Aside from one bad performance, a very good film--especially since it has such a very low budget.
"I Conquer the Sea!" is a great example of a film that was made by a so-called 'Poverty Row Studio' and yet it manages to work exceptionally well despite the lower budget and lesser-known stars. The only big star (Dennis Morgan) was NOT a star at the time the film was made and he goes by his real name, Stanley Morner. Aside from him, the rest are relative unknowns. Most of them did a great job, though the star, Steffi Duna, was very weak.
The film is set in a whaling town. While whaling and whalers are not politically correct in the much more sensitive 21st century, the film is a valuable piece of history--giving us some actual footage of what it was like to hunt whales for a living in the 1930s--when the industry was nearly dead.
Tommy Ashley (Morgan--in his first film) is in love with a Portuguese-American lady, Rosita (Duna). However, her love for him seems a bit less intense. She cares about him but doesn't seem in love with him. Still, she does care about him and agrees to marry him. The problem is that in the meantime, Tommy's nice brother, Leonard (Douglas Walton) is really, really sweet and soon Rosita falls head over heels for Leonard and vice-versa. But, Leonard is very loyal to his brother and cannot allow himself to fall for Rosita. And, to make it worse, Tommy gets maimed in a whaling accident and the notion of Rosita and Leonard getting married is too much for them to do and Rosita resigns herself to marrying Tommy and not the man she really loves. However, nice-guy Tommy learns about this and decides to take matters in his own hands...I mean hand.
The film works well because the stock footage of whaling is integrated extremely well into the film. Additionally, there was a really nice reverence for the men and their work that made the film rather inspiring and sweet. Well worth seeing and nearly good enough to earn an 8.
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