A High Wind in Jamaica (film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
A High Wind in Jamaica
High wind movieposter.jpg
Original film poster by Howard Terpning
Directed by Alexander Mackendrick
Produced by John Croydon
Written by Richard Hughes
Screenplay by Stanley Mann
Ronald Harwood
Denis Cannan
Based on A High Wind in Jamaica (novel) (1921)
Starring Anthony Quinn
James Coburn
Lila Kedrova
Music by Larry Adler
Mike LeRoy
Cinematography Douglas Slocombe
Edited by Derek York
Production
  company
Twentieth Century-Fox
Distributed by Twentieth Century Fox Film Company
Release date(s)
  • 1965 (1965)
Running time 103 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English

A High Wind in Jamaica is a 1965 DeLuxe Color film, based on the novel of the same name, and directed by Alexander Mackendrick[1] for the 20th Century-Fox studio. It starred Anthony Quinn and James Coburn as the pirates who capture five children.

Other cast members include Deborah Baxter, Nigel Davenport, Isabel Dean, Lila Kedrova, Kenneth J. Warren, and Gert Frobe. One of the child actors is the author Martin Amis.

The film is regarded highly today because of Mackendrick's direction and Quinn's lead performance as the pirate captain whose relationship with the children betokens a subtle change in his character, finally leading to his downfall and the pirates' end.

Mackendrick (1912-1993) was best known as a director of the Ealing comedies The Man in the White Suit (1951) and The Ladykillers (1955), as well as The Sweet Smell of Success (1957), now recognized as a masterpiece. The material in A High Wind in Jamaica afforded the director an opportunity to combine a light touch with serious drama. Essentially, what makes the film fascinating is the theme of children growing up and their contact with a world of adults (the pirates) who act as if they are grown-up children.

Plot[edit]

A hurricane hits the isle of Jamaica in 1870. The Thorntons (Nigel Davenport and Isabel Dean), parents of five children, feel it is time to send them to England for a more civilized upbringing and education.

During the voyage, pirates board the ship and take the children captive. The pirate captain, Chavez (Anthony Quinn) and first mate Zac (James Coburn), takes an immediate liking to young Emily (Deborah Baxter), and decides to sail to Tampico and leave the kids safely with a woman there named Rosa (Lila Kedrova), a brothel madam with a good heart.

Rosa warns the pirates that the law is after them. Since they are innocent of the crimes attributed to them by the authorities—namely, the murder of the children—Chavez and his first mate (James Coburn) are unconcerned. But then one of the children, John (Martin Amis), slips from a window of the brothel and falls to his death. Chavez doesn't wish any more harm to come to the young ones so he refuses to attack a Dutch vessel that comes into view. His men mutiny, seize the Dutch boat, and capture its captain (Gert Fröbe).

Emily mistakes the intentions of the captured captain, and stabs him to death with his own knife. Not long thereafter, the pirates are captured by British sailors and brought to trial. Under questioning in court, Emily places the responsibility of killing the Dutch captain on Chavez instead of on herself. The pirates are hanged.

Cast[edit]

The title song was produced and written by Larry Adler and sung by Mike LeRoy.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Weiler., A.H. "New York Times: A High Wind in Jamaica". NY Times. Retrieved 2008-08-17. 

External links[edit]