Tornado (film)

Tornado is a 1943 film directed by William A. Berke and starring Chester Morris and Nancy Kelly.[1]

Directed byWilliam A. Berke
Produced byWilliam H. Pine
William C. Thomas
Written byMaxwell Shane
Based onnovel Black Tornado by John Guedel
StarringChester Morris
Nancy Kelly
Music byFreddie Rich
CinematographyFred Jackman, Jr.
Edited byWilliam H. Ziegler
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
August 1943
Running time
83 minutes
CountryUnited States


Pete Ramsey (Morris) is a hard-working coal miner who falls in love with and marries scheming showgirl Victory Kane (Kelly). Victory presses Pete to fight for the position of the mine superintendent, which he earns. Still unwilling to bear her poor surroundings and unsatisfied with being a miner's wife, Victory decides to climb the social ladder by having an affair with the wealthy owner of the mine, Gary Linden (Conway), unbeknownst to her faithful husband. Suddenly, a ferocious tornado hits the town and the mine, putting everyone in danger.



The film was based on the novel Black Tornado by John Guedel. (When Guedel was eight years old his father's factor was destroyed by a tornado.[2])

In July 1942, Pine-Thomas announced they would make a film of the novel starring their regular male leads, Richard Arlen and Chester Morris, plus Sylvia Sidney.[3] In September 1942 they said Richard Arlen would make the film, which had the working title of Cyclone, after he finished Aerial Gunner.[4] Then in March 1943 it was announced as a vehicle for Chester Morris only, as Black Tornado.[5]

Gail Russell was going to play the role of Sally but then was called in to replace Diana Lynn in a Harry Aldrich film, Henry Aldrich Gets Glamour (1943). Russell was replaced by Gwen Kenyon.[6]

Bill Henry was signed off the back of his performance in Pine-Thomas' Alaskan Highway.[7] He later signed a long term contract with Pine-Thomas.[8]

Nancy Kelly was cast in the female lead. She sung two songs, "Who Done It" and "There Goes My Dream" both by Frank Loesser with lyrics by Hoagy Carmichael and Frederick Hollander respectively.[9]

Filming took place in April 1943.[10] After the film, Morris signed a deal with Pine Thomas to make three more movies for the company.[11]


  1. Tornado Monthly Film Bulletin; London Vol. 10, Iss. 109, (Jan 1, 1943): 126
  2. Obituary: John Guedel Vosburgh, Dick. The Independent31 Dec 2001: 10.
  3. Para. Playing for a Repeater Parsons, Louella O. The Washington Post 18 July 1942: 14.
  4. SCREEN NEWS HERE AND IN HOLLYWOOD New York Times 29 Sep 1942: 19.
  5. SCREEN NEWS HERE AND IN HOLLYWOOD New York Times 3 Mar 1943: 19.
  6. SCREEN AND STAGE: Andy Hardy Gets Into More Romantic Trouble Scott, John L. Los Angeles Times 12 Mar 1943: 14.
  7. Whole City Immortalized Los Angeles Times 9 Mar 1943: 13.
  8. SCREEN NEWS HERE AND IN HOLLYWOOD New York Times 8 Mar 1943: 11.
  9. DRAMA AND FILM Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times 13 Mar 1943: A7.
  10. BEFORE THE CAMERAS Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File); Los Angeles, Calif. [Los Angeles, Calif]11 Apr 1943: C2.
  11. SCREEN NEWS HERE AND IN HOLLYWOOD New York Times 16 Mar 1943: 14.

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