A really ripping yarn, Reap the Wild Wind may be mindless entertainment, but it is entertainment. Those seeking anything resembling deep thought or an in-depth approach to subject matter should definitely pass Reap by, for it's about nothing other than trying to create something light for the masses. It would be even better if director Cecil B. DeMille had arranged to spread the excitement out a little more evenly. As it is, Reap starts out well, but turns sluggish when it gets into its courtroom theatrics, before revving into high gear for its smash-up finale. The special effects get a lot of credit here, and while they are not going to fool those raised on computer-generated effects, they're still impressive and do their job well. The giant squid, though not really realistic, is still well worth the wait. The Technicolor photography is also a delight, an orgy of oversaturated colors that feels like a paintbox turned upside down. The screenplay is perfunctory at best, but it does provide for the necessary set pieces. Reap is also worth catching to see John Wayne in a not-so-good-guy role (Although he is ultimately heroic) and for Paulette Goddard's interesting "This is what my Scarlett O'Hara would have been like" performance. Ray Milland does well as the third point of the triangle, and Raymond Massey is a doozy of an over-the-top villain.
by Craig Butler review