Reap the Wild Wind (1942)

124 mins | Drama | 1942

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HISTORY

Thelma Strabel's novel was serialized in The Saturday Evening Post from 27 Apr to 1 Jun 1940. The foreword in Strabel's novel, as published in 1942, was written by director/producer Cecil B. DeMille. HR news items provide the following information about the production: Among the actors considered for lead roles in this film were John Barrymore, James Stewart, Rex Harrison, William Boyd, Claudette Colbert, Tallulah Bankhead and Katharine Hepburn. Susan Hayward tested for the role of "Loxi" and was originally cast as "Ivy Devereaux," before being cast as "Drusilla." Cecil B. DeMille's son Richard was scheduled to make his screen debut in this film, but his appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. Actor Morris Ankrum was replaced by Charles Bickford in the role of "Mate of the Tyfib ," and Hedda Hopper replaced Spring Byington as "Aunt Henrietta." Reap the Wild Wind marked the last time that Hopper appeared onscreen as a character other than herself.
       According to modern sources, Maurice Costello and Elmo Lincoln appear in the film. News items further report that Frank Loesser was signed to write the picture's theme song and Sigmund Krumgold was to write the music score, but neither was credited on the film. HR reported that artist Dan Sayre Groesback was set to design scenes for the picture, as he reportedly had for other DeMille films, and that English poet laureate John Masefield was to work on the film, but their contributions to this film have not been verified.
       Files in the Paramount Collection at the AMPAS Library provide the following additional information about the film: Expenses on this ... More Less

Thelma Strabel's novel was serialized in The Saturday Evening Post from 27 Apr to 1 Jun 1940. The foreword in Strabel's novel, as published in 1942, was written by director/producer Cecil B. DeMille. HR news items provide the following information about the production: Among the actors considered for lead roles in this film were John Barrymore, James Stewart, Rex Harrison, William Boyd, Claudette Colbert, Tallulah Bankhead and Katharine Hepburn. Susan Hayward tested for the role of "Loxi" and was originally cast as "Ivy Devereaux," before being cast as "Drusilla." Cecil B. DeMille's son Richard was scheduled to make his screen debut in this film, but his appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. Actor Morris Ankrum was replaced by Charles Bickford in the role of "Mate of the Tyfib ," and Hedda Hopper replaced Spring Byington as "Aunt Henrietta." Reap the Wild Wind marked the last time that Hopper appeared onscreen as a character other than herself.
       According to modern sources, Maurice Costello and Elmo Lincoln appear in the film. News items further report that Frank Loesser was signed to write the picture's theme song and Sigmund Krumgold was to write the music score, but neither was credited on the film. HR reported that artist Dan Sayre Groesback was set to design scenes for the picture, as he reportedly had for other DeMille films, and that English poet laureate John Masefield was to work on the film, but their contributions to this film have not been verified.
       Files in the Paramount Collection at the AMPAS Library provide the following additional information about the film: Expenses on this film rose far over the original budget, and concerned production executives urged all department heads "to make cuts wherever possible." Particularly difficult and expensive to shoot was the scene with the giant octopus. Information in the files and an article in NYHT indicates that underwater sequences were filmed at the Pacific Marine Museum in Malibu, CA, although modern sources suggest that the scene with the giant octopus was filmed in a tank at the Paramount studios. According to an article in NYHT , preparation for the underwater scenes took two months, and an additional two months was spent in shooting the underwater Southern Cross scenes. DeMille also used the "Little Old New York" set at the Twentieth Century-Fox lot, the water tank at the United Artists studio, which had to be enlarged to shoot the ship sequences, and the "Old Hawks' Tank" and "The Water Way" at the Columbia Ranch in Burbank, CA. The film went $250,000 over budget. According to an article in NYHT , fish and lobster were culled from the Pacific Ocean in Malibu with the permission of the California Fish and Game Commission, and were used to stock the tanks. Other scenes were shot on location in Charleston, SC, and in Miami, Key West and New Iberia, FL.
       On 18 Mar 1942, Paramount held the world premiere of Reap the Wild Wind in conjunction with a celebration of its thirtieth year in business and Cecil B. DeMille's thirtieth year in films at the newly renovated El Capitan Theatre on Hollywood Blvd. in Los Angeles, CA. The theatre, renamed the Paramount Hollywood Theatre, was remodeled by noted Los Angeles architect W. L. Pereira, who is credited with special photographic effects in this film, and Hal Pereira, and was described in a contemporary HR article as "the last word in theatre architecture." In 1991, Disney and Pacific Theaters restored the El Capitan to its original 1926 design. The premiere drew a crowd of approximately 3,000 persons and proceeds of the evening were donated to the Navy Relief Fund, according to HR . This film was hailed by reviewers for its technical achievements and won an Academy Award in the category of Special Effects (Farciot Edouart, Gordon Jennings, William L. Pereira and Louis Mesenkop). It was nominated for Academy Awards in the following categories: Cinematography (Color), Victor Milner and William V. Skall; and Art Direction/Interior Decoration (Color), Hans Dreier and Roland Anderson, George Sawley. Ray Milland and Paulette Goddard reprised their roles in a Lux Radio Theatre broadcast on 8 Mar 1943. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
21 Mar 1942.
---
Daily Variety
19 Mar 42
p. 3.
Film Daily
21 Jan 41
p. 8.
Film Daily
13 Feb 41
p. 10.
Film Daily
19 Mar 42
p. 6.
Film Music Notes
Mar 1942.
---
Hollywood Reporter
22 Jul 40
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Nov 40
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Nov 40
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Nov 40
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
31 Dec 40
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Feb 41
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Feb 41
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Feb 41
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Feb 41
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Mar 41
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Apr 41
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Apr 41
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Aug 41
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Nov 41
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Nov 41
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Mar 42
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Mar 42
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
21 Mar 42
p. 574.
New York Herald Tribune
12 Apr 1942.
---
New York Times
27 Mar 42
p. 27.
Variety
25 Mar 42
p. 8.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Ed Peil Sr.
Mary Sue Thomas
Robert Milasch
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
2d unit dir
Dial supv
Dial supv
Asst dir
2d unit asst dir
2d unit asst dir
2d unit asst dir
2d unit asst dir
2d unit 2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Dir of photog
Underwater photog
2d unit 2d cam
2d unit asst cam
2d unit stills
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATORS
Supv set dresser
Set dec
Props
2d unit props
2d unit 2d props
COSTUMES
Ward des
Ward des
Ward des
Mens' ward
Womens' ward
2d unit womens' ward
2d unit mens' ward
MUSIC
Mus score
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
Spec photog eff
Spec photog eff
2d unit S.E.D. glassman
DANCE
Dance dir
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
Hair supv
2d unit hairdresser
2d unit makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Dial supv
Dial supv
Marine adv
Tech adv
Unit mgr
Asst unit mgr
Loc mgr
2d unit, unit mgr
Scr clerk
2d unit scr clerk
2d unit painter
2d unit grip
2d unit grip
2d unit grip
2d unit grip
2d unit cam car driver
2d unit nursery
Sketch artist
Sketch artist
STAND INS
Stunt diver
Stunt diver
Stunt diver
Stunt diver
COLOR PERSONNEL
Technicolor color dir
2d unit Techicolor dir
2d unit Technicolor tech
2d unit Technicolor cam mechanic
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Reap the Wild Wind by Thelma Strabel (New York, 1941).
SONGS
"Sea Chanty," music by Victor Young, lyrics by Troy Sanders
"'Twas But a Humble Little Flow'r," "Bye and Bye" and "Who's Going to Be My Honey?" music and lyrics by Troy Sanders.
DETAILS
Premiere Information:
World premiere in Los Angeles: 18 March 1942
New York opening: 26 March 1942
Production Date:
2 June--30 August 1941
Copyright Claimant:
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
30 January 1942
Copyright Number:
LP11062
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
124
Length(in feet):
11,094
Length(in reels):
13
Country:
United States
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

In 1840, ships are the international link to commerce for the United States, but their cargo is being jeopardized by the "salvage profiteers" who loiter in the Florida Keys waiting for hurricanes to dash the ships against the rocks. During one such storm, Mathias Widgeon, first mate of the Jubilee , which is owned by the Devereaux Company, knocks out Captain Jack Stuart and purposely crashes the three-master. Loxi Claiborne, a tomboy who runs an honest salvage business, takes her boat out to the site of the wreck with her pal, Captain Phillip Philpott, but King Cutler and his brother Dan, renowned cutthroats who contracted Widgeon to wreck the ship, get there first. Loxi stays on hand and rescues the unconscious Jack, taking him to her home to convalesce. They soon fall in love, and Loxi is inspired by Jack's dream of commanding the Southern Cross , the Devereaux company's first steamship. Jack believes that Devereaux lawyer Stephen Tolliver will prevent him from a promotion because of this latest wreck, and when Loxi travels to Charleston, South Carolina, to visit with her aunt Henrietta, she meets Stephen. Loxi flirts with the lawyer in hopes of swaying his opinion. Stephen, who has always intended to defend Jack to his employer, genuinely falls in love with Loxi, although he is unaware of her ulterior motives. Stephen insists that Commodore Devereaux send him to discover the Jubilee 's real saboteurs. Devereaux agrees to make Jack first mate of The Pelican , an old rustbucket, on the condition that Jack be sent ashore in Florida upon its arrival there until Stephen can prove his innocence. ... +


In 1840, ships are the international link to commerce for the United States, but their cargo is being jeopardized by the "salvage profiteers" who loiter in the Florida Keys waiting for hurricanes to dash the ships against the rocks. During one such storm, Mathias Widgeon, first mate of the Jubilee , which is owned by the Devereaux Company, knocks out Captain Jack Stuart and purposely crashes the three-master. Loxi Claiborne, a tomboy who runs an honest salvage business, takes her boat out to the site of the wreck with her pal, Captain Phillip Philpott, but King Cutler and his brother Dan, renowned cutthroats who contracted Widgeon to wreck the ship, get there first. Loxi stays on hand and rescues the unconscious Jack, taking him to her home to convalesce. They soon fall in love, and Loxi is inspired by Jack's dream of commanding the Southern Cross , the Devereaux company's first steamship. Jack believes that Devereaux lawyer Stephen Tolliver will prevent him from a promotion because of this latest wreck, and when Loxi travels to Charleston, South Carolina, to visit with her aunt Henrietta, she meets Stephen. Loxi flirts with the lawyer in hopes of swaying his opinion. Stephen, who has always intended to defend Jack to his employer, genuinely falls in love with Loxi, although he is unaware of her ulterior motives. Stephen insists that Commodore Devereaux send him to discover the Jubilee 's real saboteurs. Devereaux agrees to make Jack first mate of The Pelican , an old rustbucket, on the condition that Jack be sent ashore in Florida upon its arrival there until Stephen can prove his innocence. Loxi is the last to learn that Stephen has gotten her aunt's permission to marry her and publicly rejects him. Stephen, who has no intention of losing her, interrupts her hasty wedding to Jack aboard the Pelican , throws her overboard and knocks Jack out. After the Pelican sets sail, Stephen and Loxi take a different ship to Florida. Later, however, Loxi and Jack come to Stephen's aid when King Cutler sells Stephen to a whaler as a common sailor and sends his thugs, led by The Lamb, to shanghai him. Instead, after a struggle, Stephen sells the thugs to the whaler. In Stephen's jacket, Loxi finds Devereaux's orders giving Jack the captaincy of the Southern Cross , and she and Jack wrongly assume that Stephen planned to withhold this news from Jack. Jack then confronts King, who informs him that Devereaux has died and Stephen is now head of the shipping company. King convinces Jack that Stephen will never allow him to command the Southern Cross , and an angry Jack makes a deal with Cutler to wreck the steamship for his salvage operation. Stephen suspects the scheme when he sees that prices for the Southern Cross 's cargo are unusually low, and he and Captain Phil commandeer Loxi's ship to sail to Havana and stop the steamship. Loxi refuses to believe that Jack would sell out and sabotages her own ship so they do not reach Havana. Instead, they drift in a deep fog until they near the reef where Cutler's ship is lurking, and are on hand to witness the purposeful sinking of the Southern Cross . At the court trial, King steers suspicion toward Stephen, and it is revealed that Loxi's cousin Drusilla, who had been having a secret love affair with Dan, may have stowed aboard the steamship and died when the ship sank. The court is reconvened at the site of the wreck, and Jack and Stephen go underwater in diving suits to the shipwreck. They find Drusilla's corpse, but instead of killing Stephen as ordered by King, Jack rescues him from the grips of a deadly giant octopus. Stephen is unable to save Jack's life, however, and when he is pulled up, he displays Drusilla's shawl. Dan confronts his brother, who shoots him, and Captain Phil kills King. Their deaths free Stephen, and he and Loxi return to Charleston together. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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