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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>
John Gilbert's final appearance in a feature film; he subsequently appeared as himself in an MGM short subject. See more »
The 'Hard to Starboard' command by the Captain isn't a goof at all, as his very next command is 'Both engines slow astern'. In other words he's reversing the vessel and in that case starboard is the correct direction. See more »
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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