Reap the Wild Wind (1942)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Cecil B. DeMille's Technicolor historical spectacle Reap the Wild Wind was to have starred Gary Cooper, but Cooper's prior commitment to Goldwyn's Pride of the Yankees compelled DeMille to recast the leading role with John Wayne. The film, set in the mid-19th century, centers around Key West, Florida, where piracy reigns unchecked and steam engines are beginning to replace tall ships. Jack Stuart (Wayne) is a sea captain who crashes his vessel on the shoals of Key West. Loxi Claiborne (Paulette Goddard), the hoydenish manager of a salvage firm, arrives on the scene, but discovers that her rival in the salvage business, King Cutler (Raymond Massey) has reached Wayne first and lashed him to the mast, and is proceeding to ransack the ship with the aid of his partner-in-crime, younger brother Dan Cutler (Robert Preston). The Cutlers have built up quite a reputation for reaching wrecks ahead of competitors - to such a degree that some suspect them of making under-the-table deals with dishonest captains. While the men continue to ransack the ship, Loxi nurses Jack back to health, and the two fall in love; meanwhile, Jack worries openly that he'll lose the privilege of piloting his company's newest steamship. To ensure that this doesn't happen, Loxi offers to travel to Charleston, South Carolina and convince investigators that pirates were responsible for what happened to Jack. Subsequently, the company attorney, Stephen Tolliver (Ray Milland) must go to Florida with Jack's commission papers, and investigate the circumstances of the incident prior to givng the papers to the captain. In the process, Jack and Stephen become intense rivals for Loxi's affections. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Action & Adventure , Classics , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
MCA Universal Home Video


Ray Milland
as Stephen Tolliver
Paulette Goddard
as Loxi Claiborne
John Wayne
as Capt. Jack Stuart
Susan Hayward
as Drusilla Alston
Raymond Massey
as King Cutler
Robert Preston
as Dan Cutler
Lynne Overman
as Capt. Phillip Philpott
Walter Hampden
as Commodore Devereaux
Louise Beavers
as Maum Maria
Charles Bickford
as Mate of the Tyfib
Martha O'Driscoll
as Ivy Devereaux
Elisabeth Risdon
as Mrs. Claiborne
Elizabeth Risdon
as Mrs. Claiborne
Hedda Hopper
as Aunt Henrietta
Victor Kilian
as Widgeon
Oscar Polk
as Salt Meat
Janet Beecher
as Mrs. Mottram
Ben Carter
as Chinkapin
Davison Clark
as Judge Marvin
Frank M. Thomas
as Dr. Jepson
Keith Richards (II)
as Capt. Carruthers
Victor Varconi
as Lubbock
Raymond Hatton
as Master Shipwright
Milburn Stone
as Lt. Farragut
Barbara Britton
as Charleston Lady
Julia Faye
as Charleston Lady
Constantine Romanoff
as Pete, Sponge Boat
Nestor Paiva
as Man with Suspenders
James Flavin
as Father of girl
Frank Lackteen
as Cutler Men in Barrel Room
Lou Merrill
as Captain of the "Pelican"
Alan Bridge
as Cutler Men in Barrel Room
J. Farrell MacDonald
as Port Captain
Al Ferguson
as Cutler Men in Barrel Room
Richard Alexander
as Stoker Boss
Byron Foulger
as Bixby Devereaux Courier
Dorothy Sebastian
as Woman in ballroom
Jack Luden
as Southern gentleman at tea
Monte Blue
as Officer at tea
Dale Van Sickel
as Member of Falcon Crew
Leo Sulky
as Juryman
Ameda Lambert
as Charleston lady
C.E. Anderson
as Juryman
Sam Appel
as Juryman
Harry Dean
as Juryman
Billy Elmer
as Juryman
Mildred Harris
as Dancing Lady
John St. Polis
as Devereaux Agent
Eugene Jackson
as Dr. Jepson's Boy
Stanhope Wheatcroft
as Devereaux secretary
Dave Wengren
as Claiborne Lookout
Cap Anderson
as Member of Jury
Tony Paton
as Cadge
Darcy Miller
as Charleston Gentleman
Bruce Warren
as Charleston Gentleman
Frank Ferguson
as Snaith Cutler's Co-Counsel
Al Bridge
as Cutler man in barrel room
William Haade
as Seaman 1st Wreck
Jimmie Dundee
as Galley Growler
George H. Reed
as Servant at Mottram House
Sam Flint
as Surgeon
Dutch Hendrian
as Mate of Packet
Frank Richards
as Cutler man
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Critic Reviews for Reap the Wild Wind

All Critics (6)

A product of its time, DeMille's epic spectacle has preposterous plot but the undersea effects are good and so are the performances; hard to believe but Ray Milland was bigger name than Wayne, who gets second billing and deviates from his screen image

Full Review… | May 9, 2007

Tepid hokum adventure tale from Cecil B. De Mille.

Full Review… | October 5, 2005
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Tepid DeMille spectacle enlivened by a giant squid.

February 11, 2003
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Another overblown Cecil B. DeMille "epic." One of his lesser efforts.

October 23, 2002
Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)

Quote not available.

September 2, 2002
Movie Metropolis

Quote not available.

July 30, 2002
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Audience Reviews for Reap the Wild Wind

I haven't watched many John Wayne films on DVD, mostly growing up and seeing them on TV, So this is a first. I don't think that the Duke was the main actor in this movie, think Ray Miland was Billed as Top Actor, but as The Duke rose to stardom, I think things changed. This is a Technicolor classic, and I still say that Technicolor was way ahead of its time and looks so much brighter then anything we have today. John Wayne plays Captain Jack Stuart pretty much a washed up ships captain because of sabotage within his own crew, but he falls in love with Susan Hayward who brings out the best in any man. A true Sea worthy adventure. Good classic to add to the collection, but only 3 stars.

Bruce Bruce
Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer

Florid, over the top De Mille epic, is there any other kind? The technicolor is vivid, the costumes are beautiful and the acting is enjoyably over the top, with the exception of Susan Hayward who, honey chile accent notwithstanding, gives a sweet, real performance amongst all the scenery chewing.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer


James Higgins
James Higgins

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