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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Hurricane (1979)

In 1920s American Samoa, an American girl (Mia Farrow) comes to visit her father (Jason Robards) who is the appointed Governor of the island. The father is obsessive about his daughter, possibly harboring incestuous feelings toward her. When she becomes attracted to one of the young natives (Dayton Ka'ne) of the island, he becomes vindictive. A loose remake of the 1937 John Ford film, the film has some impressive people involved in the film: director Jan Troell (THE EMIGRANTS), cinematographer Sven Nykvist (FANNY AND ALEXANDER), composer Nino Rota (whose last film score this was), screenwriter Lorenzo Semple (PRETTY POISON), production designer Danilo Donati (AMARCORD), film editor Sam O'Steen (THE GRADUATE). So where did it all go wrong? There was an innocence to the 1937 film that wouldn't play well to contemporary audiences but the film makers haven't given us anything better other than a hackneyed tale of "forbidden" interracial love. Even the hurricane sequence using (then) state of the art special effects doesn't have the thrill of the stunning hurricane sequence in Ford's earlier film. Rota's theme music sounds like a rehash of his GODFATHER motif and the film is indicative of where Farrow's career was at before Woody Allen rescued her. With Max Von Sydow, Trevor Howard, Timothy Bottoms, James Keach and Manu Tupou (HAWAII).

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