The Captain Hates the Sea (1934)

 |  Comedy  |  2 November 1934 (USA)
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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 »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Wynne Gibson ...
Mrs. Jeddock
Mrs. Yolanda Magruder
Steve Bramley
Helen Vinson ...
Janet Grayson
Fred Keating ...
Danny Checkett
Leon Errol ...
Captain Helquist
Gerta Klangi
Walter Catlett ...
Joe Silvers
Mr. Jeddock
Claude Gillingwater ...
Judge Griswold
Emily Fitzroy ...
Mrs. Victoria Griswold
Josephus Bushmills
Luis Alberni ...
Juan Gilboa


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


All Aboard The Looney Liner! Over 1000 Laughs! See more »







Release Date:

2 November 1934 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Farsa da Vida  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (Sony Pictures Television print)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


When the ship docks for the final time at the end of the film, stock footage is used of the liner "Olympic" (name visible on bow) being pushed by tug toward the pier. "Olympic" was one of the famous "three sisters", the others being "Titanic" and "Britanic". Unlike the ill-fated sisters however, "Olympic" had a long service life until being scrapped about 1937 and had the nickname "Old Reliable". 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 »


Edited into Commotion on the Ocean (1956) See more »


Wedding March
Music by Richard Wagner
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User Reviews

John Gilbert Is Magnificent
19 November 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A sort of B version of Grand Hotel but on a cruise ship, The Captain Hates the Sea is fascinating for a couple of terrific performances among the wreckage of this film that seems badly directed because of the confusing plot.

A disparate group of people take a cruise and get involved in the petty squabbles of the crew as well as each other's messy lives. There's something about bonds and bad reputations and undercover cops but none of it makes much sense.

However, John Gilbert, in his final film, is magnificent as the drunk. His voice has never been better and how ironic that this great star, whose career was supposedly ruined by his lousy speaking voice, turns in yet another terrific performance in a talkie. For anyone who has seen Gilbert in this film or Downstairs, Queen Christina, or The Phantom of Paris, you know that Gilbert had no voice problems.

Here is suave and cool and funny in a William Powell sort of way, and he's just mesmerizing to watch. Also very good are Alison Skipworth as the bossy hostess, Helen Vinson as the bonds thief, Walter Connolly as the captain, Walter Catlett as the bartender, Donald Meek as the bearded passenger, Wynne Gibson as the woman with the past, Leon Errol as the ship's mate, Akim Tamriroff as the troubled man, and the Three Stooges as the ship's musicians.

Victor McLaglen and Fred Keating are also after the bonds while John Wray is defending his wife's honor. Claude Gillingwater and Emily Fitzroy are also along for the ride. Quite the cast.

Not a great film but certainly worth a look for the cast and for the superb John Gilbert.

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