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The Ghost Ship (1943)

Approved  |   |  Drama, Mystery, Thriller  |  27 July 1944 (Australia)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 1,992 users  
Reviews: 54 user | 29 critic

Tom Merriam signs on the ship Altair as third officer under Captain Stone. At first things look good, Stone sees Merriam as a younger version of himself and Merriam sees Stone as the first ... See full summary »

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Title: The Ghost Ship (1943)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Russell Wade ...
3rd Officer Tom Merriam / Tertius
Edith Barrett ...
Ellen Roberts
Ben Bard ...
First Officer Bowns
Edmund Glover ...
Jacob 'Sparks' Winslow, Radioman
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Storyline

Tom Merriam signs on the ship Altair as third officer under Captain Stone. At first things look good, Stone sees Merriam as a younger version of himself and Merriam sees Stone as the first adult to ever treat him as a friend. But after a couple strange deaths of crew members, Merriam begins to think Stone is a psychopathic madman obsessed with authority. He tries to tell others, but no one believes him, and it only makes Stone angry.. Written by Ken Yousten <kyousten@bev.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

MYSTERY TERROR! (original print ad - all caps)


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

27 July 1944 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Ghost Ship  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Very shortly after its theatrical release in December of 1943, producer Val Lewton was sued for plagiarism by Samuel R. Golding and Norbert Faulkner, who claimed that Lewton based his script on a play which they had written and submitted to Lewton's office at the time "The Ghost Ship" was being developed. Although Lewton had the opportunity to settle out of court, he chose to have the case tried. Despite Lewton's claims that their manuscript was returned unread, the court ruled against Lewton and RKO (a decision upheld at appeal), and The Ghost Ship (1943) was withdrawn from circulation. It remained unavailable for viewing for the next 50 years. See more »

Goofs

When the Captain catches Tom at the gun locker, Tom's shadow profile is cast on the wall directly beside the Captain as though the lighting is on Tom's left side, yet Tom is directly facing the Captain and the lighting is on his right side. See more »

Quotes

Captain Will Stone: [He's just caught Merriam getting into the arsenal locker; he pulls his revolver on him] Hold it! Move, and you'll get a bullet through the abdomen. Not a pleasant or quick death, either. Perhaps you've never seen a man die that way? But I want you to live! I want you to learn the great lesson that I thought I'd taught you: authority *cannot* be questioned!
3rd Officer Tom Merriam: That's crazy talk.
Captain Will Stone: Well, I've never felt more sane in my life than I do at this moment... Who's crazy? You, who defied me and are helpless? ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Edited from King Kong (1933) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A Lesser Known Lewton Production That is Brilliant
13 October 2003 | by (NY, NY) – See all my reviews

I had never heard of this Val Lewton production till it recently showed up on television. Yet, as directed by Mark Robson, it is one of Lewton's very best.

Russell Wade as the young sailor who is menaced by mentally off-balance captain Richard Dix is handsome and very persuasive. What happened to this actor? I had never heard of him before, either.

The movie has a marvelously eerie, foreboding quality that is maintained throughout, from the blind soothsayer we see before Tom Merriam (Wade) boards the ship, through the sea chanteys, Caribbean songs, the heroic mute sailor.

I generally shy away from all-male casts but in this case, the claustrophobic nature of the plot would have been maintained better had it not been "opened out," albeit briefly, with the scene onshore involving the third billed admirer of Dix.

(Her friend, whom we see greeting Wade at the end in silhouette, is a plot device to imply a happy ending. This is OK because the damage to our nerves has already been done. Dix has already had several of his crew killed and has almost succeeded in doing away with Wade.)


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