The Film (4/5)
September Storm is the tale about three men and a lady going on a hunt to seek a fortune. They learn that it’s a lot easier said than done when they go on their adventure and also discover how greed leads to treachery, betrayal and even harpoon violence.
Fashion model Anne Traymore (Joanne Dru, 711 Ocean Drive), and newfound friend Manuel del Rio (Asher Dann, How I spent my Summer Vacation) are accompanied by two fortune hunters Joe Balfor (Mark Stevens, The Street with no Name, The Dark Corner) and Ernie Williams (4D Man, The Atomic Kid) on a journey to find three million in gold doubloons which they will all share. Del Rio steals a boat that he works on for its wealthy owner Rene LeClerc (veteran French actor, Jean-Pierre Kérien, The Inn of Sin) so the four of them can go on the adventure. Along the way, they get caught in a storm where the propeller gets clogged by seaweed, and has to be removed. While removing the seaweed a Portuguese man-o-war attacks Balfour and needs to be taken care of on a nearby island. They finally sail to the place where they discover the gold doubloons, but there are sharks around the area (as promised by the artwork used for home video releases). In the amusing climax, the entire adventure to find fortune winds up being a waste of the foursome’s time and efforts.
This is a pretty good film; I wouldn’t call September Storm a timeless classic, but a fun adventure film shot on a low budget. I would call it harmless weekend matinee afternoon yarn.
There are a couple of funny scenes, one in particular where Del Rio, who sees Traymore go skinny-dipping declares his love for her and makes a feeble attempt at trying to rape or seduce her. Another funny scene was seeing Balfour just hang around in the water waiting for the man-o-war to attack him, when it was very obvious that he could’ve gotten out of the way. Outside of a few quirky moments, the veteran cast (save for Dunn as this was his first movie) hands in fine performances.
Note that I am only covering the 2D version of September Storm, not the 3D version. Kino presents September Storm in its original 2:39:1 aspect ratio, in 1080p with MPEG 4- AVC Encode and the image has its ups and downs, mainly ups, however. Colors look stunning and just beautiful at times, and flesh tones look strong. Daylight and some underwater shots look really dynamic, robust, and clear with great detail, but then suddenly some of the shots in the same scene, especially underwater become dark, soft, hazy and murky. In simple terms, there are some scenes where the film goes from good to bad and back to good again. Film grain is present. Still, it is overall very pleasing, despite a few inconsistencies.
The audio used by Kino for this release is the usual English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 track and it’s also in good condition. The dialog, musical scores all sounded perfectly fine and clear.
There are a good amount of extras for this release. There is to start with, a 2017 interview by 3-D SPACE with September Storm co-star Asher Dann, a color theatrical trailer for the flat 1960 release, a black and white 60 second TV spot for the 1960 3-D release.
Other supplements include a featurette called The Adventures of Sam Space, aka Space Attack, a comedy short originally raised with September Storm , Harmony Lane, a previously lost British short from 1953 and a 1995 interview by Tony Sloman with Harmony Lane director Lewis Gilbert.
And last but not least there is the 3D restoration of this film brought to us courtesy of Bob Furmanek
I thought September Storm was an enjoyable way to spend ninety minutes and will watch it again. Those looking for mild adventure films that aren’t overlong or all about special effects will not be disappointed. The image quality and extras for this release are really remarkable considering the film is over fifty years old. Major kudos to Bob Furmanek for doing the 3D restoration and to Kino Lorber for releasing this film on Blu-ray!