Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Joseph Conrad's cerebral, philosophical novel Lord Jim is streamlined and simplified by producer/director/writer Richard Brooks for the action-and-adventure crowd. Peter O'Toole plays the first officer of a tramp steamer, who, during a hurricane, cravenly abandons ship, leaving the passengers to drown. Disgraced, O'Toole seeks out ways to redeem himself--not only in the eyes of the British maritime commission, but in his own eyes. He signs on to deliver a shipment of dynamite to a tribe of natives somewhere in the uncharted Orient. He also joins the natives' fight against feudal warlord Eli Wallach, hoping perhaps to die in their service, thus purging himself from shame (and, in true Messianic fashion, becoming a martyr in the process). Despite the impressive star lineup of O'Toole, Wallach, Jack Hawkins, Curt Jurgens and Paul Lukas, most press coverage went to leggy leading lady Daliah Lavi--including the 1964 Saturday Evening Post article about the making of Lord Jim, written by Richard Brooks himself. Filmed in Cambodia and Hong Kong, Lord Jim isn't precisely the Conrad novel, but fans weaned on O'Toole's Lawrence of Arabia will be satisfied.
hurricane, native, native-uprising, redemption, ship, coward