Thunder in the Sun

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Thunder in the Sun
Thunder in the Sun FilmPoster.jpeg
Directed by Russell Rouse
Written byRussell Rouse
Stewart Stern
Based onStory by James Hill
Guy Trosper
Produced by Clarence Greene
Starring Susan Hayward
Jeff Chandler
Cinematography Stanley Cortez
Edited by Chester W. Schaeffer
Music by Cyril J. Mockridge
Seven Arts Productions
Carrollton Inc
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date
April 8, 1959
Running time
81 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$1.8 million (est. US/ Canada rentals) [1]
Jacques Bergerac as Pepe Dauphin Jacques bergerac.jpg
Jacques Bergerac as Pepe Dauphin

Thunder in the Sun is a 1959 American Western film directed by Russell Rouse and starring Susan Hayward and Jeff Chandler.



The film shows a family of French Basque immigrants pioneering into the Wild West while carrying their ancestral vines. Hard drinking trail driver Lon Bennett is hired to lead them and he falls for the spirited Gabrielle Dauphin.


The film is infamous among Basques for its misunderstandings of Basque customs, such as the use of the xistera (a device of the jai alai sport) as a weapon or shouting irrintzi ululations as meaningful communication. [2] Other commentators, though, have noted the well-staged action scenes, the absorbing story, and the excellent cinematography.[ citation needed ]



The film was made by Seven Arts Productions and acquired by Paramount for distribution. [3] It was the company's third film, after Gunrunners and Ten Seconds to Hell . [4] It was known during filming as Between the Thunder and the Sun and The Gun and the Arrow. [5]

Filming started 21 July 1958 with location work in Mount Whitney. [6] [7]

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  1. "1959: Probable Domestic Take", Variety, 6 January 1960 p 34
  2. "Topicazos sobre los vascos en las pelis de Hollywood, de MacGyver a Chacal". Strambotic (in Spanish). Público. February 16, 2015. Retrieved October 3, 2021.
  3. "GOLDWYN NAMED FOR MOVIE HONOR: Producers Guild to Give Him Milestone Award -Jeff Chandler Gets Role". New York Times. October 21, 1958. p. 38.
  4. "HOLLYWOOD VISTA: Three Authoritative' 'Reporters' Add Background to Production Picture". New York Times. October 26, 1958. p. X7.
  5. Scheuer, Philip K. (May 25, 1958). "GRAHAM STORY FILMED: Slayer Role Taxes Susan A TOWN CALLED HOLLYWOOD Susan Hayward Wrapped Up in Murderess Role". Los Angeles Times. p. G1.
  6. "HEARTIER HORSE OPERA HEROINES". New York Times. August 10, 1958. p. X5.
  7. "Hollywood Production Pulse". Variety. August 6, 1958. p. 20.