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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Edward Everett Horton
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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 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 <email@example.com>
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 »
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 »
A rather innocuous comedy The Captain Hates The Sea marked the farewell performance for silent screen star John Gilbert. After failing to make a comeback with his greatest co-star Greta Garbo in Queen Christina, Gilbert was given his walking papers by MGM. He was fourth billed in this film whose star was Victor McLaglen.
Given the incredibly good cast of familiar character players The Captain Hates The Sea should have been a lot better than it was. But it's hampered by a confusing script.
The main plot line involves former cop now turned private detective Victor McLaglen after some stolen bonds and he believes that Fred Keating and Helen Vinson have them. If one is used to seeing McLaglen as some of the oafish characters he played in later John Ford films, you'll be in for a surprise. He's by no means a dummy in The Captain Hates The Sea, though he does think a bit with his male member when it comes to Vinson.
John Gilbert who by this time had descended into alcoholism in real life is cast as a dissolute playboy looking to take the cure on the sea voyage. It was a part hitting too close to home, but that may have been the reason he was so good in it.
Another story line involves married couple John Wray and Wynne Gibson. She was a woman of easy virtue whose self righteous husband never lets her forget it.
Such familiar people as Walter Catlett, Donald Meek, Alison Skipworth and even the Three Stooges get their moments in the film. Presiding over all of this is Captain Walter Connolly who is constantly berating steward Leon Errol. Leon Errol who was born in Australia in the only time I ever heard him on film actually uses an accent from the land of his birth. Which makes me wonder if that was his natural speech or did he lose it in his years on stage and screen on both sides of the pond and only recall it for this film.
With such a colorful cast of familiar players The Captain Hates The Sea should be viewed. You'll probably like it as I did, but can see definite room for improvement.
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