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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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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:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

RKO had built an expensive ship set for their 1938 production Pacific Liner (1939). Val Lewton was given instructions to come up with a film that could use the still existing set. See more »

Goofs

DVD subtitles mistake: Tertius meets the Captain's fiancée, Miss Roberts, transcribed as "Ms. Roberts." The title "Ms." was coined in 1901 but remained unknown to the general public until 1971. Hitherto it was used only in exclusive writing societies which the barely literate Tertius could not have been part of. 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

Featured in Val Lewton: The Man in the Shadows (2007) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Lewton Does It Again
19 October 2005 | by (West Virginia) – See all my reviews

The title of this film is misleading as it implies a ghost story.....but of course, it isn't. In fact it isn't even a horror film in the general sense. It is more a psychological thriller, surrounding the personality of the ship's captain, played by that old war horse, Richard Dix. And he does a terrific job of letting the viewer glimpse the madness beneath his controlled exterior. His byword is "authority" and he goes to unbelievable lengths to assert that authority.

Russell Wade, with whom I am unfamiliar, plays the Third Officer, who sees through the captain in short order and vainly attempts to convince the crew of Dix's insanity......but to no avail. The only person who is aware of the problem is a mute played by probably one of the most unattractive and busiest character players in Hollywood, Skelton Knaggs and he becomes somewhat of a hero in the final few minutes of the film. Edith Barrett, who was used by Lewton in other films, makes a limited appearance as the captain's inamorata. Look for Lawrence Tierney, future Hollywood bad boy, as a target of the captain's revenge.

Val Lewton was the master of atmospheric films made on a limited budget and he doesn't miss with this one. It's a dandy!!


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