Stewart, who had by 1953 appeared in three Mann-directed westerns (WINCHESTER '73, BEND OF THE RIVER, and THE NAKED SPUR), heads for the Louisiana coastal town of Port Felicity in this vibrantly colored wide-screen adventure tale. Stewart and Duryea team up as a pair of daring oil riggers
who are convinced there is "black gold" at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. The wealthy Flippen decides to gamble on their hunch and financially supports Stewart's construction of a stormproof oil platform. The Port Felicity villagers are far less enthusiastic about Stewart and Duryea's venture.
The town relies on shrimp fishing and the local fishermen are already in the midst of hard times. The disruption caused by the drilling isn't going to improve their plight. Tensions come to a breaking point when Dru and Henderson, daughters of fisherman Moreno, fall for Stewart and Duryea,
respectively. The villagers grow increasingly impatient and angry, finally forming a mob which plans to destroy the rig. Meanwhile, Stewart and Duryea are battling the elements, as well as a financial crisis. Monet, the jealous fiance of Henderson, sets out to dynamite the rig. A hurricane brews,
however, and Monet dies before any damage is done. Just when it appears that time has run out, Stewart and Duryea strike it rich. Not only does oil gush into the sky, but they discover a nighttime shrimp bed which appeases the villagers. The finale has the oil company and the shrimp fishermen
making amends, and Stewart and Duryea paired off with, respectively, Dru and Henderson. THUNDER BAY marked Universal's foray into the wide-screen battle of the day, with the studio adding a new three-speaker stereophonic sound system to its expansive 43x24.5-foot screen. Unfortunately many of the
new films of the day fell victim to technical advances which overshadowed or completely forgot about storytelling and direction.
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- Rating: NR
- Review: Stewart, who had by 1953 appeared in three Mann-directed westerns (WINCHESTER '73, BEND OF THE RIVER, and THE NAKED SPUR), heads for the Louisiana coastal town of Port Felicity in this vibrantly colored wide-screen adventure tale. Stewart and Duryea team u… (more)