|A HIGH WIND IN JAMAICA (director: Alexander Mackendrick; screenwriters: novel by Richard Hughes/Stanley Mann/Ronald Harwood/Dennis Cannan; cinematographer: Douglas Slocombe; editor: Derek York; music: Larry Adler; cast: Nigel Davenport (Frederick Thornton), Isabel Dean (Mrs. Thornton), Deborah Baxter (Emily Thornton), Anthony Quinn (Capt. Chavez), James Coburn (Zac), Dennis Price (Mathias), Ben Carruthers (Alberto), Lila Kedrova (Rosa), Gert Frobe (Dutch Captain), Brian Phelan (Curtis), Kenneth J. Warren (Capt. Marpole), Viviana Ventura (Margaret), Martin Amis (John Thornton), Karen Flack (Laura Thornton), Henry Beltran (Harry Thornton), Jeff Chandler (Edward Thornton), Roberta Tovey (Rachel Thornton), Kenji Takaki (Cook), Maude Fuller (Josephine); Runtime: 103; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: John Croydon; Fox Home Video; 1965)|
|"A rarely seen gem that has
slipped by the public unnoticed, though
receiving great reviews."
by Dennis Schwartz
rarely seen gem that has slipped by the public
unnoticed, though receiving great reviews. It's
based on the popular and acclaimed novel by Richard
Hughes published in 1929. Alexander Mackendrick
("Don't Make Waves"/"Sweet Smell of Success"/"The
Ladykillers") adroitly helms his highly entertaining
penultimate film in color and with beautiful visuals.
The exciting buccaneering adventure
film is set in the 19th century. It's written by Stanley
Mann, Ronald Harwood and Dennis Cannan, who
lightly blend together pirates and seven kidnapped
children into melodrama and comedy.
British Thornton family, the father and mother (Nigel
Davenport & Isabel Dean), after living
through a scary damaging hurricane in the Jamaica of
the 1870s, decide to send their brood of unruly
children by boat to attend school in Victorian
England. But they are captured by the Spanish pirate
Captain Chavez (Anthony Quinn) and his loyal first
mate business partner Zac (James Coburn). Because the
mainly Spanish crew is a superstitious lot about kids
on their boat, Chavez is thinking of dumping them off
at some port. But the innocent kids amuse him and he
delays any action. He also falls for the oldest girl
Emily (Deborah Baxter),
and treats her like a princess.
port of Tampico, the pirates can relate to the kid's
parents in not being able to control the playful
trusting kids. Meanwhile the crew becomes mutinous
over the inaction by their captain, which leaves the
sentimental captain at odds with the more practical
Zac--the children's surrogate parents. While the kids
wander around the port unattended an unfortunate
incident occurs involving Emily, and that leads to an
examines the wide gulf between childhood
innocence and adult guilt, and observes that
the children through their unblemished innocence have
curiously gotten the upper hand over their captors.
REVIEWED ON 1/4/2015 GRADE: A-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ