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on April 8, 2004
It was the mid-summer of 1990-1991, here in Felix Australis. I was on the long trail from Melbourne to Adelaide, driving into the searing heat of a relentess western sun . . .
I stopped at a dusty place by the name of Horsham, the chief town in the middle of the dry, arid, and sun-scorched land of the Wimmera, in western Victoria. I went to the local modern super-market, and happened upon a small heap of discounted books. Being a reader & a book-seller by trade, I turned the stock over and, to my delight, found a hardback copy by Chatto & Windus, London, of Richard Hughes' "A High Wind In Jamaica", among other marvels . . . I had never read it in all my fifty-three years! Three cheers, I thought, for the book buyer in, what seemed to me, this most unlikely place!
Tired as I was, I read avidly into the night . . .
What a marvellous experience in imagination! What superb use of the English language! Even the heat and discomfort of the opressive summer night assisted my entry into the wonderous tropical world of the West Indies & high adventure.
Some years later, I viewed the movie on TV, staring Anthony Quinn, which I found to be an exhilarating representation of Hughes' story. However, I could not find a video anywhere and sadly, gave up the search.
How marvellous to learn that it is now available on DVD!
Full marks to the Screen-writer, the Actors, the Director & the Producer and all those involved, especially FOX! Thank you. Thank you, Thank you . . .
And thanks to Richard Hughes, that genius of English story-telling, as well as to the Editor of Chatto & Windus, way back in 1929, who had the wit to publish it!
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on April 2, 2004
This is a movie that I've been waiting for to be released for years! A truly wonderful piece of cinema, one of those rare examples of a classic work of literature adapted into a marvelous film. The direction by Alexander mackendrick is near perfect; the cinematography by the master D.O.P Douglas Slocombe is masterful - vibrant yet haunting. Most of the filming is shot deck high, as though you are seeing everything through the eyes of the children. The performances are generally top notch (with a couple of exceptions) Anthony Quinn gives his career best with a performance of such depth as the greatly troubled Pirate captain. The child actors are phenominal, particularly ten year old Deborah Baxter playing Emily, such a shame she never really did anything afterwards. The ending is trully gut wrenching and dificult to watch. This is a movie that incites all the emotions. A rich tapestry of life and death that should leave the audience totally satisfied.
The transfer to DVD is impressive: The colours are vibrant and rich, and the print is imaculate and sharp, apart from the first few seconds, where there are the expected dust specks and scratches. The sound isn't too hot; but I seem to remember, it never was.
All in all, Fox have released another fine DVD. Other studios should take note and take as much care as they do. Well done 20th Century Fox!
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on March 15, 2004
Ahh, after watching the widescreen of this long forgotten gem on cable, we knew that a DVD was inevitable. So this review is based on the Widescreen version shown on Fox.
This is a remarkable story of a group of children who accidentally find themselves aboard a pirate ship. This is not Disney fare - there are instances of brutality, terror, death and injustice - and an ending that is totally honest and devastating.
Beautiful locations, superb photography, gifted child actors. It goes from comedy to suspense to adventure without missing a beat. If you can overlook the awful miscasting of James Coburn, the movie is nearly perfect.
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on April 28, 2004
Enjoyable from start to finish. The acting is superb, top notch and well above standard 60's fare. The visiuals and locales are excellent as well. Highly reccomended.
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on September 27, 2006
This is one of the best Pirate movies I've seen. Anthony Quinn is great! This movie is unforgetable and great for ages 10 and up.
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on July 6, 2015
I love Pirate movies and this is an excellent one. Excellent service from the seller.
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on January 1, 2015
a great old movie -works perfectly, shipped quickly.
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on August 3, 2014
The story line had potential, but to make it a nicer story they could have made less reality and tragedy and to make it a all around better movie. I don't think people want to watch stories where children die.
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