Slattery's Hurricane (1949)

  |  Action, Adventure, Drama


Slattery's Hurricane (1949) Poster

A former WW2 naval pilot employed by a Miami civilian company reminisces about his past and present sins while flying a plane into an incoming hurricane.


6.5/10
382

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  • Linda Darnell and John Russell in Slattery's Hurricane (1949)
  • Richard Widmark in Slattery's Hurricane (1949)
  • Linda Darnell in Slattery's Hurricane (1949)
  • Slattery's Hurricane (1949)
  • Veronica Lake and Richard Widmark in Slattery's Hurricane (1949)
  • Veronica Lake and Richard Widmark in Slattery's Hurricane (1949)

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25 November 2009 | Spikeopath
7
| Storm Number 9-Slattery's Hurricane.
Lt. Willard Francis Slattery {Richard Widmark}, a former Navy pilot, is in control of this Grumman Mallard Aeroplane. He's flying right into the centre of a storm, a ferocious storm gathering momentum, here Slattery reviews his latter day life.

Slattery's Hurricane is directed by André De Toth and also stars Linda Darnell, Veronica Lake, John Russell and Gary Merill. It's based around a story written by Herman Wouk, and it's with Wouk that the interesting back story to the film belongs. Herman Wouk was of course the writer of Pulitzer Prize winning novel-The Caine Mutiny {also made into a fabulous film starring Humphrey Bogart}. It was while Wouk was researching weather data for "Mutiny" that he got the genesis for Slattery's Hurricane. Pitching it to 20th Century Fox, he got the go ahead for a screenplay, and feeling inspired he turned his short story into a fully fledged book.

Adapted by Richard Murphy, Slattery's Hurricane is a real good film stopped from being a great one due to the inevitable interference from the Production Code Administartion. Research into the film, and those who know the novel, shows the story to be a spiky one about adultery, drug smuggling and drug addiction, with closely formed characterisations leading the way. The observant will spot these things in the film anyway, but the toning down leaves us with a more melodramatic picture than a sharply dark one that the story deserved. However, it's with much credit to De Toth and his cast that the film is still an engrossing mood piece set around the birth of a raging hurricane, a hurricane that is not just of the storm itself, but of the emotional state of Will Slattery too. Grim nature and the troubled human condition dovetailing to create our finale of Slattery's Hurricane.

Richard Widmark is good value {wasn't he always?} as the lead protagonist, mean, moody and even menacing in his selfishness, Slattery called for an actor capable of blending emotional layers. The studio had wanted Tyrone Power for the role {perhaps showing the high hopes they had for the film?}, but they got Widmark instead, who rewards them {and us} with yet another memorable performance. Linda Darnell, softly spoken, sexy and exuding a femme fatale sheen, does well with what is a surprisingly underwritten part, tho we can probably thank {not!} the PCA for that issue. Veronica Lake, then married to director De Toth, had hoped for the film to signal a comeback for her faltering career, it wasn't to be, and that's sad because she's really rather great here. Heartfelt and giving the story a crucial counter point edge to Widmark's unfolding state, Lake served notice that she still had some quality to offer cinema. John Russell and Gary Merrill {whose opening narration sets the tone} do what is needed, but rightly play second fiddle to the three principals.

It could have done with better villains than the portrayals given by Walter Kingsford and Joe De Santis, but Slattery's Huricane remains a fine movie begging to be seen by more people. Still not given a DVD release and rarely shown on television, it's a film that if you get a chance to see it then you should grab that opportunity with both hands. 7/10

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Storyline

Plot Summary


Genres

Action | Adventure | Drama

Details

Release Date:

11 August 1949

Language

English


Country of Origin

USA

Filming Locations

Miami, Florida, USA

Box Office

Gross USA:

$1,650,000

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