Alcoholic newspaperman Steve Bramley boards the San Capador for a restful cruise, hoping to quit drinking and begin writing a book. Also on board are Steve's friend Schulte, a private ... See full summary »
A book publisher finds his business floundering, which prompts his socially ambitious wife to desert him for a society millionaire, leaving him with their young son. The publisher's ... See full summary »
When his son doesn't respond to his many letters, Patrick Murphy decides to leave Ireland and visit his son in America. But upon arriving in Center City Patrick discovers that his son, who ... See full summary »
Paul Dover lives in Paris and works as an artist. He is visited by Julia Fraser an art buyer and critic who irritates Dover with her opinionated attitude. When she finally finds a piece of ... See full summary »
American Steve Kendall, a freighter's radio officer, discovers seaman Carlson sending an unauthorized message ashore as the ship approaches his war-poised homeland. Carlson is shot in cold ... See full summary »
Alcoholic newspaperman Steve Bramley boards the San Capador for a restful cruise, hoping to quit drinking and begin writing a book. Also on board are Steve's friend Schulte, a private detective hoping to nab criminal Danny Checkett with a fortune in stolen bonds. Steve begins drinking, all the while observing the various stories of other passengers on board, several of whom turn out not to be who they seem to be. Written by
Jim Beaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Director Lewis Milestone needed to persuade Columbia Pictures president Harry Cohn to hire actor John Gilbert for this picture. At the time it was generally believed that Gilbert's voice recorded higher in pitch than suited his masculine silent screen image, but Milestone believed that Gilbert's voice recorded higher in pitch because of the actor's anxiety at having to test for MGM as a means of defending his exorbitant salary there. Gilbert agreed to submit to a new voice-test for the role as a means of persuading Cohn that his casting in the picture was a viable investment. With his friend Milestone directing the test for the Columbia picture his voice recorded perfectly and John Gilbert was hired for the role. See more »
Right after the stern line is cast off, showing us the ship's starboard side is at dockside, the Captain (Walter Connolly) orders the helm, "Hard to starboard" - which would send the ship right back into the dock. See more »
Lewis Milestone, ace director-for-hire, seems to have been having a terrible year in 1934: between the fascinating train wreck of HALLELUJAH I'M A BUM and this one, he seems to have, temporarily at least, lost his way.
Anyway, this picture is another fascinating failure because while there are many wonderful performers and performances in it -- Jack Gilbert, who would die shortly, was not the only actor whose career was on the slide and thus available on the cheap: Victor McLaglen and Wynne Gibson undoubtedly did not command as much money as they would have a few years earlier. Everyone gives fine performances, but they never quite come together as a whole, the way GRAND HOTEL does with its sense of fatality. THE CAPTAIN HATES THE SEA remains a series of vignettes linked by location. Perhaps too much landed on the cutting room floor.
Others have commented on Gilbert, so let me note one of my favorite talents behind the camera: Joseph August. In a third of a century as a director of photography, from William Hart westerns in the 'Teens through PORTRAIT OF JENNIE, he showed you beauty with every shot, and never -- or rarely -- so that you noticed the work that went into it. His traveling shots moved only to tell a story, his compositions focused your attention where it should be, his lighting let you see peoples' faces -- take a look at the Three Stooges, away from the flat light that they worked in for all their shorts. They are suddenly human beings for their few scenes here -- and August was one of the masters of framing. If you have the patience for a second viewing, notice how windows, plants, people, every detail changes the effective shape of the frame, often to superb psychological purpose.
To sum up, this movie as a whole does not work -- normally I would rate it a five out of ten, as another mediocre, derivative work. But the talent on display makes it substantially better than average.
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