Slattery\’s Hurricane Film Details
Overview: A former WW2 naval pilot employed by a Miami civilian company reminisces about his past and present sins while flying a plane into an incoming hurricane.
Review: “Hurricane.” An interesting word with curious features, borrowed and mangled by the Spanish from the Arawak Indians of the Caribbean who, in turn, had borrowed it from the Mayan god of storms, Huracán. He must have been even meaner than Yahweh, who was at least more discriminating in his deployment of destruction. Richard Widmark is Slattery, the pilot who flies his Grumman Goose into the storm and muses about his life course. He’s pretty mean too. The film open with Widmark preparing to take the seaplane out and beating hell out of the well-meaning guy who tries to stop him. Another guy who gets belted, John Russell, is an old friend of Widmark’s from their days as naval aviators during the war. Russell is still in the service while Widmark has become a civilian pilot for a Florida magnate who imports and exports “chocolate”. (Read “drugs”.) Widmark’s girl friend, Veronica Lake, works as the magnate’s secretary. Both of them live on the estate. Something just occurs to me — what is a “magnate” anyway? The plot is a little twisted at this point, and gets moreso. When Russell and Widmark first bump into one another in Florida, Russell introduces his wife, Linda Darnell. We discover, while Russell and Lake are dancing, that Widmark and Darnell had been lovers in San Diego. The expository dialog is painfully deadening. “We didn’t just split up — you walked out on me.” “I left YOU? How do you think I felt?” Neither Russell nor Lake know about this earlier liaison. Widmark is so mean that, old friendship notwithstanding, he puts moves on Darnell and succeeds. The noirish interior monologue by Widmark lacks any poetry. Mostly, he rebukes himself abundantly. “Oh, brother, you got just what you asked for, didn’t you. Well, didn’t you? DIDN’T YOU?” At any rate, we get to like John Russell, a typical standard Navy officer, cheerful, competent, uncomprehending of women. And there’s an adrenalin thrill when Widmark takes Russell up for a check flight in that Grumman Goose. Widmark shuts off one engine and flies it around in a steep bank, while Russell checks out the manifold pressure and so forth. The two of them are grinning like kids. Russell flies a Privateer for the Navy, a modified B-24. I flew in one too, in the Coast Guard, and the pilot also shut down an engine over the Pacific. I didn’t care for the flight. It’s a complex role for Widmark. He’s neither the unmitigated sadist of “Kiss of Death” nor the tireless promoter of the public weal, as in “Panic in the Streets.” He must be strong in the wrong ways and weak in the good ways until he develops a moral spine. It must be difficult to play a drunk in the movies because Widmark is a competent actor but he can’t handle a drunk scene believably. I was a magnificent drunk in two scenes in the much underrated art house classic, “Too Young The Hero.” Lee Marvin does a good drunk too. Not Widmark. And Richard Egan and Doris Day were embarrassing to watch when they had drunk scenes. Veronica Lake is not the diminutive femme of ten years earlier. Her features are slightly more pronounced and they look ready to express some subtle emotion but they never get around to it. Linda Darnell looks fine. It’s not a bad film. The romantic drama turns the story more sluggish than it ought to be, but, as in Herman Wouk’s “The Caine Mutiny,” the romance merely reflects the development of the protagonist’s character. The business of flying and dealing with storms is fun.
Duration: 83 min
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama
Also known as: Slattery’s Hurricane,Uraganul lui Slattery,Huracan de la Vida,O Furacão da Vida,Furia dei tropici,Stormvarsel,Sturm über Florida,Sturmflug,Rajumyrsky,Furia del trópico,Furacão da Vida,Agapi stin kataigida,Orkan,La furie des tropiques