There is always a certain purity of vision in Ford, even though, before he kind of stepped in to the shoes that everybody seemed to agree fit, he made a wide variety of movies. This is a romantic South Seas pic about the ills of colonialism. It is also a stunning disaster pic (containing what must obviously be among the greatest disaster set pieces made up until that time). Also: weirdly sexy for Ford.
Three things come to mind as pertaining the Ford cannon with this excellent South Seas adventure film. One, John Carradine playing a sadistic island prison warden, like in "The Prisoner of Shark Island"; two, Thomas Mitchell as a kindly drunken doctor, as in "Stagecoach" two years later; and three, Raymond Massey's following the law to a tee, even if unjust, like Karl Malden in "Cheyenne Autumn" 27 years later.
Only John Ford could easily turn standard material into high-quality entertainment and its clearly evident in this South Pacific adventure. Great supporting characters, a dash of colonial oppression, and a thrilling climax bolster this typical story into the ranks of Ford's many underrated works.
In his memoir La tregua ("The Truce"; re-titled The Reawakening for publication in the U.S.), Primo Levi recounted his experience watching The Hurricane among other films while he was interned at a Soviet transit camp at Starye Dorogi in the aftermath of World War II.