Mining for a Future
When showgirl Victory Kane (Nancy Kelly) walks in to the bar every miner there drinking stops dead as she is stunning. It is though hard working coal miner Pete Ramsey (Chester Morris) who falls for her and wins her with them ending up getting married. But Victory is a devious woman with big plans starting with pushing Pete to become the mine's superintendent as it is a better position with more money despite some of his friends being less than happy when Peter has to boss them around. But it isn't enough for Victory who is desperate to climb the social ladder and she keeps on pushing Pete on to better himself whilst she is carrying on with the son of the wealthy owner of another mine behind Pete's back. But when a tornado strikes the town it puts many in danger whilst levelling some of the town.
"Tornado" is one of those old dramas where for the most it is forgettable but then you find yourself strangely impressed by some of the visuals which really stand out for a movie of this age. In truth you almost wonder whether this movie had two directors; one who did the bulk of the movie with the storyline the focus and then someone else came in to shoot the big special effect driven scenes. The thing is that the actual storyline of Pete becoming a mining manager whilst married to a scheming, cheating wife is not that enthralling although there is some interesting scenes involving those who find themselves struggling with feelings of guilt.
In many ways the issue with "Tornado" is that the storyline has the potential to be brilliant as we have guilt, cheating, self loathing, social climbing, injuries and disaster. But to fit all of that in to just 83 minutes means the depth ends up lost and not just from various scenes as the character depth is not there either and as such this lacks the longevity of a movie which sticks with you after it is over.
What this all boils down to is that "Tornado" might have entertained back in 1943 but now feels like a movie which doesn't do justice to what should have been a very powerful drama.