With Lila Kedrova, James Coburn, Anthony Quinn, Gert Fröbe, Dennis Price, Ben Carruthers, Nigel Davenport, Brian Phelan, Kenneth J. Warren, Isabel Dean
A High Wind in Jamaica is a 1965 DeLuxe Color film, based on the novel of the same name, and directed by Alexander Mackendrick for the 20th Century-Fox studio. It starred Anthony Quinn and James Coburn as the pirates who capture five children.
Other cast members include Deborah Baxter, Nigel Davenport, Isabel Dean, Lila Kedrova, Kenneth J. Warren, and Gert Frobe. One of the child actors is the author Martin Amis.
The film is regarded highly today because of Mackendrick's direction and Quinn's lead performance as the pirate captain whose relationship with the children betokens a subtle change in his character, finally leading to his downfall and the pirates' end.
Mackendrick was best known as a director of the Ealing comedies The Man in the White Suit and The Ladykillers, as well as The Sweet Smell of Success, now recognized as a masterpiece. The material in A High Wind in Jamaica afforded the director an opportunity to combine a light touch with serious drama. Essentially, what makes the film fascinating is the theme of children growing up and their contact with a world of adults who act as if they are grown-up children.