MovieChat Forums > Wind Across the Everglades (1958) Discussion > Film based on game warden Guy Bradley

Film based on game warden Guy Bradley

This film is loosely based on the life of Guy Bradley (1870-1905). In the late 1880s, there was a huge demand for bird feathers to decorate womens' hats. Five million birds each year were killed by poachers for the fashion industry.

In 1902, the Audubon Society hired Guy Bradley as the first game warden to protect the birds of the Everglades area. Bradley worked hard as a game warden, patrolling the enormous area of the Everglades and Key West in a small boat, and traveling far to inform people of the new anti-poaching laws. Many of the rookeries (nesting sites for birds and chicks) had been destroyed by poachers, and numerous birds were in danger of becoming extinct. In 1905, while trying to protect a rookery, Bradley was shot by a poacher, and left to die in his little boat.

In 1908, two other wardens, Columbus G. McLeod and Pressly Reeves, were also killed. None of the killers were convicted. The public was outraged by the murders, which led to the passage of federal and state laws protecting birds.

Bradley, McLeod and Reeves are true heroes, who gave their lives to save the endangered birds of the Everglades.


Does anyone know if TCM still airs this? My grandfather, Toby Bruce, has a small role in it and I've never seen it. He plays the rumrunner Joe Bottles. He was good friends with Budd Schulberg who wrote in the role special for him. I grew up listening to stories of the filming and his interactions with Gypsy Rose Lee and the other stars.


It's being aired by TCM right now but I don't know when they will air it again.


If you get the TCM app you can watch it for a while. That is VERY cool that your grandfather is Joe Bottles!!


Sadly, as the Narrator states in the beginning of the film, coupled with several women donning way over the top feathered and highly decorated hats, the price haberdashers were willing to pay was around $80 to $100 per pound for the feathers to decorate their hats.

Ornithologists commonly measure bird's feathers as a proportion of total body weight. According to Cobb-Vantress (a poultry research and development firm) a 5-pound broiler chicken's feathers weigh about 74 grams or 2.6 ounces, or 3.3% of its body weight. Since that chicken has some 9,000 feathers, each one weighs about .0082 grams.

I don't know what type of birds are depicted in the film or the average weight of those birds, but using the above example, and the estimate of 5 million birds being slaughtered, there'd be 45 billion feathers at stake. And it would take about 6 birds to provide 1 lb of feathers, and at the midpoint price of $90 per pound we're talking about a $75 Million industry at the turn of the century.

By the way, it takes a bird several months to regrow new feathers (after they molt) and it requires more protein for the bird to consume as protein is need for producing a high quality offspring coupled with replacing new/damaged feathers. It's just my observation that had these poachers considered raising birds of the type they poached (my gut tells me that they indeed HAD considered it) then they would have been "burdened" by providing the feed, assuming they were aware that added protein was needed in a diet. But instead they were just decided to poach, and receive the instant monetary advantages, with the only real costs being time and buckshot.

These unscrupulous actions, along with the wholesale slaughter of the American buffalo a few decades before in America's expansion out West, are simply unconscionable.


Would be cool to see a Guy Bradley biopic, even if it wouldn't be very successful with mainstream audiences.

"The storm cannot be stopped, but it can be survived.'"


I agree that it would be great to see a Guy Bradley biopic. I think it could find an audience on a televison Nature channel.

Here is a link to more information about Guy Bradley:


It's an interesting tribute to the early conservationist movement.