Directed by Russian expatriate Feodor Ozep, the French Amok was originally released in 1934. Based on a story by Stefan Zweig, the film takes place on a French colonial island, where the residents are whipped into uncontrollable frenzy whenever the weather changes. Doctor Jean Yonnel is approached by mother-to-be Marcelle Chantal, who wants him to perform an abortion. He refuses, but when the weather shifts its course, he goes "amok" and agrees to the operation. By this time, however, Chantal wants to keep the baby -- or destroy herself rather than commit an "unpardonable" sin. Things get even grimmer towards the end when Chantal's husband returns to the island. Long held up from American release by various censorship bureaus, Amok was finally afforded a New York showing before a "jury" of newspaper and magazine film critics, who were to vote whether or not the film deserved a nationwide distribution (The vote was negative, largely due to the substandard quality of the film rather than its content).
by Hal Erickson synopsis