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Two Years Before the Mast (1946)

6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 258 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 4 critic

The playboy son of a wealthy shipping magnate discovers at first hand the desperate privations suffered by the crew of one of his fathers ships when he is unwillingly pressganged aboard.

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: Two Years Before the Mast (1946)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Richard Henry Dana
...
First Mate Amazeen
...
Terence O'Feenaghty
Howard Da Silva ...
Captain Francis A. Thompson
Esther Fernández ...
Maria Dominguez
...
Brown
Luis Van Rooten ...
2nd Mate Foster
...
Sam Hooper
Roman Bohnen ...
Macklin
...
Gordon Stewart
Theodore Newton ...
Hayes
Tom Powers ...
Bellamer
James Burke ...
Carrick
...
Hansen
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Storyline

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 <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

ship | scurvy | flogging | sailor | murder | See more »

Taglines:

The Greatest of All Adventure Classics!

Genres:

Drama | Adventure

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 November 1946 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Hiena dos Mares  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. See more »

Quotes

Captain Francis A. Thompson: Mr. Foster, remove his shirt.
2nd Mate Foster: Aye, aye, sir.
Charles Stewart: Never mind. I'll take it off.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Four Seasons (1981) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Bad conditions at sea
3 July 2010 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The press gang of the "Pilgrim" recruits a crew and the ship sets sail. Captain Thompson (Howard Da Silva) is only concerned with breaking speed records and has First Mate Amazeen (William Bendix) and Second Mate Foster (Luis Van Rooten) as his side-kicks to run discipline with a rod of iron. There are floggings, rations, neglect and heartless sea burials on his journey. The crew who suffer include Charles Stewart (Alan Ladd), Henry Dana (Brian Donlevy) and Brown (Albert Dekker). Dana keeps an incident log which will change merchant sea law forever. It becomes published and is called "Two Years Before The Mast"

This is a true-life account of conditions at the time and is based upon a book that introduced maritime law. The cast are all good - Howard Da Silva makes an excellent bad guy. I don't usually like children in films but the stowaway Sam Hooper (Daryl Hickman) isn't as annoying as I feared he might be, and his inclusion in the story has relevance in how the crew relate to Charles. Indeed, he also brings out a human side to Mr Amazeen. However, I am not sure what the point of having the 2 passengers was - the film dragged whenever Maria (Esther Fernandez) was on screen. It was good to watch Charles's transformation from a dislikeable oik to a man with a conscience. There were also some humorous moments thrown in, eg, when Charles goes back to eat the chicken he has stolen in front of the crew that hate him. It's a good film but I never understand the point in scrubbing the decks. What's that about?


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