Thursday, August 13, 2020

#2,513. Deluge (1933)

A pre-code disaster film with some astounding special effects (including the total destruction of New York City), 1933’s Deluge stars Sidney Blackmer (who years later played Roman Castevet in 1968’s Rosemary’s Baby) as Martin, a man who loses his entire family when unexplained meteorological events bring about the near-destruction of the entire planet.  

Convinced that his wife Helen (Lois Wilson) and their two children perished during the cataclysmic event, Martin eventually meets and falls in love with Claire (Peggy Shannon), a professional swimmer.  But can the two avoid a roving gang of thugs, one of whom (played by Fred Kohler) is bound and determined to make Claire his wife? 

Directed by Felix E. Feist, Deluge gets off to a quick start (the world is all but destroyed by the 15-minute mark) and features scenes that, even today, are a bit shocking (at one point, Martin stumbles upon the body of a young girl, and the inference is that she was raped and killed by the gang that’s harassing Claire). 

The cast is serviceable (Peggy Shannon delivers the strongest performance), and the post-apocalyptic storyline is good for a few thrills, but it’s the special effects, complete with a tsunami that obliterates the Statue of Liberty (a la The Day After Tomorrow), that make Deluge a must-see for classic movie aficionados.
Rating 8 out of 10 (watch it now!) 

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