Thunder Bay (film)

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Thunder Bay
Directed by Anthony Mann
Produced by Aaron Rosenberg
Written by Gil Doud
George W. George
Screenplay by Gil Doud
John Michael Hayes
Starring James Stewart
Joanne Dru
Gilbert Roland
Dan Duryea
Music by Frank Skinner
Cinematography William H. Daniels
Edited by Russell F. Schoengarth
Universal Pictures
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date
  • May 21, 1953 (1953-05-21)
Running time
103 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $2.4 million (US)[1]

Thunder Bay is a 1953 American Technicolor adventure film directed by Anthony Mann and starring James Stewart in their first non-western collaboration.


Following World War II, ex-Navy engineer Steve Martin (James Stewart) and his friend Johnny Gambi (Dan Duryea) come to Louisiana with dreams of wealth. They build an offshore oil drilling platform with the help of a large company, and find themselves in a lucrative business. However, local shrimp fishermen are hostile, feeling their livelihood is at risk. A further complication is the budding romance between Steve and the daughter of one of the shrimpers.


Production notes[edit]

  • Production Dates: late September to mid-November 1952
  • Filmed in 1.37 to 1 aspect ratio
  • Released in 1.85 to 1 widescreen aspect ratio
  • The film marked Universal's first use of stereophonic sound, which at the time was presentable only in select theaters. Some contemporary reviewers complained that the sound, with its use of three speakers, was loud and distracting.
  • Originally planned to be photographed in 3-D
  • Most of the picture was shot in Morgan City, LA, and some scenes were shot in New Orleans and on an oil-drilling barge thirty miles out in the Gulf of Mexico
  • While filming scenes on location in Louisiana, Dan Duryea slipped and fell from the roof of a tugboat (which appears throughout the film). He suffered a broken rib, contusion and bruises, but was able to continue filming after a day or two of rest. [2]

Home video[edit]

The film is available as a standalone on VHS. Included in the James Stewart: Screen Legend Collection DVD box set (1.33:1 aspect ratio)


  1. ^ 'The Top Box Office Hits of 1953', Variety, January 13, 1954
  2. ^ Oct. 17, 1952 Article from Nevada State Journal

External links[edit]