A High Wind in Jamaica

Watch A High Wind in Jamaica

"Piracy and High Adventure on the High Seas!"
  • Approved
  • 2003
  • 1 hr 43 min
  • 6.5  (2,264)

A High Wind in Jamaica is a 1965 adventure drama directed by Alexander Mackendrick and based on the 1929 novel of the same name by Richard Hughes. The movie starts with the pirate Captain Chavez, played by Anthony Quinn, and his crew attacking a British ship in the Caribbean Sea. They capture a group of children who were on board, ages ranging from 5 to 15, and take them aboard their ship. The children are terrified, but the pirates see them as a liability and decide to drop them off at a port in Jamaica.

The movie follows the adventures of the children as they try to survive in the unfamiliar and dangerous world of the Caribbean. They are taken in by a wealthy plantation family, but their stay there is cut short when a hurricane hits the island and they are forced to flee. During their journey, they encounter a number of colorful characters, both friendly and hostile, and face a series of challenges that test their resilience and resourcefulness.

James Coburn plays the role of Zac, a sailor who befriends the children and becomes their protector. Zac is an interesting character, with his rough exterior and gruff voice that conceal a compassionate heart. He has a drinking problem and a troubled past, but he proves to be a loyal friend to the children and helps them navigate the dangers of the Caribbean.

Dennis Price plays the role of the plantation owner, Mr. Thornton, who initially takes in the children out of pity but soon becomes obsessed with their beauty and innocence. Mr. Thornton is a complex and morally ambiguous character, who oscillates between kindness and cruelty, and who ultimately reveals himself to be a deeply flawed and tragic figure.

One of the most remarkable aspects of A High Wind in Jamaica is its realistic portrayal of the colonial Caribbean in the mid-nineteenth century. The movie does not shy away from depicting the violence, exploitation, and racism that were endemic to the period, and it shows how these forces affected the lives of the children and the people they encountered. At the same time, the movie also captures the beauty and allure of the Caribbean, with its exotic landscapes, colorful wildlife, and vibrant culture.

Another striking feature of the movie is its blend of humor and pathos. Despite its serious subject matter, A High Wind in Jamaica has many moments of levity, including some lighthearted scenes involving the children's interactions with the pirates and the other characters they meet. The movie also has a strong emotional undercurrent, as the children struggle to come to terms with their displacement and loss of innocence.

Overall, A High Wind in Jamaica is a compelling and thought-provoking movie that offers a nuanced and poignant reflection on the themes of childhood, colonialism, and survival. Its strong performances, excellent cinematography, and evocative storytelling make it a classic of the adventure movie genre, and a must-see for anyone interested in the history and culture of the Caribbean.

A High Wind in Jamaica
A High Wind in Jamaica doesn't appear to be available from any streaming services.
Add this movie to your Watchlist to get notified when it's available.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 43 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.5  (2,264)