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The Captain Hates the Sea (1934)

 -  Comedy  -  2 November 1934 (USA)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 533 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 5 critic

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

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

Storyline

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 <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

THE PERFECT CAST - THE PERFECT PICTURE (original print ad - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Comedy

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

2 November 1934 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Farsa da Vida  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Sony Pictures Television print)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Actor John Gilbert's career was waning by the time he was hired by 'poverty row' studio Columbia for this picture. Gilbert's lucrative contract option had been dropped by the larger and richer MGM studios because his voice had tested higher than suited his masculine screen image. With his career in shambles, Gilbert had begun to drink heavily, but thanks mainly to the support of his friend Lewis Milestone, Gilbert was hired by Columbia for this picture...with the sole condition that he remain sober throughout the production. Unfortunately, Gilbert by this time was an alcoholic unable to stay away from drinking for very long, particularly among such heavy-drinking cast members as Walter Catlett and Victor McLaglen. Keeping the cast sober proved impossible, even while filming at sea. In a rage at the mounting expenditures, Columbia president Harry Cohn telegraphed director Milestone, 'Return to studio. The cost is staggering.' Milestone wired back, 'So is the cast!' See more »

Goofs

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 »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Wedding March
(uncredited)
Music by Richard Wagner
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Grand Hotel on Water
25 August 2010 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

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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