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Captains Courageous (1937)

Passed  |   |  Adventure, Drama, Family  |  25 June 1937 (USA)
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Reviews: 72 user | 34 critic

Harvey Cheyne is a spoiled brat used to having his own way. When a prank goes wrong onboard an ocean liner Harvey ends up overboard and nearly drowns. Fortunately he's picked up by a ... See full summary »



(novel), (screen play), 3 more credits »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Oscar O'Shea ...
Priest (as Jack LaRue)
Walter Kingsford ...
Donald Briggs ...
Sam McDaniel ...
'Doc' (as Sam McDaniels)
Bill Burrud ...
Charles (as Billy Burrud)


Harvey Cheyne is a spoiled brat used to having his own way. When a prank goes wrong onboard an ocean liner Harvey ends up overboard and nearly drowns. Fortunately he's picked up by a fishing boat just heading out for the season. He tries to bribe the crew into returning early to collect a reward but none of them believe him. Stranded on the boat he must adapt to the ways of the fishermen and learn more about the real world. Written by Col Needham <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Again-as in the stirring "Mutiny"- you live the roaring drama of men against the sea. You share the struggles, the heartaches, the laughter of courageous souls who leave the women they love to dare the wrath of the angry waves... See more »


Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

25 June 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Rudyard Kipling's Captains Courageous  »

Box Office


$1,645,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


A fishing schooner was bought by MGM in Gloucester, Massachusetts and sailed to Newfoundland for background shots. Then it went through the Panama Canal to California where Long Beach Harbor stood in for Gloucester. See more »


In the penultimate scenes, Harvey and Mr. Cheyne each throw a wreath into the water. Mr. Cheyne's wreath lands next to Harvey's. However, when shown again, Mr. Cheyne's wreath sits partially atop of Harvey's wreath as they float away on the outgoing tide. See more »


Frank Burton Cheyne: Elliot, I'm going to be a father again.
Elliott: Good Heavens, Mr. Cheyne.
Elliott: No, no no Elliot... just that it seems that smart little boys from so-called wealthy well-bred parents don't grow up very successfully by themselves.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits are letters on planks, like the lettering on the side of ships, and between screen-fulls, a foaming wave of water splashes over it and then runs off. In the initial sets of credits, these appear to be actually letter-forms attached to the wood, as the water gets deflected by some of the letters; in later sets of credits, this effect is harder to see and the sets may be credits superimposed upon wood. See more »


Spoofed in Cabin Boy (1994) See more »


Blow The Man Down
See more »

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User Reviews

they just don't make them like this anymore...
16 January 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

this has to be one of my favorite films ever. I loved it as a kid and the last time I happened to catch it on TV, i loved it just as much and cried just as hard. Freddy Bartholomew! what a fantastic little actor this kid was! and of course, the unparalleled Spencer Tracy as Manuel the fisherman we all love so much, is simply fantastic. i did not realize that this was a Fleming film, that explains a lot. All of my favorites from this era seem to have had this man at the wheel. He sure knew the right combination of sentiment, humor, melodrama, and reality to come up with a winner most of the time. I'm glad to see so many other votes and comments that echo (i guess i'm the echo tho, huh?) my own feelings about this film Its nice to know others also feel as strongly and as warmly about it as i always have. it sure deserves it.

I sing "Yo, ho little fish, don't cry, don't cry, Yo ho little fish don't cry, don't cry" to my kids at night thanks to Manuel. It always works too!

11 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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