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Thunder in the Sun (8-Apr-1959)

Director: Russell Rouse

Writers: James Hill; Russell Rouse; Stewart Stern; Guy Trosper

Keywords: Western

NameOccupationBirthDeathKnown for
Fortunio Bonanova
13-Jan-1895 2-Apr-1969 Citizen Kane
Jeff Chandler
15-Dec-1918 17-Jun-1961 Broken Arrow
Carl Esmond
14-Jun-1902 4-Dec-2004 Ministry of Fear
Susan Hayward
30-Jun-1918 14-Mar-1975 I Want to Live!


Review by anonymous (posted on 9-Dec-2006)

I have seen this film in 1959/1960. I enjoyed it very much.While not historically very correct and apparently some people are upset about alleged "racist" treatment of Indians and Basques etc.. (why is it never racist when the whites get slaughtered?)it does not detract from a good adventure film for children of whom I was one when I saw it. I always remembered it over nearly 50 years ago, so it must not have been such a bad film since I saw it only once.Why do I like it? First, it gives an idea how grapes came to be planted in California and in itself that is interesting when you consider the present industry. Did you know that the Basques were the first to hunt whales with the harpoon from longboats when the whales were spotted from the mountains of the Pyrennees out to sea ? Think of the whaling fleets from Nantucket(and "Moby Dick").Think of the Basques, no doubt they had an influence. Second, it also showed the Basques as "refugees" from the Napoleonic Wars of which all of Europe had had enough. Can you not see the parallel with today's wishes of so many people to want to come to America to escape war? In that sense it is useful and current. Third, Susan Hayward was one of my favourite actresses even then for two reasons:1) she was a good actress and 2) she looked liked my mother (or vice versa if one prefers). While the cry of the Basques may have been a little overdone by Jacques Bergerac at one point, nevertheless I remember it because I have practised for years since that film and can do it even now, quite competently. Let me assure you, for having done it, that with the right mountains in the background, even a non-genuine amateur Basque can still raise a tingling in the spine when he does it... Why pick on the negative aspects when it is really a good little story mixing Gipsies with Basques and flamenco dancing that has not much to do with Basques and, who cares if they throw rocks instead of "pelotta" played on a "fronton" with a "chistera". Who cares? It is a good little film that I much enjoyed and, indeed, would gladly pay for to see again. Reproduce it. Children have a right to dream. Only "adults" are "racists" - they create their own nightmares. Children do not have prejudices. It was a "good" film. For me.

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