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Chubasco (1968)

A young delinquent tries to redeem himself by working on a tuna boat.

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Chubasco (1968)

Between Dick & Liz and Jack & Angelica, Christopher Jones and Susan Strasberg became for a brief interlude Hollywood's premiere power couple, beautiful creatures whose boundless charisma and seemingly limitless prospects were the envy of the Sunset Strip. The daughter of Actor's Studio co-founder Lee Strasberg, Susan Strasberg had been nominated for a Tony award at age 18 and was known abroad as "La Strasberg;" Jones was a product of Memphis' Boys Town, a motherless loner who found a measure of structure and consistency in acting and was being touted as the next James Dean. Married in 1965, the couple's only feature film pairing was in the Warner Bros.-Seven Arts production Chubasco (1968), the title taken from the Spanish word for the violent storms that rock Mexico's Pacific coast. Playing to his strengths, Jones stars as a rootless drifter whose love for a port town girl (Strasberg had given birth to the couple's only child, a daughter, in 1966) angers her father (Richard Egan), a fishing boat captain. Like an Elvis vehicle played without songs, Chubasco was as dramatic off-screen as on, with the stormy marriage of Jones and Strasberg ending in divorce not long after production wrapped in late 1967. (Jones rebounded with an affair with actress Sharon Tate that ended with her August 1969 murder.) Chubasco proved an effective launching pad for Jones' career (though he quit Hollywood in 1970 after making Ryan's Daughter for David Lean), and was the last film of veteran Hollywood actor Preston Foster.

By Richard Harland Smith

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