High Wind


Martin Amis in A High Wind in Jamaica

(from the Introduction to Understanding Martin Amis, by James Diedrick (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1995):

    In the twenty-four years leading up to the publication of his first novel, The Rachel Papers, Martin Amis lived the kind of life that would be the envy of any aspiring writer. He was born (on August 25, 1949) to the novelist Kingsley Amis just five years before Lucky Jim brought transatlantic fame to its author and transatlantic travel to his family. During the almost ten years Martin Amis lived in South Wales his father's friend, the poet Philip Larkin, made frequent visits to the Amis household. He spent his tenth year in America (Princeton, New Jersey), and divided his thirteenth year between living in Spain and filming A High Wind in Jamaica in the West Indies.

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From "And do you remember... ?" 100 Film Moments, by Philip French (Guardian Unlimited, 22 August 1999):

"There are all kinds of memorable moments, some widely shared, some personal to a group of friends or a single person. For instance, everyone who's seen David Lean's Great Expectations will remember Pip's graveyard encounter with the convict Magwitch until the day they die. Whereas a similarly shocking childhood incident in Alexander Mackendrick's A High Wind in Jamaica (1965) - the sudden death of the heroine's little brother - will be a magical moment only for the relatives and admirers of Martin Amis, who played this, his only movie role, at the age of 13."

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From the High Wind in Jamaica web site (http://www.homestead.com/hwij/--grammar, spelling, and factual errors corrected):

"Richard Hughes' 1929 novel was made into a movie in 1965. Starring Anthony Quinn, James Coburn, Martin Amis and Deborah Baxter, it has rarely been aired on television in the past decade and is not available on video.

After making the list of 100 best books of the century in 1998, no one offered it for sale anywhere until September 1999.

The novel presents the viewpoint of Emily, a 10-year-old British girl leaving the heathen Jamaica she'd grown up on for some proper British schooling with her siblings and anothe family of children. The movie takes a more omniscient viewpoint. The children are sent by ship, which is overtaken by pirates who find that the adventuresome kids have been locked aboard their ship while they were plundering the other one.

Chavez, the capain, takes a shine to Emily and won't let the others put the children off on an island to get rid of them. AFter one of the boys accidentally dies and Emily is injured, the pirates mutinee. The children are eventually rescued, but on the bench, a frightened Emily implicates Chavez in a deed she committed by accident but doesn't realize she is innocent of, and Chavez and his crew are hung."

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Internet movie database information on A High Wind in Jamaica: http://us.imdb.com/Title?0059269 (includes this  vital information for Amis scholars--one of the pirates is played by "Trader Faulkner").


Screen captures below--some featuring Amis:


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