Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

The Hurricane (1937)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

The Hurricane (1937)

In director John Ford's adventure/disaster drama and intense love story:

  • in the opening sequence, the nostalgic description of the deserted South Pacific, French-controlled colonial island of Manakoora by Dr. Kersaint (Thomas Mitchell) on the deck of a cruise ship passing by many years later: "It's a little in disrepute, madame...It's the island of Manakoora. That was once the most beautiful of all the islands that raised their little green heads above these waters. The most beautiful and enchanting bit of paradise in all the world, madame. I always throw it a kiss when I pass it....It made the mistake of being born in the heart of the hurricane belt" - leading to the film's flashbacked tale
  • the iconic images of bare-chested lover Terangi (Jon Hall) with childhood sweetheart Marama (Dorothy Lamour) (and future wife) in her tropical sarong on the island of Manakoora
  • the freedom-loving Polynesian sailor Terangi's many efforts to escape imprisonment and confinement, after being harshly and unjustly imprisoned following a bar-room brawl incident in Tahiti with an antagonistic white man
  • the first of Terangi's many daring prison escape attempts from his island encampment, when he dove from a steep cliff and swam toward a passing schooner, but was recaptured and brought back to his cell, and resentenced: "It just hangs another year on your sentence. That's the penalty. That's what I've got to go by: The law. Lucky you didn't break from the inside. That would've added five years. Now you behave yourself. We don't want to keep you here any longer than we've got to"
  • the sequence of Terangi's return to Manakoora, and his dangerous and risky decision (while being pursued) to remain and warn the people about what to do about the impending hurricane: "The great storm is coming, the wind that overturns the land. Go to Tavi's store. Get ropes. Anchor your houses. Take to the trees if the sea should cover the land. Go quickly!"
  • the spectacular, but disastrous hurricane sequence in which the local church, a place of refuge, was soon devastated by the rising waves; after tying Marama to a tree, Terangi rushed back and offered rescue to save Father Paul (C. Aubrey Smith) (who refused) and French Governor's wife Mme. Germaine De Laage (Mary Astor), as its walls were breached and caved in, and the entire structure was washed out to sea
The Church in the Hurricane
  • the final line in which the strict, recently-appointed French Governor Eugene De Laage (Raymond Massey) observed through his binoculars wrongly to his wife Madame Germaine De Laage: "You're right, Germaine, it's only a floating log," in order to save Terangi, whom he realized had rescued some of the survivors (including Germaine) and was escaping in a canoe

Dr. Kersaint
(Thomas Mitchell)

Terangi with Marama

One of Terangi's Daring Prison Escape Attempts

Marama Seeking Shelter From the Storm in a Tree

De Laage: "It's Only a Floating Log"


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