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The Adventures of Martin Eden (1942)

Passed | | Adventure | 26 February 1942 (USA)
Author writes about his experiences sailing at sea, struggles to get his work published.

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(novel),
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Cast

Cast overview:
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Connie Dawson
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...
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Johnny
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'Butch' Raglan
Frank Conroy ...
Rafaela Ottiano ...
Pierre Watkin ...
Amos Morley
Regina Wallace ...
Robert J. McDonald ...
The judge
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Storyline

Author writes about his experiences sailing at sea, struggles to get his work published.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Adventure

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

26 February 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

High Seas  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Connections

Version of Martin Eden (1914) See more »

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A Ford Showcase
28 May 2012 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

Glenn Ford gives a rousing performance as the title character. This was still early in his career, before the actor settled into his more familiar low-key film persona. But his spirit here is well placed since Eden has to struggle against social forces far stronger than he. Based on Jack London's autobiography, the screenplay shows how narrow the literary parameters were in London's day. Fiction served mainly as escapism for the leisure class and was a long way from the kind of raw reality Eden sought to portray. Naturally, the moneyed class didn't want to read about how tough life was for the industrial workingman. Thus, more familiar types of literary realism, such as London-Eden's, were generally suppressed. This is an important part of the screenplay and offers a glimpse of the barrier certain kinds of authors faced in getting published.

The movie's central crux, however, is Eden's having to choose between staying with his working class roots, symbolized by Connie (Trevor), or ascending to the moneyed class with Ruth (Keyes). On a more abstract plane, it's also a contest between Truth with a capital T, on one side, and social position, on the other. Thus, it's also a movie of conflicting ideals.

Basically, the movie starts fast, sags somewhat in the middle, and rev's-up for the climax. In fact, the first part, aboard ship, amounts to a hard act to follow. Frankly, I could have done without some of the ritual brawling with Raglan (MacDonald), which seems added mainly for action's sake. Nonetheless, it's a revealing little film with an energetic turn from headliner Ford and a good glimpse of the literary world, circa 1900.


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