A High Wind in Jamaica (1965)

High Wind in Jamaica, A (1965, GBR) C-103m. SCOPE *** D: Alexander Mackendrick. Starring Anthony Quinn, James Coburn, Dennis Price, Lila Kendrova, Nigel Davenport, Isabel Dean, Kenneth J. Warren, Ben Carruthers, Gert Fröbe, Brian Phelan, Deborah Baxter. Extraordinary adventure, based on the acclaimed novel by Richard Hughes. On their way to England from Jamaica, six British children are captured by pirates and forced to accompany them on their vessel. With no one to look after them, benevolent Captain Quinn and his sinister sidekick Coburn are at a loss. The kids soon adapt to the barbaric life at sea. However, tragedy strikes unexpected. Rarely seen gem by the director of LADYKILLERS (1955) and DON'T MAKE WAVES (1967). Cinematography and lighting are brilliant (by Douglas Slocombe, in CinemaScope), Mackendrick's direction is magnificent, the score by Larry Adler is sweeping. Highly recommended for family viewing, though subject matter also subtly touches adult themes. Unavailable for many years, film deserves to be rediscovered. Similar in theme to William Golding's Lord of the Flies, which was filmed in 1963 (in black-and-white).


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© Ron Altman