A High Wind in Jamaica (film)
|A High Wind in Jamaica|
Original film poster by Howard Terpning
|Directed by||Alexander Mackendrick|
|Produced by||John Croydon|
|Written by||Richard Hughes (writer)|
|Screenplay by||Stanley Mann
|Based on||A High Wind in Jamaica (novel) (1921)|
|Music by||Larry Adler
|Editing by||Derek York|
|Distributed by||Twentieth Century Fox Film Company|
|Running time||103 minutes|
A High Wind in Jamaica is a 1965 DeLuxe Color film, based on the novel of the same name, and directed by Alexander Mackendrick for the 20th Century-Fox studio. It starred Anthony Quinn and James Coburn as the pirates who capture five children.
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.
A hurricane hits the isle of Jamaica in 1870. The Thorntons (Nigel Davenport) and (Isabel Dean), the 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 all 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. But his men mutiny, seize the Dutch boat and capture its captain (Gert Fröbe).
Seeing him come toward her with a knife, which he wants her to use to cut his ropes and set him free, Emily instead stabs the Dutch captain and kills him. 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.
- Anthony Quinn as Chavez
- James Coburn as Zac
- Deborah Baxter as Emily
- Dennis Price as Mathias
- Lila Kedrova as Rosa
- Nigel Davenport as Mr. Thornton
- Isabel Dean as Mrs. Thornton
- Kenneth J. Warren as Capt. Marpole
- Ben Carruthers as Alberto (as Benito Carruthers)
- Gert Fröbe as Dutch Captain (as Gert Frobe)
- Brian Phelan as Curtis
- Trader Faulkner as Pirate
- Charles Laurence as Tallyman
- Charles Hyatt as Pirate
- Dan Jackson as Pirate
- Viviane Ventura as Margaret Fernandez
The title song was produced and written by Larry Adler and sung by Mike LeRoy.
- Weiler., A.H. "New York Times: A High Wind in Jamaica". NY Times. Retrieved 2008-08-17.
- A High Wind in Jamaica at the Internet Movie Database
- A High Wind in Jamaica (film) at allmovie
- A High Wind in Jamaica (film) at the TCM Movie Database
- A High Wind in Jamaica at the American Film Institute Catalog