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In the South Seas, Bill Jones, captain of the schooner "Marigold", is known as Captain Calamity as he is quick to fight or frolic. Stone broke on the island of Quica and with his ship in need or re-stocking, Bill accepts an ancient Spanish doubloon from a young Australian named Carr in exchange for taking him to Tapillo, where Carr can take a ship to Sydney. Bill gives the doubloon to trader Joblin for supplies, and does not bother to correct the trader's impression that he has found a fabulous horde of pirate gold. With Madame Gruen, a slatternly jade who runs a waterfront boarding house, and Samson, her oily paramour, Joblin schemes to seize Captain Bill's supposed treasure trove. Together, they gather a a crew of cutthroats, led by Black Pierre, leader of the scum of the waterfront dives, to seize the treasure. Bill also meets Dr. Kelkey, loser in many bouts with a brandy bottle, and his ward, Madge Lewis, on a mission to find the man who murdered and robbed her father in Australia... Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
The same shot of three crew pulling on a rope is used when the schooner departs Quica and when it heading back to Quica. See more »
Dr. James Kelkey:
You're one of the richest men on earth, Bill. All the money in the world couldn't buy that body of yours.
Captain Bill Jones:
Yeah, I suppose I oughta be thankful. The trouble is, it costs so much to feed it.
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This film was made by Grand National Films, a company with a brief existence from 1936 to 1939. They were trying to become a major player by signing up James Cagney, but his second film for the firm, Something To Sing About cost a fortune for the company and laid an egg at the box office, effectively bankrupting the fledgling firm. Captain Calamity sounds like it would be a comedy film, but it is not. There are some attractive players here, like George Houston, who goes through much of the film with no shirt on, and Movita, a player whose character suffers a surprising fate. The color is a version of Cinecolor which favors blue and red and really looks quite lovely on the unrestored but very watchable print I viewed. Most prints have the first section of credits missing, and cuts in for the shots of the cast poking their heads through a life preserver, with their names printed on the preserver. A good example of early, good-looking color from a company other than Technicolor.
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