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Deluge

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“Deluge” from 1933 is a science fiction film, directed by Felix E. Feist. It was produced in black and white and distributed by RKO Radio Pictures.

The plot of the film centers on a series of natural disasters affecting the United States, including earthquakes, floods and erupting volcanoes. In the midst of all this, a man named Martin and his family struggle to survive as they try to find themselves in a completely changed world. Martin also meets a woman named Helen, who he falls in love with and tries to save along with many other people.

The film focuses on the aftermath of a global catastrophe and humanity’s struggle for survival. It is considered a pioneer film in the apocalyptic genre and greatly influenced other science fiction and disaster films that would be produced later.

However, the film was deemed too expensive for RKO and was cut and released only briefly in theaters. A complete copy of the film was only found in 1981, when it was shown at the National Film Theater in London. Since then, the film has acquired a cult following among fans of sci-fi and apocalypse films.

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Plot

Deluge

The plot of 1933 “Deluge” centers on a series of natural disasters affecting the United States. New York City is completely destroyed by a series of earthquakes and floods, killing millions of people. In the midst of all this, a man named Martin and his family struggle to survive as they try to find themselves in a completely changed world.

Martin, a married man with two children, is on the job when the first disasters strike. He manages to return home only to find his home destroyed and his family presumed dead. He then begins a long journey in search of his wife and children, meeting many survivors on his way and, in particular, a young woman named Helen.

Together, Martin and Helen try to reach a safe place while fighting against other people who try to take possession of their possessions and resources. Meanwhile, the situation continues to worsen as a volcano erupts and more floods threaten to destroy all that is left of human civilization.

Characters

Deluge

The main characters of the 1933 film “Deluge” are:

Martin (played by Sidney Blackmer): is the protagonist of the film, a married man with two children who tries to find his family after the city of New York is destroyed by a series of natural disasters.

Helen (played by Peggy Shannon): is a young woman met by Martin during his journey to find his family. Helen joins Martin in his fight for survival and the two fall in love.

Claire (played by Lois Wilson): is Martin’s wife, who tries to survive with her children after being separated from her husband due to natural disasters.

Professor Carlysle (played by Samuel Hinds): is a scientist who tries to understand the causes of natural disasters that are affecting the world and to find a way to prevent them.

Jepson (played by Matt McHugh): is a survivor who meets Martin and Helen along the way and tries to rob them of their possessions and resources.

Dan (played by Edward Van Sloan): is a man who leads a group of survivors and who tries to organize an insurrection against Martin and the other protagonists of the film.

There are several other minor characters in the film as well, including other survivors and characters who meet Martin and Helen on their journey to find the family.

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Film Production

Deluge

The 1933 film “Deluge” was produced by RKO Radio Pictures and directed by Felix E. Feist. The film is based on the 1928 novel “Deluge” by S. Fowler Wright.

The film’s production was plagued by many problems, particularly due to its high expense. The film’s budget was approximately $270,000, which was a very large amount for a film at the time. Additionally, the film was shot on location at a variety of locations, including a large set purpose-built to depict New York City.

Despite these problems, the film was completed and released to theaters in 1933. However, RKO Radio Pictures decided to cut many scenes from the film, reducing the running time to approximately 70 minutes. The film was also only briefly released in theaters before disappearing.

In the 1970s, a print of the film was found in France and then later in 1981 it was shown at the National Film Theater in London. The complete print of the film revealed many scenes that were not included in the original theatrical release. Since then, the film has become a cult favorite among fans of sci-fi and apocalypse films.

Distribution and Reception

The 1933 film “Deluge” had a limited release in theaters and did not achieve great success at the box office. However, it received some positive reviews from critics, mostly for its innovation of the science fiction genre and the special effects used to depict natural disasters.

Film critic Mordaunt Hall of The New York Times called the film “a skillfully produced work of science fiction and adventure” and lauded the special effects depicting the destruction of New York City. Other critics also praised the screenplay and the actors’ performance.

However, despite positive reviews, the film was not commercially successful and its distribution was limited. Furthermore, RKO Radio Pictures decided to cut many scenes from the film before its theatrical release, reducing the running time to approximately 70 minutes.

Despite its initial low distribution, the film became a film cult among fans of science fiction and apocalypse films, especially for its innovative depiction of natural disasters and the special effects used to create them.

The Style of the Movie

The style of the 1933 film “Deluge” is typical of science fiction films and gods apocalypse movie of the time. The film uses many scenes of destruction and natural disasters to create an atmosphere of tension and drama.

The special effects used in the film were innovative for the time and represent one of the strengths of the film. The destruction scenes of New York City and other locations were created using a combination of miniature models and visual effects.

Also, the film uses a lot of action sequences to keep the viewer’s attention and to depict the protagonists’ struggle for survival. The film’s final scene, in which Martin and Helen join other survivors in a new community, is a message of hope after the destruction.

The film’s style is also influenced by the period in which it was made, with the context of the Great Depression and the threat of war affecting the film’s tone. The film represents a reflection on the consequences of technology and human progress, which lead to the destruction of civilization.

In summary, the style of the 1933 film “Deluge” is typical of science fiction and apocalypse films of the time, using scenes of destruction and natural disasters, innovative special effects and action sequences to create an atmosphere of tension and of drama.

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Director

The director of the 1933 film “Deluge” is Felix E. Feist. Feist was an American director and screenwriter, mainly active in the 1930s and 1940s. Feist directed approximately 50 films in his career, including many film noirs, westerns, and war films.

Feist was known for his ability to direct action sequences and create atmospheres of tension and drama. In the film “Deluge”, he was able to use these elements to create an innovative representation of natural disasters and the struggle for survival.

Feist has also worked as a screenwriter on many of the films he has directed, demonstrating great versatility in writing stories of different genres. He also worked as a producer in a few films and also had a short career as an actor.

In general, Feist’s career has been characterized by a great ability to create intense and dramatic atmospheres in his films, demonstrating a great ability to adapt to different genres. The film “Deluge” is one of his best known and appreciated works, in particular for its innovative representation of natural disasters and for the special effects used.

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