At the end of the 19th century, Massachusetts whaling ship captain Bering Joy takes his grandson Jed on a whaling expedition.The old captain wants to teach his spoiled grandson real life values such as honesty, courage, wisdom, fairness and hard work.At the same time, First Mate Dan Lunceford is entrusted with tutoring the boy in his schoolwork.A small competition and rivalry starts when both men,Captain Joy and First Mate Lunceford, strive to become young Jed's male role model.Captain Joy may have the wisdom dictated by his life's experiences but young Jed's imagination is rather captivated by Dan Lunceford's seafaring tales. Written by
In 1948 Brenda Joyce was announced for a role in Down to the Sea in Ships. But she decided to retire at that time and leave Hollywood, eventually not appearing in the movie. See more »
Jed says that the longest river in the world is the Mississippi River. The Mississippi River is the second largest in the USA behind the Missouri River and would be considered the longest river in the world. See more »
Opening credits prologue: NEW BEDFORD 1887 See more »
This film reminds me of another great Lionel Barrymore classic, "Captains Courageous-" another "boy comes of age on the sea" film. If you enjoyed this one, you'll like that one, too. Leonard Maltin gives this film three stars and "Captains" four, but I prefer this one, probably because I had a hard time getting past Spencer Tracy's laughable attempt at a Portuguese accent in "Captains."
Although I'm not a sailor, this film seems pretty authentic, as though they paid attention to their technical adviser. Less Hollywood than you might expect from a 1949 film.
A previous reviewer described the ships in this film as Bluenose Schooners; actually, all the vessels in "Down to the Sea" are square-rigged whaling ships In my opinion, few things made by Man are as magnificent as a square-rigger under full sail.
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