Review

  • John Guillermin appears to have been partially influenced by neo-realism in this drama of a beautiful woman and her effect on the men of an impoverished Spanish fishing village, that from a leisurely start builds to almost unbearable tension. Though Linda Christian's enigmatic Maria was billed as 'lightning in the flesh, burning, destroying everything she touches' in the lurid, not to say sexist, words of the original publicity, especially as she is an object of lust to the men, suffering at least one attempted rape, she is really a catalyst, bringing to boiling point the frustrations and resentments, long simmering among the fishermen, mainly concerning their financial domination by the aggressive trader Gardea - a powerful performance from Charles Korvin. The ending is uncompromising and eschews sentimentality. I wonder if this Spanish-British co-production was a coded comment on Spanish politics of the day? Or is Maria intended as a modern parallel to the Sirens of mythology? Carlos Thompson, one of those stars who never really had the career he deserved, is good in the lead, as are the Spanish supporting cast. Thunderstorm has been long neglected, with even the Network DVD now seemingly out of print, which is a shame as it is a powerful drama well worth watching.