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Captain China (1950)

Passed  |   |  Action, Adventure, Romance  |  2 February 1950 (USA)
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Charles Chinnough, aka Captain China, washed ashore off his ship during a storm, is later rescued, but is relieved of duty when his former first mate, Brendensen (who thought he was dead), ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Charles S. Chinnough aka Captain China
Gail Russell ...
Kim Mitchell
Jeffrey Lynn ...
Capt. George Brendensen
Red Lynch (as Lon Chaney)
Edgar Bergen ...
Mr. Haasvelt
Michael O'Shea ...
Miss Endicott
Ilka Grüning ...
Mrs. Haasvelt (as Ilka Gruning)
Keith Richards ...
John Bagni ...
Ray Hyke ...
Walter Reed ...
Paul Hogan ...


Charles Chinnough, aka Captain China, washed ashore off his ship during a storm, is later rescued, but is relieved of duty when his former first mate, Brendensen (who thought he was dead), and two aides, testify falsely against him in a hearing concerning the loss of his ship. Seeking to clear his name, he books passage on a ship commanded by Brendsen.He and Brendensen both fall for a passenger, Kim Mitchell. Later, a raging storm at sea has the cowardly Brendensen turning the command of the ship over to Chinnough. This serves to help Chinnough clear his name. Written by Les Adams <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Release Date:

2 February 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Capitão China  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

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Miss Endicott: [to Kim] A man! I need a man with a hammer!
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User Reviews

Batten Down Those Hatches
12 January 2013 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

John Payne starred in several films for the Pine-Thomas B production unit at Paramount and one of the best of them is Captain China. That's a nickname Payne has received as a play on his real name Chinough and the fact that plys his trade as a freighter captain in the Asian seas.

But he's a beached skipper because he lost one ship after he came on drunk and it piled up on a reef. His first mate Jeffrey Lynn testified against him at a hearing where Payne was presumed lost at sea.

As fates would have it Payne becomes one of a select group of passengers on a ship now commanded by his former mate Lynn. The other passengers include husband and wife missionaries Edgar Bergen and Ilka Gruning, spinster mystery novelist Ellen Corby, and the beautiful Gail Russell heading home. The first three provide comedy relief and Russell is a romantic bone of contention between Payne and Lynn.

There's a lot of Payne's old crew on the freighter that include Robert Armstrong and Lon Chaney, Jr. and John Qualen, the latter two have it in for Payne. When a crisis hits though, it's Payne that comes through.

There's one more interesting role, that of Michael O'Shea as a drunken ship's officer who gets a chance for redemption under Payne's guidance.

Pine-Thomas did a good one here with some most realistic storm scenes, done at night, the better to disguise the fact that it's all done in a studio tank with a model ship. Still the storm sequences are very well done by all the cast.

One of John Payne's better films as he slid into the B picture non-singing roles period of his career.

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