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Slave Ship (1937) Poster

(1937)

Trivia

Wallace Beery was notoriously abusive to the juvenile performers he worked with. For one scene in "Slave Ship" he had to slap his 16 year-old co-star Mickey Rooney in the face. Beery didn't fake the action and, without warning, slapped Rooney so hard he was knocked to the floor, spoiling the take and causing outrage among the crew. Director Tay Garnett took Beery aside and told him that everyone on the set loved Rooney, and that it would be most unfortunate if some lighting equipment were to "accidentally" fall on Beery's head. Beery got the message and behaved himself for the rest of the shoot. Interestingly, Rooney was one of the very few actors to work with Beery who later expressed no resentment towards him. He said, "Not everyone loved him the way I did."
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Lon Chaney Jr.'s silent bit as a doomed laborer can be spotted in the opening sequence, a ship's launching with fatal consequences.
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Working title: "The Last Slaver"
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