The Ghost Ship (1943) Poster


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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returned unread, the court ruled against Lewton and RKO (a decision upheld at appeal), and The Ghost Ship (1943) was withdrawn from circulation.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.
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.


The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

The third officer (aka third mate) on a ship is customarily the ship's safety officer in charge of all the safety-related equipment and conditions on a ship, such as the firefighting apparatus, lifeboats, the securing of cargo and equipment, etc. (Thus Tom was responsible for that dangerous, swinging hook that was not secured.) The third officer normally stands watch from 0800-1200 and 2000-2400 while at sea, and 2400-0800 in port.
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