Reap the Wild Wind

Watch Reap the Wild Wind

  • Passed
  • 1942
  • 2 hr 3 min
  • 6.6  (3,508)

In the 19th century, the seas were the only way to transport goods across the world, and piracy and smuggling were rampant. Reap the Wild Wind, a 1942 movie directed by Cecil B. DeMille, tells the story of the dangerous business of wrecking (salvaging goods from a shipwreck) in the Florida Keys. The story revolves around Loxi Claiborne (Paulette Goddard), the owner of a salvage company, who is in love with Captain Jack Stuart (John Wayne), a brave and rugged sailor. However, she also has feelings for naval officer Stephen Tolliver (Ray Milland), who is a son of a wealthy family and doesn't share the same values as Loxi and Jack. When a ship runs aground in a hurricane, Tolliver leads the salvage operation, and Loxi and Jack work together to sabotage Tolliver's plans and get the loot for themselves.

The cast of the movie is impressive. Wayne, who had already made a name for himself in westerns and war movies, plays the daring and charismatic captain with his trademark squint and drawl. Goddard, who was married to Charlie Chaplin at the time, is the feisty and headstrong heroine, determined to succeed in a man's world. Milland, who would win an Academy Award for The Lost Weekend the following year, brings his charm and sophistication to his role as the conflicted Tolliver.

The cinematography of the movie is also a highlight. The movie was shot in Technicolor, which was still a novelty at the time, and DeMille takes full advantage of the vibrant palette of the Florida Keys. The storm scenes are especially impressive, with real boats and fake waves, and the grandeur of the hurricane is palpable.

The screenplay, however, is the weakest aspect of the movie. The plot is convoluted, with too many twists and turns, and it's hard at times to keep up with who is double-crossing whom. The characters are also a bit one-dimensional, with Loxi being the only one with a real arc. The dialogue is often cheesy and overly dramatic, with lines like "You'll find me where the wind is born." The movie also perpetuates some Hollywood stereotypes of the time, with the African-American characters (played by white actors) being portrayed as comic relief.

Nevertheless, Reap the Wild Wind is an enjoyable adventure movie. The action scenes are thrilling, the romance is steamy, and the characters, if not deep, are fun to watch. The chemistry between Goddard and Wayne is especially palpable, and their banter is the highlight of the movie. The movie also has an interesting historical background, with wrecking being a real and profitable industry that attracted gangs and outlaws.

In conclusion, Reap the Wild Wind is a movie that benefits from its talented cast and beautiful visuals but is hindered by a convoluted plot and cheesy dialogue. It's a fun movie to watch for fans of adventure and romance, and it's worth seeing for the spectacle of the storm scenes alone.

Reap the Wild Wind
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    2 hr 3 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.6  (3,508)