Thunder Rock

  • 1942
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Drama

A well-developed and unique fantasy, THUNDER ROCK features Redgrave as a writer living in England shortly before WW II. Growing disillusioned with the political climate in Europe, he decides the only way to avoid the rising tide of fascism is to leave his homeland altogether. Mason is a close friend who attempts to dissuade Redgrave from leaving but to...read more

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A well-developed and unique fantasy, THUNDER ROCK features Redgrave as a writer living in England shortly before WW II. Growing disillusioned with the political climate in Europe, he decides the only way to avoid the rising tide of fascism is to leave his homeland altogether. Mason is a

close friend who attempts to dissuade Redgrave from leaving but to no avail. The writer leaves England, heading off to Canada, where he obtains a job as the keeper of a lighthouse known as Thunder Rock. There Redgrave slowly builds a psychological bastion, shutting out the rest of the world. Then

he finds a ship's log from a steamer that went down in the waters near Thunder Rock in 1849. This book lists the names of passengers who had drowned in the tragedy, and Redgrave begins imagining what the lives of these people had been like. His delusions take an unusual turn when the specters of

these victims begin interacting with him. Gradually, Redgrave learns these apparitions died while fleeing injustice similar to that he is convinced will conquer Europe. Redgrave desperately tries to rid himself of the ghosts, but they will not be dismissed easily, and the writer finds inspiration

in their stories, eventually coming to realize that he must be part of the struggle against tyranny back in England.

The message here is hardly subtle, yet thanks to the sensitive treatment it is given, the cry to stand up for one's beliefs never becomes heavy-handed or preachy. Rather, the film approaches its underlying theme with grace and care, developing it within an unusual story. Recreating the role he did

on stage, Redgrave is marvelous as the man caught between the world he has fled and the world he has conjured. The special effects here are excellent, creating a magical group of specters. Released in England in 1942, THUNDER ROCK had its US premiere two years later.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: A well-developed and unique fantasy, THUNDER ROCK features Redgrave as a writer living in England shortly before WW II. Growing disillusioned with the political climate in Europe, he decides the only way to avoid the rising tide of fascism is to leave his… (more)

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