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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Deluge (1933)

A massive earthquake in the Pacific ocean causes equally massive tsunamis around the globe. In what was New York, a handful of survivors attempt to rebuild civilization but man's base instincts thwart the progress. Based on the novel by S. Fowler Wright and directed by Felix E. Feist. This early forerunner of what is now referred to as the "disaster" film has a lot more going on than special effects. The earthquakes and tsunamis (the special effects are very crude) occur at the beginning of the movie so there's no build up. The focus is on the aftermath. This is a pre-code film so much of it is quite raw for the period. The landscape is strewn with the bodies of raped and murdered women discarded by a roving gang of brutes, an unmarried couple sleep together, there's a graphic ax killing etc. The protagonists are a lawyer (Sidney Blackmer) who thinks his wife and children were killed in the tsunami so he begins an affair with a champion swimmer (the appealing Peggy Shannon) while elsewhere his wife (Lois Wilson) is being pressured to marry a man (Matt Moore) when a law is passed that all eligible women must be married. Not a great film by any stretch of the imagination but still better than you would imagine. 

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