Sunday, February 18, 2018

Thunder in the Sun

Thunder in the Sun is a 1959 western film directed by Russell Rouse starring Susan Hayward and Jeff Chandler.
The film shows a family of French Basque immigrants pioneering into the Wild West while carrying their ancestral vines (and wearing their berets). Hard drinking trail driver Lon Bennett is hired to lead them and he falls for the spirited Gabrielle Dauphin.
The film is infamous among Basques for its misunderstandings of Basque customs, such as the use of the xistera (a device of the jai alai sport) as a weapon or shouting irrintzi ululations as meaningful communication. 
Other commentators, though, have noted the well-staged action scenes, the absorbing story, and the excellent cinematography. Which is a marvel since 90% of the lead actors scenes were shot in a studio with projected backgrounds.

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