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The Sea Bat (1930)

Passed | | Action, Romance, Thriller | 5 July 1930 (USA)
The West Indies island of Portuga exists mainly for sponge diving. But the best area of collection is frequented by a very large manta ray. Nina loses her brother to the creature and is ... See full summary »

Directors:

(uncredited), (uncredited)

Writers:

(story), (dramatisation) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
Antone
...
Juan
...
Corsican
...
Limey
...
Maddocks
...
Mimba
...
Dutchy
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Storyline

The West Indies island of Portuga exists mainly for sponge diving. But the best area of collection is frequented by a very large manta ray. Nina loses her brother to the creature and is comforted by a newly arrived minister, who seems very interested in an old poster offering a reward for a convict recently escaped from nearby Devil's Island. More deaths attributed to the sea bat follow before Nina resolves her feelings for her comforter. Written by Ron Kerrigan <mvg@whidbey.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

island | sponge | convict | reward | fight | See All (23) »

Taglines:

Beauty, Drama, Romance...that will stay forever in your memory! (original ad) See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 July 1930 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

O Monstro Marinho  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Turner library print) | (copyright length)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

John Dennis aka Reverend Sims: [to Nina] What sort of a white girl are you, to get mixed up with stuff like that?
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Soundtracks

Lo-Lo
(1930)
Music by Reggie Montgomery and George Ward
Lyrics by Felix E. Feist and Howard Johnson
Sung by Raquel Torres a capella
Played in the score at the end
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User Reviews

 
Menace Above & Below The Waves
3 June 2005 | by (Forest Ranch, CA) – See all my reviews

The lives of sponge divers are disrupted by the arrival of a tough cleric and the deprivations of THE SEA BAT.

It is unfortunate that this splendid little film from MGM has become so obscure as it has much to offer in the way of ambiance and good acting from an interesting cast. The production values are high and the location shooting (on Mexico's Mazatlán coast) with its glimpses of pseudo West Indies island culture add to the film's atmosphere. Director Lionel Barrymore keeps the action moving right along, with just enough requisite romance, suspenseful encounters with the hideous sea bat and a dandy fist fight near the end to keep the viewers happy.

Mexican actress Raquel Torres plays the fiery island miss who wants to escape the tragedy which has attacked her family. Silent screen star Nils Asther is her gentle, loving brother, a sponge diver. His departure from the story early on is poignant & regrettable. Disheveled George F. Marion steals most of his scenes as their disreputable father. Sturdy Charles Bickford is the no-nonsense pastor with a secret who arrives on the Island of Portuga and is quickly confronted by danger. All four give excellent performances.

Other crew members of the sponge boat are played by lecherous John Miljan, who acted the villain in many early MGM talkies; blustering Gibson Gowland, who only five years earlier had starred in von Stroheim's masterpiece GREED; and, in a tiny role, pre-celeb Boris Karloff. Silent movie comic Mack Swain portrays the owner of the island grog shop.

********************

The giant Atlantic manta (Manta birostris), sometimes called a sea bat, is a type of devilfish and is characterized by its large flapping fins and two horny protrusions near its mouth, giving it a diabolic appearance. It lives in the warmer waters near both islands and coastlines, where it eats small fish & plankton. The Atlantic manta can grow to 23' from fin tip to fin tip and weigh up to 2,200 pounds. Despite its sinister aspect it is known -contrary to legend- to be gentle and does not attack divers.


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