Charles Stewart, the "Pilgrim" owner's playboy son, finds himself shanghaied on his father's ship commanded by cruel Captain Thompson. When scurvy breaks out he leads a mutiny and is slapped in irons. Floggings and torture abound. Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I am disappointed to see the sparsity of votes for this very-of-guys movie. This box-office smash of 1946 which is a sly attempt to invoke the more academy award favored Mutiny on the Bounty. Obviously, this movie was made to win awards and to give prestige to the studio, producer and actors involved. It did not garner a single nomination. Based on a true story and a best-selling non-fiction book from the 19th Century, it details the kind of cruelty and inhumanity that was used back then to run a ship. The stand-out of many fine performances is Howard da Silva as the captain Thompson who is more interested in breaking arrival records than in keeping the health, morality or moue of his crew in a flush of pink. Alan Ladd is the somewhat lead for make no mistake, this is no Ladd piece but an ensemble of Paramount's finest and great character actors. William Bendix, an actor who puts to shame the theory that real acting began with those "method" actors of the fifties with everything he does, is perfect as the first mate Amanzine. Shot strictly on studio sets, it does have the necessary realism of the open seas and azure skies that could give it the needed extra texture but it tries and works all the same. Unexpected events happen and formula is avoided until a rushed third act and ending that feels to hurried to resonate. That is why I voted it an 8/10. It is just too flat, as if the producers were late for dinner or something and slapped something together. Surely, events you want to see resolved is giving the sleight of hand and the picture is only 98 mins, so why the hurry? A good guy's movie with fine performances. It could have been a classic but it's just a good movie. P.S. I cannot believe Da Silva was not nominated for his performance. That is just a plain travesty.
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