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The 100




Hurricane
(1979)
Reviewed by Arno Mikli
Rating: 6.5 Beans

urricane" was one of several remakes of 1930s films made in the 1970s which, almost without exception, sunk very badly indeed at the box office. This particular film was a remake of the 1937 film "The Hurricane", which starred Dorothy Lamour and Mary Astor.The remake starred Jason Robards and Mia Farrow.

It proved to be nothing much, really. It was set in a tropical island under the jurisdiction of the United States. The opening scene has the hero of the movie, a young Indian chief called Matangi (Dayton Ka'ne) swear allegiance to President Calvin Coolidge. The governor of the island (Jason Robards) proves to be a real old ratbag who wastes no time in getting Matangi arrested on a murder charge. Matangi escapes the clutches of a sadistic Sgt Strang (Stacy Keach) , but is recaptured and brutally beaten to a pulp by the selfsame sergeant (now demoted to private).

Matangi escapes yet again, this time with the help with the governor's daughter, Charlotte (Mia Farrow) who has falled in love with him. Just as things get really nasty, however, the hurricane mentioned in the title comes along and wrecks the whole island. Everyone on the island, except for Charlotte and Matangi who are protected by the phenonomen known as "Scriptwriterus protecticus ridiculous", gets drowned. We take our leave of the island and the film by watching the two lovers float away in the sea.

It is interesting to compare and contrast this film with "Titanic". Both were large budget disaster films ("Hurricane" had a $22 million budget). Both involved a romance between an unlikely couple that is interrupted by a large scale disaster involving the sea. Both were set in the early part of the 20th century and were remakes (strictly speaking, "Titanic" is not a remake, but the topic has been covered before in other films).

But there are also differences. "Titanic" was all too chillingly credible and authentic, and was based on a real happening. "Hurricane" was more generic, and though it shows plenty of realistic tsunami-like waves and strong winds, it never really took on the atmosphere present in "Titanic". The script was far less plausible and interesting. In particular, the final outcome between Charlotte and the chieftain is quite ridiculous when compared with that of Jack and Rose. Couldn't there have been other survivors?

"Hurricane" never took on the dimensions of horror and death that "Titanic" had, and its falls over particularly in the aftermath scenes. An example that comes to this reviewer's mind is that haunting scene towards the end of "Titanic" where we see Fifth Officer Lowe moving amongst open-eyed frozen corpses floating in the sea. This contrasts strongly with the post-hurricane scene where one sees objects that look more the the tops of coconuts than human heads lying half-buried on a beach.

All in all, this film was a disappointment, It is not the worst remake to be produced during this period ("Last Horizon" and "King Kong" were two films that were worse). Nonetheless, it was a disaster movie in the wrong sense of the word.






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