Dorothy Lamour in The Hurricane (1937), she doubled for many leading Hollywood actresses, including Vivien Leigh, Paulette Goddard, Donna Reed, Betty Hutton, and Sandra Dee, appearing in more than 100 films over nearly six decades. She was the founding president of the Stuntwomen's Association of Motion Pictures, established in 1958, and a founding member of the Screen Actors Guild. She also competed on the United States women's national volleyball team from 1955 to 1960 and won a team silver medal in the 1959 Pan American Games.
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